Semper Fi VIDEO: Manny Wilkins
CARSON, Calif. -- Among the throng of underclassmen trying to make a name for themselves at Thursday's Junior Rank Proving Ground combine, 2014 San Marin (Calif.) Novato quarterback Manny Wilkins stood out like a sore thumb.
He stood tall, self-assured, calm and smooth – easily one of the top two quarterbacks at the event, along with 2015 Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure signal-caller Ricky Town.
Wilkins visited the California campus back on Nov. 3, for the Washington game, and is still very interested in the Golden Bears, particularly after the hiring of Sonny Dykes, which Wilkins called "definitely impressing."
"His offense is going to be very dominant there, and hopefully, Jared [Goff] goes in there and does something special or [Zach] Kline does something special, and they get that program back up and running," said Wilkins, who just finished his second season back in California after moving to Texas with his mother.
Wilkins played his freshman season at Missouri City (Tex.) Elkins, before moving back home and staying with an aunt and uncle back in San Marin. Back in November, Wilkins said that he wasn't worried about the future of the Cal program, because the Bears were always going to "be a team that players want to go to, and they're always going to be a great team." None of that has changed for Wilkins.
"I mean, of course, a quarterback wants to go back there and just sling the ball for a bunch of yards and impress NFL scouts, but I guess it's just, as a whole, it's how the whole team reacts to it and how the team adapts to the coach," Wilkins said. "What if the team doesn't like the coach? I'm not saying that, but if he's coaching the players well, he's going to attract a lot more recruits, and that's going to get the program back up on the rise."
Wilkins has had some contact with Dykes, but not much, given the recent dead period.
"He actually added me on Facebook," Wilkins said. "I haven't been in contact with them a lot, because it's been the dead period and everybody's getting fired everywhere."
Of course, Cal isn't the only school going after Wilkins.
"Oregon, Utah State, Utah, Wisconsin -- Gary Andersen is the new coach up there, so that's going to be a good program, even better than what it is; I feel like he's a great coach -- and coach [Matt] Wells is now the head coach at Utah State, and I'm very high on them. I really am."
Ryan Gorcey publishes Cal Sports Digest and writes about Major League Baseball for FOXSportsNEXT. Follow him on Twitter @RGBearTerritory.
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