Darius Allensworth didn't come up to the Bay Area for anything other than having an operation to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament. What he got when he arrived was the royal treatment.
Allensworth used his sojourn up from Menifee, Calif., as an opportunity to meat new California head coach Sonny Dykes in person, before going under the knife, and he came away even more sure that -- despite the lack of a defensive coaching staff at the moment -- he was "100-percent a Golden Bear."
"It was great," Allensworth says. "I got to talk to coach Dykes, and I think I'm one of the first players he's met. It was good to meet him, and talk to him about everything. He talked to me about some D-coordinators he's looking at, and I can't wait to get back and do what I do."
Allensworth was privy to some names of the top candidates to take over the Cal defense, but he's already showing Dykes that he's coachable -- he won't let nary a one slip.
"He dropped some names, but he told me to keep it kind of private," Allensworth says coyly. "I'm going to keep it private, but he has some people in mind."
Though Dykes is known as an offensive coach, Allensworth -- a three-star cornerback -- was more than reassured that Dykes wants to do right by the defense, and improve on his 120th-ranked unit last season at Louisiana Tech.
"He told me that he lets the defensive coordinator call the defense, and he's more there to keep the peace, as the head coach," Allensworth says. "He makes sure the team's doing what it's supposed to be doing. He holds us accountable for a lot of things. It made me really like, 100-percent a Golden Bear."
While Allensworth's visit wasn't official, he got to hobble around the Simpson Center for Student Athlete High Performance and get yet another look at the facilities where he will be finishing up his rehab work.
"I've seen it all before," Allensworth says. "It's only my third time there, but I've seen it all before, and I got to see it a little bit again. I went around campus, just getting familiar with my surroundings."
The fact that Dykes -- who's been hitting the recruiting trail hard before the beginning of the December dead period -- made time to talk with him played very well with Allensworth.
"It made me feel great," he says. "He had time to talk to me, watched my film and actually, when I walked into the room, he was looking at film of last year, of the team early on, so he's ready."
After Allensworth's side trip to Berkeley, it was time to get down to business, and under anesthesia.
"They pulled back my patella and re-constructed [the ACL]," Allensworth says. "The doctor said that I had some of the strongest bones he's ever seen. They had to use three drills, because my bones were so strong. He said he's never seen anything like it."
Let it never be said that Allensworth didn't listen to his parents when they said he'd better drink plenty of milk.
"I drink milk every day," he says proudly. "I'm a cereal fiend, so that's probably half of it."
Allensworth will rest up this week, and then has an appointment to take off all the bandages and get fitted for a knee brace, after which the rehab process will begin in earnest.
"I feel alright right now. I'm not hurting as much as I was earlier today. I feel good. The surgery went great. After this week, I start the recovery process," says Allensworth. "After the next week, I start rehab, just little rehab -- like bending and stuff. For me to get back to how it was, 100-percent, it'll probably take six months."
After three weeks, Allensworth should be back on his feet and walking, but that didn't stop him from making it out to Carson, Calif., to the Home Depot Center, to watch some of his future teammates -- Corona (Calif.) Centennial's Cameron Hunt and Garrett Hughes, and Concord (Calif.) De La Salle's Victor Egu -- vie for the state title.
"My mom didn't want me to go, but my step-dad went to find me a wheelchair," Allensworth says.
Just What the Doctor Ordered
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