On Thursday, California offensive line coach Zach Yenser was all over Southern California, visiting Kammy Delp, Viane Talamaivao, USC commit Toa Lobendahn and Dominic Granado out of Golden West CC. He also had a hankering for some bacon. Troy Bacon, to be precise.
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound interior offensive lineman out of Apple Valley (Calif.) called Yenser after the on-campus evaluation and spoke at great length about just where the Bears see Bacon and where he stands as far as potentially pulling down a scholarship offer. The trip, though, was not without some incident.
"There was a little run-in with the coach from Oregon State and coach Yenser; it was kind of a weird situation," Bacon laughed. "But, we made the best of it ... Coach Yenser, I called him last night and he said he was coming up tomorrow morning, so I said, ‘Yeah, that's fine, come up and go to coach P (Frank Pulice)'s office,' and my coach texts me on my way up to school and said, ‘Hey, Oregon State's going to be here at 8:00,' – the same time I told coach Yenser on the phone. It wasn't a bad thing. It was just funny. When coach Yenser was walking out the door, another coach was walking in. They shook hands and chatted a little bit. It was friendly. It was just pretty funny."
After the two Pac-12 rivals trading spaces, Bacon put on a show on the field for Yenser and several other college coaches as he continues to make his case for an offer. Yenser was honest with Bacon as to the size of his recruiting board, a trait which impressed Bacon even further.
"We've had a very close relationship for the past couple of months, and the last time I saw him was at the junior day, so it was just good seeing him," Bacon said. "We click when we talk, and talking about golf and spring football and how the line's doing up at Cal and all that, just the little things that made it a good day.
"He's a very honest guy, and I appreciate him a lot, being very honest and open with me. They're only bringing in two offensive linemen. They are very stacked. This past signing day, they signed five linemen, and they're only going to bring in two to three. He said that he thinks highly of me, and invited me to the camp."
Bacon will come to the one-day elite camp in Berkeley on June 9 to try and earn his place as one of those three.
"I'm going to go up there and show what I can do in front of all the coaches, to show that I want that spot more than anybody else in this country," Bacon said. "June 9, I'm going to be up there."
There are several reasons why Bacon is so enamored with the Bears, but one of the biggest is Yenser himself.
"That's a big part," Bacon said. "I do like Cal because of him. The other thing is just the location. It is so close to home, and I have family all around the area. That's a big deal. I want to be close to family. There are a lot of things that play in, but those are the two biggest."
Bacon said that, if he were to receive his scholarship offer after the camp, it might be pretty tough to say ‘No.'
"I'd have to take Cal into huge consideration," said Bacon, who is also quite mature about the realities of the numbers. "If not, life goes on. There are thousands of colleges out there. If Cal's not the place, then it's not the place. If there are two other guys they bring in, then they do the job better than I do. I'm not going to sit here and dwell on it. I'm going to go out and work even harder and find that next step. I think God has a plan for me, and if Cal's not it, it's not it. I've just got to do what I've been doing: Working hard in spring practice and keep moving forward. I just want to keep progressing and moving forward with technique and the concentration that I've had going into this spring."
Colorado State and USC are two other schools that have come by to check Bacon out, but he still can only claim a single offer -- from TCU.
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