From the end of his unofficial visit to the California campus in early June, Jaleel Wadood knew. After being personally recruited by head coach Sonny Dykes, the four-star defensive back knew. On Tuesday, after his 7-on-7 game at The Opening, the 5-foot-11, 160-pounder let everyone else know: He was committing to the Golden Bears.
"It was a hard decision," Wadood said. "There are a lot of good schools in the Pac-12, but I want to be a California Golden Bear. The new feel for the new coaching staff, they're all great guys, and just Berkeley itself, it was a great feeling when I went on my unofficial, and it's just the school. I want to win. I want to get up there and make a difference in Berkeley, and I think I can do big things in a California jersey."
Wadood's commitment to the Bears, though, while a long time coming, faced some adversity, coming down to the wire.
"I've been 100 percent Cal since I took my visit, but last week, UCLA recruited me harder than anyone had ever done," Wadood said. "What put Cal over the top was that I have the best relationship with coach Dykes. I like the fact that they're building something that I can be a part of, and I like USC and UCLA both, but they were kind of pressing me to commit early, but Cal said, ‘Take your time. We're always going to be here for you.'"
Wadood fell head-over-heels for Cal during the visit, and while the Bruins gave him "a lot to think about," he knew that, as he laid his head down on Monday night, his decision was the right one.
"I knew last night that it was Cal," Wadood said.
Scout.com West Coast Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins contributed to this report.
Wadood Fends Off Late Charge
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