Sunday was Moraga (Calif.) Campolindo receiver Tyler Petite had ever been on the California campus as a recruit. He'd been to Berkeley plenty of times before, but after a local camp circuit stop finished up, he and his parents got the royal treatment from the Golden Bears.
"We just had a pretty general tour of the campus, and it was cool, because, even though I've lived here my whole life, I hadn't really seen some of the stuff, and it was cool to see the different parts of campus," Petite said. "It amazed me that I had never seen it before. I'd been to Berkeley as a kid, coming out to games, and even this past year, and I hadn't seen all of that stuff, so that was really cool."
Part of the behind-the-scenes tour included a look at the Simpson Center for Student Athlete High Performance, which wowed Petite and his family.
"Obviously, going in and seeing the facilities – these state-of-the-art facilities – they put half a billion dollars into it, so it's a really nice place and it's just a really cool facility, how it's structured," Petite said. "Then, we went through and watched a video, coach (Sonny) Dykes talked to everyone that came, and after that, they sent everybody else home and I stayed and talked with coach (Rob) Likens, and I was hanging out and staying in the film room."
Though Likens is Petite's primary recruiter, the Bears are looking at Petite as an inside receiver.
"We looked at a quick little film that was kind of for the outside receivers, but that's OK, because coach Likens is recruiting me," said the 6-foot-5, 225-pound tight end. "Then, we went down and met with coach Dykes and he met my parents and we talked about some pretty general stuff – what the tight end would be doing and all that stuff – and then we went home."
Petite's father played football at Dartmouth, and is now a stock trader, so he was focused on the competitive aspect of the program, while Petite's mother looked after her son's educational and mental wellbeing.
"I think that they were just as impressed as I was, and also shocked – not in a bad way, but because we've lived here this whole time, and we've never really seen it this way," Petite said. "We've just only seen the outside, so I think they were really impressed with the coaching staff, and, obviously, academic-wise, it's the No. 1 public university, and that's really great. The alumni network, that's really important to my mom, who's really big on the educational aspect. For my dad, obviously they didn't do great last season, but I think that coach Dykes and his staff, only being there a year, they had a really young team, and I think they'll be turning things around, and that impressed my dad, too."
Petite and his family were on campus for about three hours, he said, and during that time, he broke down just what kind of role he'd have in the offense.
"I would be an inside receiver, but Likens was the one that caught us, and took us inside and it was really just a general video, just to show us what some of the receivers have been doing, but he told me that I would be an inside receiver, and then the offensive coordinator came in," Petite said. "He started talking a little bit, and then the inside receivers coach came in and we started talking just about coming out for spring practice, to see how they really are. It's good to seem them up-close, they said, the good, the bad and the ugly. Some schools out of state, there's only so far I can go, and if I went, I'd only see the really good stuff. It would be really good that I'm able to go out there whenever I want to go, and if I want to go watch film with the guys, they said that's cool, too, just let them know and I'd be able to come out."
Petite said that Likens is "just awesome," and that they've already built a solid relationship. He's starting to build one with Franklin, as well.
"The offensive coordinator, he's just an old-style kind of guy," Petite said. "He's just like my football coaches at Campo. He's an older guy with a lot of experience, and he'll tell it to you straight and work you hard. They kind of counter each other, a bit, and it works very well, kind of like good cop-bad cop. It'll be exciting to see this next year."
Good Cop, Bad Cop
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