The View From Up Top

After spending two days in Berkeley on an unofficial visit, Peoria (Ariz.) offensive lineman Kamryn Bennett will have a shot to earn an offer sooner than he expected.

He saw the campus. He saw the students. He saw the weight room. He met the coaches. He even caught a movie. After two days in the Bay Area, checking out California, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial offensive lineman Kamryn Bennett couldn't find anything that topped his first moment atop California Memorial Stadium.

"The view from the top of the stadium, it was awesome," Bennett said. "You could see all the way San Fran and Oakland."

The two-day unofficial visit to Berkeley was jam-packed with just about everything Bennett could hope for, despite the fact that an anticipated meeting with head coach Sonny Dykes had to be postponed until a later date, due to the Pac-12 coaching meetings.

"He left early, I guess, for the Pac-12 meetings," Bennett said. "But, I got his number, so I'm going to give him a call here soon."

Bennett's second day in Berkeley included instead a lengthy film session with offensive line coach Zach Yenser.

"We watched film all morning, then got a campus tour around the school and saw how the school functions," Bennett said. "It was pretty nice."

The first thing that struck Bennett about the new Bear Raid offense was the amount of rushing that the spread-based scheme entails.

"They run the ball a lot," Bennett said. "They run with power and everything, and I just love run blocking. I love run blocking."

Bennett is listed as a guard, but has played all over the line, including center – the position at which the Bears are interested in recruiting Bennett.

"It's not hard; he calls the snap count," said Bennett, who has a 3.0 GPA, and took the ACT last week, with plans on taking the ACT at some point during the summer, when he can devote the most time to studying.

Bennett didn't get to see the full Berkeley experience, since he came at the beginning of Dead Week, but seeing the students and faculty buzzing about campus -- if a bit bleary-eyed and caffeine-fueled -- was enough to leave an important impression.

"It was really cool to see it, because if I go there, I'm going to be there for the next four or five years, so it's awesome to kind of see what a day in the life is like," Bennett said. "I got the full-on experience, and that was pretty cool. Coach Yenser had to do a class check, so we weren't able to get to many classes."

Compared to other visits he's made to Arizona, Arizona State, Northern Arizona and New Mexico, the trip to Berkeley was on another level.

"The thing that hit me most was that it's right there, in between San Francisco and Oakland, and just that right there was cool," Bennett said. "That's a plus, to me. Berkeley's a college town in itself, and you've got Oakland that supports it, San Francisco that supports it, and even though you have two football teams and two baseball teams, they still support the college teams."

As Bennett and his father flew home, the two began to weigh the pros and cons of Cal, which has yet to offer. There really was only one drawback to the visit, and it's one with which every Berkeley denizen can sympathize.

"We talked about the offense, and he really likes it up there," Bennett said. "He thinks it's beautiful, the weather's awesome. The only thing he didn't like was parking. He couldn't find any parking spaces."

As for that potential offer, Yenser told Bennett that offensive coordinator Tony Franklin will be coming out to visit him down in Arizona later in the week to check out practice.

"We talked briefly about it, and he said that he really likes me, and he knows I'm a good football player – solid and everything – but that the final word goes to coach Franklin," Bennett said. "He'll be at my practice [Tuesday], so he can see me in action."

If Bennett knocks enough defensive linemen and linebackers back, he might just knock his way into that elusive first offer.

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