On Thursday, San Mateo (Calif.) Junipero Serra defensive lineman Matt Dickerson got the offer he wanted. He got the scholarship offer for which he'd been waiting. He now has a chance to be a California Golden Bear.
"It's right in my backyard, my dad works in Oakland at Children's Hospital and always wanted me to go there," Dickerson said. ‘It's in the Bay Area, and I love the Bay Area."
Dickerson -- who's in line to not only start on the defensive line again next year, but also in the front court for the Padres' basketball team -- has been angling for the Cal offer for quite some time, but it all came to a head this week.
"I met the O-line coach -- coach [Zach] Yenser -- he came out here, and then two days following that, coach [Barry] Sacks came out, and I talked with him for a while, and he said that he was looking at two other kids my size," Dickerson said. "The next day, he gave me a call and said that I'm the right fit for him. He said he doesn't really give out too many offers, so it was a blessing when he offered me."
The Bears are slated to take about two defensive tackles and two defensive ends in the 2014 class -- so offers are at a premium -- but Dickerson can play both effectively.
"He sees me as a little bit more of a 3-4 [technique] guy, not really as an outside guy, but he sees me playing both a little bit," Dickerson said. "We talked about how important academics are for me. Cal is just the perfect fit for me. They see me as not solely an inside guy, but also outside. I'm not 100 percent on the inside the whole time."
At 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, Dickerson is deceptively fast, thanks in large part to the fact that, for much of his life, he's been a basketball player.
"I didn't really follow college football too much when I was younger; I was always watching the [Cal] basketball team," Dickerson said. "Come high school, that's when I actually started playing football. My sophomore year, that's when I started actually watching it, and I always loved the Cal-Stanford rivalry. It was a big part of my life."
Basketball, in fact, has helped Dickerson be as versatile as he is on the gridiron, and he doesn't anticipate giving up the hardwood any time soon.
"I'm going to try and play as long as I can," Dickerson said. "I really think that's what makes me stand out from most football players. A lot of the D-linemen don't play too much basketball. Basketball's just an awesome sport. It gives you footwork, it gives you hands, it gives you agility. You know if a D-lineman's a basketball player just by the way he moves. I look at playing basketball as a passion, but I also look at it as a workout for me to get better on the football field."
Along with playing roundball, Dickerson is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Golden State Warriors, and is following the playoff run closely.
"I just love the Warriors," said Dickerson, who will be repping the blue and yellow when he heads down to Arizona on Friday for an unofficial visit.
Speaking of those particular colors, Dickerson was impressed with Cal's recent uniform roll-out.
"I think it's really cool," Dickerson said. "That really helps. I think it's going to be really awesome. I don't really look for colors when I'm making my decision, really, but I think that's an added bonus."
Serra has produced several athletic standouts, including former Cal baseball star Tony Renda, San Francisco Giants legend Barry Bonds, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, longtime Major League manager Jim Fregosi, football coaching legend John Robinson and NFL Hall-of-Famer Lynn Swann.
The three-star defensive lineman, though, doesn't feel any pressure to be the next in line. The level-headed two-sport star knows that he hasn't accomplished enough yet to even think about that.
"I take each offer as a blessing, so I don't really have a dream school; Once I start whittling it down to which schools really interest me, I'm going to start looking at how big of an impact I can make on that team," Dickerson said. "I never really had a favorite college football team. I'm just taking it step-by-step."
And, he will have his pick. Dickerson currently has offers from the Bears, the Wildcats, Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, San Diego State, San Jose State, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State.
Dickerson has already made visits to the Buffaloes, the Huskies and the Bruins, but said that Cal immediately has become one of his leaders.
"It's definitely up there," Dickerson said. "I've always loved the Pac-12 schools, so it's going to be pretty high up there."
Despite his father's affinity for the Bears and his own proximity to Cal, Dickerson has never actually visited the campus.
"I've played in basketball tournaments in Berkeley, but I've never actually been on the Cal campus," Dickerson said. "I'm going to try to get down there next Friday, and I'll probably take my head coach with me -- coach [Patrick] Walsh. I look forward to getting down there next Friday."
Dickerson Snags Long-Awaited Offer
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