When California defensive back commit Koa Farmer stepped on the field for Saturday's 7-on-7 event at Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison, he looked more like a linebacker than a safety. Since he committed, Farmer has put on 15 pounds of pure muscle, and now stands at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, and he's not done yet.
"We have a great weight program, so I've just been lifting and taking protein shakes, trying to get stronger and stronger," Farmer says. "I'm trying to get to 215."
Farmer – who also runs track for Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame – has made sure that he doesn't lose any of his speed. This spring, Farmer ran the 200 in 22.44 seconds and the 100 in 11.18 seconds, clocking a 51.20 in the 400m at the Mission League Finals.
"I still feel the same; I still have my speed," Farmer says.
Farmer was recently profiled in the Los Angeles Times, including a video of his weight training session, and he says that he cleaned 275 pounds on the day the video was taken. He's also maxing out at 465 pounds in the squat and 305 in the bench press.
On Saturday, Farmer wasn't the only Bears commit on the field. He matched up with Tre Watson's Corona (Calif.) Centennial in the first game of the day, and then Jaleel Wadood's loaded Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco squad, before falling in the semifinals to Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei.
"It was crazy," Farmer says. "I'm going to be teammates with them one day, so it's funny how we're all playing against each other now, and in the future, we'll all be playing with each other. It was pretty funny."
Though his day was shortened after the semifinal exit, Farmer was one of the more impressive defenders on the field, along with Wadood. He also got into the mix on offense as a receiver.
"I played both ways, and I caught a ball over two people with one hand against Mission Hills, so that was a pretty good play," Farmer says. "Then, I caught a pick across the middle, just barely got it. They ran a top route, corner-post, and I came across the middle and caught it."
Farmer – who says his commitment to Cal is as strong as ever – was one of the few that had an inkling that Wadood would pick the Bears last month at The Opening.
"I kind of knew," Farmer says. "We went to the UCLA camp together, and we were just talking and he said that he was thinking about committing to Cal, but it wasn't like, really solid, so when I saw that he committed, I was like, ‘Yeah, I knew it.' Jaleel's a really good player, and I like going out there and watching him play. He's going to be playing next to me, so that makes me feel really good."
Farmer and the rest of the Irish get their pads in three days, and then take three weeks off before starting fall camp. Farmer will be working primarily at strong safety, playing up closer to the line for run support, in the box at the same level as the linebackers.
Before camp really gets into full swing though, he's going to make sure to make a trip up to Cal, and see old friend Khalfani Muhammad, who's already given Farmer the skinny on what he can expect out of the new strength and conditioning program.
"I get to see my boy," Farmer says. "I talk with him mostly every day. He said, ‘You better get your stuff together; it's no joke.' He told me the other day that [workouts] were so long because they kept doing it, because they didn't get it right. They had to keep doing it until they got it right."
Farmer Large and In Charge
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