Jeremy Winchester wants to major in English, but the California defensive back commit – after his official visit this past weekend to Berkeley – may want to think about business.
Early in his visit, he was shocked that there was no McDonald's nearby. Then, he got C.R.E.A.M.'d.
"No McDonald's. What in the world. No McDonald's? They messed me up with that. No McDonald's? They were looking at me like I was crazy. They were killing me with the food man. It was crazy. I was filled up all the time," Winchester said. "I was ready to throw in the towel. It's almost as intense as the sport itself. That no McDonald's thing got to me for a little bit, and then I visited C.R.E.A.M. and Fat Slice. I changed my mind immediately. I am not eating McDonald's anymore."
Winchester gushed about the local ice cream sandwich-ry, and it was all he could do to not take some to go, back to Spring, Tex.
"That place is amazing. It should be famous. It is not as big as it should be. What is going on?" Winchester mused. "This place needs to be more famous. I didn't even know about it, and I felt like, ‘Wow, how dare I!' They need to set up shop everywhere."
Gastronomic exploration wasn't the only element of the weekend, though, as Winchester spent his official visit with player host Trevellous Cheek and other young Bears.
"People think we just go wild during the weekend, but we actually stayed inside most of the time," Winchester said. "Once it got to about 12 or 1, we just all found each other in one dorm room, and they were over there, freestyling and stuff. I couldn't get into it, because I'm not really a rapper. Honestly, that's not going to be my cup of tea, but it was exciting, just being around them. It just reminded me that everyone there was there for the same reason I was. Everything that happened was just reassuring, and I thought things would be pretty stiff when I got to Cal-Berkeley, but it was nothing but positive, getting there and seeing what everyone was about. They actually have fun. It's good to know."
The most memorable moment from Winchester's visit was his eye-opening Randy Stewart experience, which started in the defensive backs meeting room.
"We only talked for like, five minutes, but I probably learned more than I ever did about being a cornerback in those five minutes. I'm so excited to come in there and work with the teammates in the future, and also coach Stew, because I felt like I have a really good chance to play, especially with him," said Winchester, who admitted that those five minutes seemed like an hour, with all of the information being transmitted.
"There's so much that I have to learn, and I feel like he's going to be the one to do it for me," Winchester said. "You've got to understand: Coach Stew, he is [...] I don't even know how to say it. He just moves everywhere. He's so energetic. There are actually a couple coaches like that. It's weird how the staff is like that – the older coaches are actually the ones that you would think were the youngest. Coach Stew was most definitely one of them. He was moving around, he brought me in the meeting room so we could talk Xs and Os, trying to recap everything with me that he could possibly want out of me and just seeing if I knew what he was talking about. Most definitely, I did, because he was so hands-on and gave me such a great description of everything. As time flew by, it felt like it had been 30 minutes already, and it was only five.
"Man, he was everywhere. I actually lost him during the conversation. He had me standing at the screen, and he'd be showing me an example and all of the sudden, you turn around and he was in the other corner of the meeting room. He's fast. He's faster than you think."
Along with Stewart, Cheek played a large part in reassuring Winchester of his choice to commit to the Bears, originally, site unseen.
"He's awesome. Just being around him was great. He makes me really excited, and I'm really close with Trey now, after the visit I took," Winchester said. "I actually talked to him, today, every chance I got. I talked to him when I got back from the airport, and to my home, and then I spoke with him again early this morning before I went to school. He was trying to check up on me. I've been building a lot of friendships so far, just this past weekend."
As far as on-the-field prospects go, the fact that redshirt freshman Joel Willis and true freshman Cameron Walker came on in relief of Alex Logan and Isaac Lapite made a big impact on Winchester, who hopes to get some early playing time.
"That's really been the name of the game for the majority of our conversations that we've had," Winchester said of his talks with Stewart. "It's an opportunity for me to play early. He was telling me how I'm such an under-recruited athlete, and that I have a really good chance. I played offense for the majority of my life, so everything that I know has come from offense. It wouldn't do anything but help me translate into something I've never done before."
Paired for most of the weekend with wide receiver Trevon Lee -- the two met up on a connecting flight on their ways from Florida and Texas, respectively – Winchester was more than confident, after he left, that he'd made the right decision.
"At first, it felt weird, committing to a school before I had a chance to actually visit it first, but I had a good feeling about them, most definitely," he said. "All they did was prove me right."
OFFICIAL VISIT: Winchester Shoots Straight
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