On Thursday, Moraga (Calif.) Campolindo tight end Tyler Petite got two scholarship offers – one from Colorado and one from California -- but, fittingly, only the from straight in the heart of Berzerkly was "kind of weird."
"Cal was pretty out of the blue, I think," Petite said. "I was at lunch and Sonny Dykes pretty much just said, ‘Call me up,' and we talked a little bit and he said, ‘Yeah, we like what we see and we'd like to offer you a full ride,' and so it was kind of weird. I hadn't talked with them at all, up to that point, but I think one guy had followed me on twitter the day before, and I guess they were talking internally but hadn't contacted me. That was really the first contact I had with them, and then coach Dykes extended an offer to me."
Petite is anything but what his name implies. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound dual-sport athlete is faster than his great size suggests, and were it not for a scouting trip by Dykes early in the season to watch then-commit Jalen Harvey, the Bears may not have discovered the as-yet unranked pass-catcher.
"He was really going out to watch a kid on the other team. We played El Cerrito, and he was looking at Jalen Harvey, but he ended up looking at me a little bit, and he just thought that I would fit well in their offense, what they're trying to do, and they have some tight end screens and stuff like that. That's what he thought would be good for me," said Petite. "He said that he liked how I wasn't just a route-running tight end. I could easily be down in a three-point stance and be blocking, or wherever they wanted me to be. I could block for them, as well as run a good route and get some yardage. I think that was a big plus for him."
Petite runs a sub-4.6 40-yard dash, and last season, caught 31 passes for 685 yards and 11 touchdowns.
"We run a spread. We're really known for throwing the ball a lot, but when we need to, I can be down in a (three-point) stance," said Petite. "Actually, most of the time, I'm down in the stance, but we run plenty of routes out of our standard formation. Towards the end of the year, I started running in the spread a lot more, running loops and seams and stuff and I characterize it as a spread offense, but we definitely run with me down in the three-point stance."
Petite is more than familiar with Cal, as he has several friends spread across the baseball and football teams. His current classmates -- Denis Karas and Matt Ladrech -- signed to play baseball this past November, and his former baseball teammate Robbie Tenerowicz suited up for the first time on Friday night for the Bears in their opener against No. 18 Texas.
"I know all of them, actually. I played baseball last year, and they were all on the team and we all played together. I know them very well," Petite said. "I have some guys that I know on the football team that I played football with: Griffin Piatt, and Dan Fadelli. I don't think Dan's playing anymore, but I know he was playing before, so I know those guys back from 2011. A good buddy of mine is going to walk on at Cal, his name's Justin Dunn, so I have plenty of connections when it comes to people at Cal, that I can talk to."
It also helps that Cal was the school Petite watched growing up, and he fondly remembers the glory years in the middle of the last decade.
"It was definitely Cal," Petite said. "It was so close, and when we were kids, my dad and I and whoever we could bring along, or whoever wanted to come, we'd go to Cal games and we'd hang out there and watch the games all the time. This was back when Marshawn (Lynch) was playing, and DeSean Jackson. I grew up around it, and pretty much, those were the games that I went to. If I went to games, they'd be Cal games."
The offer was huge for Petite, but he's nowhere near tempted to commit anytime soon, especially since he visited USC on Friday.
"I mean, it's my hometown and it's the school that I grew up with, and it'd be great to go out there and see the facilities and see what they have, because, frankly, I love California, and I love living here. It'd be cool to go to school here (at Cal)," Petite said. "At the same time, I'm keeping everything open. Pretty much, the Pac-12, I'm open to, and really, actually, anywhere, but the Pac-12, I grew up in the Pac-12 and I watch Pac-12 football all the time. If there's a Pac-12 game on, I'm probably watching it."
Local TE Talks Cal Offer
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