Father Knows Best

Stephen Johnson finally paid a visit to Berkeley for some spring football, and brought along Dear Old Dad to see how he meshed with the staff, particularly the "smooth" Greg Burns.

San Leandro (Calif.) athlete Stephen Johnson was only on campus for two hours on Saturday, but it was two hours very well spent. When parents hand their children off to a coaching staff, it's usually with the understanding that the coaches will serve a surrogate father role, and after his two hours on campus, Johnson – and his father – found just that at California.

"I was there for two hours. I got the chance to bring my dad there, meet the coaches and have him actually see the campus and have him see what the coaching staff was like," Johnson said. "He'd never been inside the school or met the coaches. He liked it. He liked the coaching staff, especially coach Greg Burns, the defensive backs coach. They both got along well."

How well did the new Bears defensive backs coach hit it off with Johnson's father, who was paying his first visit to campus?

"He's like my dad. My dad preaches the same thing that he preaches, so it helped with the recruitment," Johnson said. "My dad liked him a lot, because I'm going to be taken care of by coach Burns."

It was also the first time that Johnson got to see Burns actually work his craft with the defensive backs.

"I actually got to see him work, see what he wants, see what type of coaching staff he has, and my dad got to see it, as well, so it helped a lot," Johnson said. "He's smooth. I know exactly what he wants."

Of course, Burns wants Johnson, and it was tough for Johnson to watch all the gridiron action going and not jump in, himself.

"It was exciting. It made me want to actually kind of play. It was exciting," Johnson said. "I talked to one player from Florida. I talked to him about the business, and what he majored in, the lifestyle, practice and what he does on his off time and stuff like that."

Now that the Cal visit is over with, Johnson – who boasts eight scholarship offers – is set to make a few more trips.

"I'm going to try and make visits to other schools now. I want to go down to UCLA, USC, Oregon and Duke," Johnson said. "I want to go down to Duke. I want to go down there and see how things are down there, as well."

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