Saturday's 7-on-7 passing tournament at Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison was a star-studded event, with a veritable constellation of stars either interested in or committed to California.
Three Bears commits took the field on Saturday, including one who set out to be a bit more stylish than the others: Running back commit Tre Watson.
The Corona (Calif.) Centennial tailback sported a pair of Cal-branded socks, which, he insists, made him run even faster.
"Oh yeah, no doubt, they gave me my good luck out there," Watson laughed. "I had to represent for Cal."
Defensive back commits Koa Farmer's Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame squad fell in the semifinals, while recent commit Jaleel Wadood and his loaded Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco team made it to the finals.
With uncommitted targets Juju Smith and Adoree' Jackson in attendance, as well as Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen and his teammates Viane Talamaivao and Damien Mama, Watson was in rare form as he pumped his future school.
"My commitment is, no doubt, more solid than it's ever been," Watson said. "I want to go back up there and to get my parents up there. It's more solid than it's ever been."
With Bears cornerback target John Plattenburg having transferred from Centennial back to Houston (Tex.) Lamar, Watson put on his recruiting hat with all of the other uncommitted prospects.
"Everybody. All of them. All of the guys offered there, I'm trying to get them to come with me," Watson said. "I talked with Viane, Damien, all of them. I don't care if they're committed to wherever. I'm trying to bring a team together with me up to Cal so we can do big things there."
Watson and Centennial faced off with Wadood's Braves, but the two never went nose-to-nose. That didn't stop Watson from chatting up his newest future teammate, though.
"We talked a little bit," Watson said. "We messed around, yelling out ‘Cal Gang!' We were letting everyone know that we're playing together on the next level. It's going to be us. I liked interacting with him and I loved seeing him play. He's a good player."
Watson and Centennial lost by seven points to Bosco, but still took fourth place in the tournament.
"For us to hang in there that long, it was a good fight," Watson said. "We don't really place well at passing leagues, so that was a good accomplishment for us. We're mainly focused on the season, but we came out there and had a good time. That was our goal: To compete and have a good time."
Watson was not as prolific as Shay Fields -- who hauled in 14 touchdowns for Bosco and will get a closer look from the Bears – but he did make some hay catching the ball out of the backfield.
"It was fun. I got a couple balls. It was surprising. I got more than I'd ever gotten in a passing league, so that was a plus," Watson said. "I was focused on running back and getting my routes down that we're going to be running during the season. That's what we do when we play passing leagues. Other teams like to go out there and do little tricks and stuff, but we like to play like it's a real-game situation, so that's what I did out there."
Watson is planning an unofficial visit up to Berkeley very soon, and said that he has made sure to keep in regular contact with the staff.
"I alternate between the whole coaching staff, and that's what I like. All the other schools, it's usually the recruiter for my area that really keeps in contact with me, and not really the whole coaching staff. That's what I love about Cal – they all talk to me. That's where I need to be," Watson said. "I just feel comfortable with Cal. When I talk to the coaching staff, I just feel at home. It's great. I feel the most comfortable there, and I feel like in that system, I can come in and have a big impact in that system. That's why I chose them over anybody else."
Watson said that his visit will happen either at the end of the month or right after the Bears start fall camp.
"I should be up there pretty soon," Watson said. "My mom and I are trying to figure out when my schedule's going to be open. There should be an unofficial coming pretty soon."
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