The California Golden Bears class of 2021 has been a rollercoaster of highs and dramatic pauses so far this offseason. One of those highs, however, just happened when four-star defensive end Derek Wilkins announced his decision to commit to the Bears via Instagram Live and then on Twitter.
Wilkins, who penned this letter, committed as promised on August 8.
“I’d like to thank my mom and dad for raising me into the man I am today, I love you guys. To every teammate I’ve ever had, thank you for pushing me to be my best and sticking with me through all the highs and lows.”
He then also went on to thank his coaches along the way before getting to the real bit of news.
“Lastly I would like to thank every coach that has reached out to me throughout this recruiting process, it means a lot.”
Wilkins had upward of 20 scholarship offers, so it’s no doubt that he talked to many, many coaches over the years.
“With all that being said, I would like to say that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at ...
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY! #GOBEARS”
BERKELEY, I’M COMING HOME— D (@derekwilkinss) August 8, 2020
And he also did not wait long to help the Bears on the recruiting trail, tweeting at top 20 prospect from the state of California, Byron Cardwell.
I know you see what we got going on here... @ByronCardwell2— D (@derekwilkinss) August 8, 2020
Wilkins himself is the nation’s 16th-best strongside defensive end and 22nd-best player from the state this circuit. He stands 6’4, 250 pounds and is the 240th-best player overall, according to 247Sports, who’s National Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins evaluates:
Versatile defensive lineman who can play inside or outside in college. At 6-4, 250 pounds, he moves well, has a quick first step, is strong at the point and can run down plays from behind. Has good lateral mobility, uses his hands well and plays with advanced technique. Can change direction and shows multiple moves to get in to the backfield. Depending on how much bigger he gets in the next few years will determine where he lines up in college but looks like a potential three-tech or strong side defensive end in a 3-4. Projects as a impact upper tier Power 5 starter and future mid round NFL draft pick.
Wilkins commitment gives Cal 20 players who have pledged their allegiance for the class of 2021 already and he’s the sixth four-star player to call Berkeley his future home. He also joins weakside defensive ends Akili Calhoun and Myles Williams as well as edge rusher Patrick Hisatake as players who opposing Pac-12 QBs should fear in this class.
Congratulations, Derek! Welcome to Berkeley!