BERKELEY -- The California football staff is no stranger to Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill. One of last recruiting cycle's best glue guys – inside receiver Ray Hudson -- is a former Falcon, after all.
But, when Sonny Dykes -- who has called Hudson the perfect inside receiver for the Bear Raid system -- made his rounds during the first camp practice on Friday, another Foothill stud caught his eye, on the defensive side of the ball, to boot.
"My first pick was the day I got here, and the first person who noticed it was him," said Falcons 2015 cornerback Isaiah Langley. "It was awesome. I didn't know he was an offensive guy, and he made it feel like he was a defensive coach. He's just an awesome coach, full of energy. This whole staff is, and it's great."
Langley spent all of last season as a wide receiver, and when he first started talking to the Bears several months ago, that's where he thought he was going to wind up at the next level.
"I'm actually a wide receiver," Langley said. "There are a lot of college coaches who are looking at me at receiver, but they also say that I have a potential spot at corner, so they said that I'd go further at corner than wide receiver, because of my quickness and my length, my arms.
"Almost all the colleges who are interested in me are looking at me at wide receiver, but second thoughts at corner -- Oregon, Oklahoma and Cal. Those are the only three colleges this week that have contacted me and let me know that, ‘Hey, corner's your spot.'"
Langley first visited Berkeley three months ago, and at that point was fully set on being a receiver, but things have changed.
"I actually started visiting three months ago. I sat in on the wide receivers meeting with coach [Rob] Likens, because I wanted to be a wide receiver," Langley said. "Now, I'm having second thoughts to be a corner, that corner might be where I should be at."
Cal may have another Pac-12 team to thank for Langley's change of heart, after he spent time at Oregon's camp, where he ran a 4.57 40-yard dash.
"Actually, I signed up for corner, because I went to Oregon's camp on Tuesday. I stayed there for three days, and coach [John] Neal said that I looked great at corner, so I took that in, and I signed up to be a corner for this Cal camp," Langley said. "Coach [Randy] Stewart has really been working with me at the corner position, and I've learned a lot from him."
After a strong showing in the first day of camp, Langley spent time working out, one-on-one with the longtime defensive backs coach Stewart, in his second stint with the Bears after coaching NFL mainstay Nnamdi Asomugha in his first go-around.
"Man, I'm used to it. He's an old-fashioned guy," Langley said. "My coach is Matt Sweeney, and he's old-fashioned, engine fired up all the time, and it's a blast. I'm really used to it, and I would love to be coached by him, maybe at the next level."
The biggest advice Langley took away from his time with Stewart was the exhortation to focus on the fundamentals.
"Just the footwork, just the footwork," Langley said. "Everything has to be technical right now, because I'm growing, and my limbs are getting longer, so I have to work on my footwork. That's the biggest thing that I worked with him on."
The Bears have other big factors in the plus column, thanks to the glowing praise Hudson has heaped upon his future team.
"I think he's excited to come here, and I can see why," Langley said. "It's a positive atmosphere, where the people are nice and the coaches are unbelievable. They're really hands-on. They showed their recruits a lot of hospitality. That's all I can ask for."
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound prospect said that staying close to home could be a factor, but it's not the be-all-end-all.
"I would love to play for a school that has the full package -- the education and the program where I fit the best, where I feel like I can play the most," Langley said. "Staying home, that's what I would love to do, but at the same time, I'm looking out for my best interests."
After talking with Dykes, Langley is sure that Cal fits the bill.
"Sonny's an awesome guy. I love that guy," Langley said. "He's very chill, very nice. I never met a head coach who's so down to earth like that. Man, he's awesome. He loves to talk, and he gives me confidence, left and right, and I appreciate it."
With most of his highlights coming on the offensive side of the ball, the Cal staff wants to see a bit more of Langley at defensive back before extending an offer.
"Behind closed doors, that's what they said, in a nutshell," Langley said. "[Stewart] wants to see me a little bit more. There's a potential offer. He doesn't want to offer me now because of my age, and because I'm new to him and I just started being a corner."
CAMP: Langley Impresses
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