No matter how you measure it – via stars or via size -- the biggest recruit from Oakley (Calif.) Freedom was in attendance on Saturday at California's season opener against No. 22 Northwestern.
One recruit was the grizzled veteran, having already tripped to Berkeley more times than he can count. The other was a relative rookie. Both, however, enjoyed the experience.
"We have a good relationship, and we talk a lot," 2015 offensive lineman Dominic Fredrickson said of his teammate, 2014 five-star running back Joe Mixon. "Whenever we head out to Cal, I normally give him a ride, so I go up there with him. Joe's been there. He took a lot of unofficials last year, so he's used to it, and he's asking me how I like it.
"It was crazy how wild and how many people they get there every week, how energetic it is. I like it."
At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, Fredrickson serves as the Falcons' left tackle, which is a plus for the Bears, who prefer that their offensive linemen be able to play all across the line, if need be.
"I'm playing left tackle because we're a little short on the tackle position," Fredrickson said. "[The Bears] see me as a guard, and that's what I'd like to play in college."
Given Mixon's naming of the Bears as one of his top five teams, he may be thinking ahead to who may be clearing a path for him at the next level. Fredrickson and Mixon were both in attendance at the second scrimmage of fall camp, when they saw the Bear Raid up close for the first time, and saw the medical and weight training facilities. If the two team up in Berkeley in the near future, it won't take much adjustment, scheme-wise.
"We run spread, either out of a pistol or out of a regular shotgun. We're a no-huddle team, but we're definitely not that high-paced," Fredrickson said of the Bear Raid offense. "Definitely, after seeing Berkeley, I liked the tempo of that team, and I definitely don't think any teams are expecting it. Overall, the school is a beautiful place, and the coaching staff is pretty nice. I definitely like Cal."
One of the only coaches who wasn't in fanatic game mode on Saturday was, luckily for Fredrickson, offensive line coach Zach Yenser, who told Fredrickson that they'd like to have him as a guard.
"He's really cool. He's calm, collected," Fredrickson said. "I got to talk with coach Yenser, the offensive line coach, for a little bit. He asked me how I was doing, asked how campus was and stuff."
While in the stands on Saturday, Fredrickson paid very close attention to Yenser's line.
"I was definitely looking at the O-line, how they run, how they were doing in their pass sets and everything," Fredrickson said. "I was definitely watching them closely."
Fredrickson has so far heard from Cal, Utah State and San Jose State, and gotten a letter from Oregon last Monday.
Though the topic of an offer from the Bears is still a bit away, Fredrickson said that, "if it happened, I'd be very happy."
Being a Bay Area kid, Fredrickson was exposed to the blue and gold very early on, grew up watching Marshawn Lynch play for the Bears and attended a fan appreciation day back when DeSean Jackson was still sporting No. 1 in Berkeley.
Fredrickson has a 3.2 GPA, and this year, is taking Advanced Placement Psychology, Chemistry, Algebra 2 and German.
After playing junior varsity basketball last year, Fredrickson is giving up the hardwood to focus on football this season, and getting stronger and quicker.
RECRUIT REACTION: Talking About Freedom
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