California defensive line coach Fred Tate didn't waste much time on the job before he extended his first offer.
In fact, it was about two weeks ago, said Los Angeles Loyola defensive end Christian Rector, that Tate had him call in order to extend a scholarship. That was, for the record, Tate's first official day on the job.
"They definitely have a great reputation," Rector said. "They have a new coaching staff, so I definitely have to consider them as a school I'd play for. He said I was the first recruit he called, because he just got there. He said that he saw my film, and that's what got him to offer."
The conversation with Tate was brief, due to Rector's busy schedule – he was a starter on Loyola's basketball team at the time – but in that conversation, he got a taste that left him wanting more of the Bears.
"We talked about how they wanted to use me, and where he saw me fit in their defense," Rector said. "He didn't say strong side or weak side, but he definitely wants me to be in the three-point stance. Other schools have been saying that I could play outside linebacker out of a stand-up."
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound end doesn't prefer linebacker or defensive end, but he is setting to get himself up to about 255 pounds by the time next football season comes around.
"I'm going to spend time in the weight room," Rector said. "I want to add 15 to 20 pounds and still maintain my speed, which I think is the best part of my game. That's really where it's at. Right now, we're in a power-lifting phase, so it's more heavy lifting.
Rector's strength is his physicality and athleticism, as well as his ability to shed blocks. He also played a big wide receiver this season for the Cubs, and has enough speed to catch quarterbacks and running backs from behind. He also plays with a lot of patience, not committing to a move until he knows he's got his target dead to rights. He has enough quickness to break on a ball carrier even at full-tilt from a standstill.
Within the next two weeks, Rector will start making some campus visits, including a trip to Berkeley for spring ball.
"I'm coming up to Cal in a few weeks during my spring break," Rector said. "I don't have an exact date, but I'll be there for one of the spring practices."
Rector has never been to the Berkeley campus, but he does have family in the area, including two aunts – one in Oakland and another in Belmont.
Rector currently has five offers, including the Bears, Colorado (his first), Oregon State, UCLA and USC.
"Everybody's equal right now," said Rector, who played for Bruins coach Kennedy Polamalu last fall, and who's head coach Marvin Sanders was an assistant at USC. Former Loyola assistant Lenny Vandermade currently works at USC. "I'd say I want a coaching staff that's really easy to get along with. It's still really early, so I've only gotten to know a few of them, and I call them sometimes, but I want a staff that's easy to get along with."
Tate's First Offer Goes Out to SoCal DE
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