NFTC: Devante Downs
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Even though Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) running back Devante Downs had done his homework, had met the California coaches, had talked already earned his offer from the Bears, there's just no substitute for getting to see, feel and touch the building blocks of the program.
Before his strong day at the NFTC on the campus of Laney College on Sunday, Downs paid a visit to Berkeley on Friday along with Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen, and finally got a sense of what the new coaching staff is all about.
"It was really fun. It was personal," Downs said. "It was just me and this quarterback. Coach Pierre Ingram and some assistants were showing me and my mom around. We saw the new facilities, weight room, coaches offices, everything. It was really nice."
Getting to see Memorial Stadium on a perfect afternoon made the offer – and Cal's interest – that much more real.
"It was crazy," Downs said. "What they told me, I was like, ‘OK, it can't be all really that nice,' but when I got there, I was surprised. It was nice, it was sunny, everyone was nice, the area was nice, the students were nice, the classes that can set you up fr success, I liked it."
After finals, a few players were still hanging around, including a handful of offensive linemen and, fortunately for Downs, so was running back Daniel Lasco.
"We got to talk for about five minutes," Downs said. "I got to find out what I'd have to prepare for after high school, what I have to get ready for."
After the visit, Downs said that he "really liked" the Bears, and that they were "definitely at the top of my list," though he couldn't say just who else was in that top group.
"I'm not sure, because things change," Downs said. "I haven't been everywhere. I've only been to five [schools]."
As for his performance, the physical, 6-foot-3, 215-pounder only had one complaint.
"I did pretty well," Downs said, "but I'd do even better with pads on."
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