It was all Austin Aaron could do to not commit to California the moment he got his scholarship offer from Golden Bears wide receivers coach Rob Likens on Monday. His father – a former Cal baseball player – cried. His grandfather – a Cal grad – yelped for joy.
"Rob Likens told me to call him, and I did, and he told me that they had a few people that they really trusted that saw me at a combine, and they said, ‘You need to offer this kid,'" Aaron said. "I was beating Isaiah Langley – who's one of the best corners in the nation – and I was beating him pretty consistently, so they said, ‘We want to offer you,' and it was the greatest feeling. I was just ecstatic. It was awesome. It means so much, but I definitely want to take my time with the recruiting process, and I know that. I wasn't looking to commit on the spot, but it was hard."
After Likens called with the news, Austin's father – Justin Aaron – started crying, then hugged his son.
"He was so happy, and same with my grandpa," Aaron said. "I ran over to his house – he lives right next to us, so I ran over to his house and told him. He was yelling at the top of his lungs. He was so happy."
Following Aaron's Sunday visit to Berkeley, he was already high on his childhood favorite, but the offer put him through the stratosphere.
"When I visited Cal, Tony Franklin took me into his office, and he said, ‘We don't love you, yet, and we're not going to offer you, yet,'" Aaron said. "Then, Likens called me the next day and said, ‘After talking to people that I really trust at that combine, they said that this kid's legit, and you guys need to offer him,' and that's kind of how it went down."
Though it's tough to call the Bears anything but the favorite at this point, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound receiver is going to make several other visits.
"It's very early in the process," Aaron said. "I'm going to make probably, spring time or early summer, I'm going to make the trip out to hit all the East Coast schools that are recruiting me. I'm going to start down in Florida and then go up to Duke and then hit all the Ivy League schools that are recruiting me.
The Bears are Aaron's first major offer, after Brown, Duke, Nevada, Penn, San Jose State and Yale already pulled the trigger.
"Cal's the best of both worlds," Aaron said of Berkeley's blend of football and academics. "At one school, it's awesome."
Aaron talked to BearTerritory on Wednesday morning, during his teacher assistant period, and called the offer just the right end to the weekend.
"Oh, God, it was perfect, honestly," Aaron said.
Aaron Calls Cal Offer 'Perfect'
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