One of the big wide receiver standouts at the recent NFTC event in Oakland, Calif., on the campus of Laney College, was a familiar face, insofar as current California freshman quarterback Jared Goff is concerned.
The former Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic signal-caller was in attendance at the event, along with Bears teammate Hardy Nickerson, Jr., and watched his former Wildcats teammate tear up the field, making several big, physical catches, as well as a one-hander that wowed the crowd.
As far as Cal is concerned, Celis is thisclose to earning an offer to be one of potentially three wide receivers brought in with the 2014 class. How close?
"I talked to the offensive line coach, coach [Zach] Yenser, and I've talked to the wide receiver coach, too, and they said that if I run something under a 4.6 (40-yard dash), then they would offer me on the spot," said Celis, who currently owns a personal best of 4.64.
This weekend, Celis will get a chance to show just how fast he is -- though not in a straight-up 40 -- as he makes his way to Berkeley for Cal's one-day elite camp, with one thing in his sights.
"Oh, man, it'd be so hard to turn a Cal offer down," Celis said. "If I got offered by them, yes."
Celis already has opened a lot of eyes thanks to his NFTC performance.
"My goal showing up there was just to do what I do best," Celis says. "During the NFTC, I was competing with everybody, and my goal at the end of the day was just being unstoppable. I had a really good day, that day, and I'd like to think that I was one of the top guys out there."
Unstoppable was an apt description of the 6-foot-1, 180-pound wide receiver during Marin Catholic's 14-2 season in 2012, racking up 72 catches for 1,255 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns, while also rushing twice for 155 yards and two touchdowns. Celis's most memorable moment, though, came in the state regional game against Sutter, where he took back a punt to set up a Wildcats touchdown.
"Jared was on the sideline, and I had a punt return and I think the whole defense was around me, and I ended up getting out of around eight guys that missed me, and I ran down the sidelines and got pushed out of bounds," said Celis. "Jared got a hold of me, and he told me, ‘Man, we're unstoppable. We're going to State, and we're taking it home.' We went back on offense and then we scored. That's the most memorable moment I have with Jared."
Celis and Goff have known one another since Celis was in the seventh grade, and the chemistry between the two was more than evident during Marin Catholic's playoff run last season.
"Jared and I go, shoot, I met him when I was in seventh grade at the Marin Catholic Wildcat Camp," Celis said. "He was going into his eighth grade year, and I ended up going to MC, and I've been catching passes from him ever since."
And, if Celis does what he knows he's capable of doing this weekend, he may be catching more passes from Goff in the very near future.
"We talk a lot," Celis said, "and I was actually going to try to hang out with him this weekend, so he can show me around and introduce me to some people on the staff."
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