It seems as though the term jumbo athlete was invented for prospects like Connor Humphreys. The 6-foot-4, 262-pound three-star is nearly as fast as he is big, and California is looking at him as the prototypical rush defensive end in the new 4-3 scheme.
This weekend, Humphreys spent two days on the Berkeley campus, taking in practice, the spring game and the Bears' second junior day, as he bonded with fellow Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic product Brennan Scarlett and defensive line coach Barry Sacks.
"I loved it," Humphreys said. "It was totally the best unofficial visit I've taken."
What made the visit such a hit, apart from the weather?
"Just the way the coach treated me," Humphreys said. "He made it feel like I was a part of the team. I went a day early, so I was there on Friday, and I spent the whole day with coach Sacks and he took me into position meetings and really just took me under his wing."
Scarlett -- who has been sidelined during the spring due to complications from a surgery he underwent to fix a broken finger -- spent much of the weekend with Humphreys, eating meals and just hanging out in the off hours.
"I went to training table with the team and he sat at the table with me and coach Sacks, and we talked a lot," Humphreys said. "I talked to him a lot. He said he likes it a lot. He said he definitely made a good decision to go there, and with the new program, he's buying in, and he thinks that the new coaching staff is going to be a great one."
Humphreys is in roughly the same physical mold as the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Scarlett, and that's exactly why the Bears like him.
"On Friday night, I watched their walk-through practice, and I saw how coach Sacks runs their drills, and I definitely can see that he's a quality coach and knows what he's talking about with the D-line and linebackers," said Humphreys, who spent all day, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the team and the coaches. "They said they like my speed and my strength, and they say that I'm definitely the ideal defensive lineman for them."
Humphreys was particularly taken with the way Sacks went about his business and the overall energy of both Sacks and the entire staff.
"He definitely brings a lot of energy to the program," Humphreys said of Sacks. "I think he's a great coach and knows what he's talking about. He definitely knows the D-line, and knows the game of football, too. Most coaches just know the position, but he knows the position and the game of football, so that's definitely a good quality in a coach, too."
With offers from four Pac-12 schools, as well as Boise State and Boston College, Humphreys has his pick of potential destinations, but as of now, the Bears are near the top.
"I think they're definitely in my top five," Humphreys said. "I had a great time down there, I love the school and I love the city, but I definitely want to take some other visits and see what other schools have to offer. I want to give everyone an equal chance to show what they've got before I make a decision."
Cal Junior Day: Connor Humphreys
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