Before he stepped on a plane back to Las Vegas with his parents and cousin, three-star Bishop Gorman defensive back Armand Perry sat down with an old friend for lunch in Berkeley.
He'd been through the Simpson Center for Student Athlete High Performance, he'd snapped a photo on the 50-yard line, he'd talked to California defensive backs coach Randy Stewart for two hours ("and he could have kept going all night," Perry told BearTerritory on Sunday). Now, it was time to get the real story. At Gypsy's. With an offensive lineman. Naturally.
"It was really good," Perry said of the classic Berkeley grub during his lunch with redshirt junior Geoffrey Gibson. "We had a question-and-answer session with him. He let us know everything that was going on with him and the program."
The Golden Bears offensive lineman and the 5-foot-11, 170-pound three-star go way back. Not only are they both Bishop Gorman Gaels, but they knew one another growing up, to the point where Perry calls Gibson a "mentor."
Perry – who will choose between Cal and Arizona State on Monday – had spent the weekend hearing about the Bears from the coaching staff. Now he got to hear about it from the perspective of a player and, more importantly, a trusted friend.
"One thing was, ‘The new coaching staff is really making a change,'" Perry said. "He wasn't recruited by them, so them coming in, not knowing much about the players, he said that the coaches were fair, and that they expect the most out of you. He told me about the challenges he's faced and has been able to overcome as a player. He told me that Cal was a really good place, not only while you're there, but for the next 50 years of your life."
Perry now has a lot to think about, when he sits down with his mother and father – both of whom accompanied him on his trip this weekend – at a family dinner on Sunday night.
"We're going to have a family dinner tonight, and we'll be talking about what I want to do," Perry said. "I'll wake up tomorrow with a decision in my head and make the decision tomorrow."
Perry said that he could pull the trigger some time between his two fall camp practices. His first goes from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., and his second goes from 3 p.m. to 5:30. His decision could also come after his second practice.
While the Bears and Sun Devils are two very different programs, the biggest difference Perry noticed between his visits to both had less to do with the programs – or the schools -- as a whole and more with how they see him.
"Their defensive schemes are different; Cal wants me to come in and play corner/nickel, and ASU wants me to come in and play safety/nickel," Perry said. "That's pretty much the main difference."
Perry said that he prefers corner, but, "whenever I can be on the field, I don't have a problem with where."
Perry's father – an orthopedic spine surgeon – and his mother both value education very highly, so that will also likely be a big factor in the final calculus.
"Education is really important," Perry said. "With my dad being a doctor, it's not only about football, but it's about where you're going to be at after football, because football does come to an end for everybody. Education is very important in my family, and Cal is the No. 1 academic public school in the world. Cal academics speak for themselves."
Ready, Set ...
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