It's not unusual that a young receiver interested in the California football program grows up idolizing the star wide out that used to wear No. 1 on his back for the Golden Bears. Normally, that No. 1 is DeSean Jackson, naturally. But, for Cal's most recent wide receiver offeree -- four-star Erik Brown -- that No. 1 is none other than Marvin Jones.
"I worked out with Marvin Jones, and my cousin Devon Blackmon actually worked out with Marvin before he went to the League," Brown said after receiving his offer on Monday night. "I've got a connection with him. He's kind of one of my role models. He's doing his thing, too. I'm proud of him. He wore that number well."
Beyond the connection with Jones, Brown also has an aunt who's in graduate school at Berkeley, so when wide receivers coach Rob Likens informed him at the end of a 10-minute conversation on Monday night that he had a scholarship offer, he knew how big of a deal it was, not just football-wise, but academically, as well.
"It was amazing. It was huge for my family. It was huge for me to be offered by Berkeley, and I'm just excited about it," Brown said. "Me and coach Likens' relationship, before the offer came, we had a good relationship. I actually had no idea it was even coming so soon, because they would constantly tell me how much time they were going to take with it, so, that being known, I just talked to the coaches, kept it cool and then it came. That was just amazing."
Likens, however, didn't lead off with the offer. It took him some time to build up to it while talking with the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder out of Fontana (Calif.) Summit.
"We talked about the future, more than anything," Brown said. "The offer came up in about the last minute of the conversation. Before then, we were just talking about Berkeley, what they're known for. Man, it's a very prestigious school, and I'd love to be a part of that. That's what we talked about the whole time, and at the end, he said, ‘You're offered,' and from there, it was just excitement. I just kept smiling."
Brown though, tempered his excitement a bit. He's been tempted to commit on the spot several times before.
"With Oregon State, UCLA and Washington came in, I just got excited and I was like, ‘I don't know,' I was thinking about it, but I need to do my evaluations," Brown said. "This would have been the third time that I almost committed, so I can control myself better now. I need to sit down with my family, and it's going to take some time."
Part of that evaluation process will be taking an unofficial visit up to Cal some time in the near future.
"Oh, yes, definitely; my whole family is Berkeley fans before the offer came," Brown said. "A trip is going to happen, regardless. Even if I didn't want to, I'd be taking a trip up to Berkeley."
The last memory that Brown has of the Bears was the 2011 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium, and before that, he went to another game two years prior. His more recent impressions of Cal, though, are far more favorable, especially with what he's been hearing from Likens.
"Coach Likens expects me to come in, get early playing time, learn from guys, learn from him and the rest of the coaching staff, and my goal is to come in and play," Brown said.
Brown is also quite enamored with the new uniforms the Bears debuted on April 10.
"They're amazing," Brown said. "Their uniforms before were nice, but their uniforms now are that much better."
Four-Star WR No Stranger to Cal
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