Just call him a Renaissance man. Jeffery Mead is not only a three-star tight end prospect, but the Tulsa (Okla.) Union star also plays varsity and AAU basketball, as well as varsity baseball, and carries a 4.24 weighted GPA.
As if that wasn't enough for California to come calling, it also just so happens that the last time Mead and Bears wide receivers coach Rob Likens spoke, they discovered that they share a common passion: The New York Yankees.
"I think it was, ‘What are you doing right now,' or "What did you do this week?' and I told him I was playing baseball, and it went from there," laughs Mead, who finished his junior year hitting .350 while also impressing on the mound, along with only making two errors as the starting shortstop.
Two schools -- family-favorite Oklahoma and Louisiana State -- have both said they'd be more than willing to allow him to play both football and baseball in college, but Mead is also debating playing football and basketball
"I've thought about both. I've thought about three," says Mead. "I'm thinking of a combination, because it's probably going to be football, but whether it's football and basketball or football and baseball, I don't know."
While he hasn't really talked in-depth with Cal about the possibility of playing multiple sports (and between Likens and former Texas Tech first baseman Sonny Dykes at the helm, baseball would be an easy sell), he still holds Cal in high esteem for another reason.
"The academics," Mead says, flatly. "I want to major in business ... I want to go to a school that is very, very competitive, academically, and that can actually compete in football, too, compared to a school that's only going to compete in academics and not really so much in athletics, or only compete in athletics and not in academics."
Cal, it would seem, fits the bill, and having an energetic coaching staff that's been out to see him in person this spring already doesn't hurt, either.
"Of course, Cal was out there -- coach [Mark] Tommerdahl came out -- Cal was there, Texas A&M, OU, OSU, Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Kansas State -- those are the ones I can think of, off the top of my head," says Mead. "I really like the Cal coaching staff. I mainly talk with coach Tommerdahl and coach Likens. I plan to take an unofficial visit out there, and and official, because this summer, I'm traveling to Vegas and L.A. playing basketball, so when I go to L.A., I might drive to Berkeley."
Though he admits that he hasn't talked to the staff as much as he probably should have, the conversations he has had with Likens have been particularly illuminating.
"I really do honestly like both of the coaches," Mead says. "They seem really cool. The couple times me and coach Likens have talked, it's been for 30-40 minutes."
Mead says that his talks with Likens have been notably longer than his conversations with other coaches.
The 6-foot-6, 180-pounder projects as an inside receiver in the Bear Raid system, somewhere between a classic speedy receiver and a big-bodied true tight end. He's not afraid to go up and get a ball in traffic, and is very physical, with no fear of contact. He can be used as both a down-the-field threat, as well as a dependable option on inside screens, which are a staple of Cal's new offensive scheme.
BearTerritory.net Top Stories
FILM: Singleton, Robertson Put on a ShowBERKELEY -- Cal wide receivers Demetris Robertson, Brandon Singleton and Jordan Veasy turn in some big highlights during Tuesday's practice.
BearTerritory.netYesterday at 10:55 PM
BTTV: Practice UpdateUpdates on Cal practice from Memorial Stadium as Vic Wharton returns.
BearTerritory.netYesterday at 4:42 PM
Go Premium With BearTerritoryMany visitors are surprised with just how much they get with a BearTerritory.net subscription. Here's the low-down...
BearTerritory.netYesterday at 2:07 PM
Dykes: We Wore DownBERKELEY -- Cal head Coach Sonny Dykes says the Bears wore down in the second half against Arizona State.
BearTerritory.netYesterday at 1:52 PM