The California coaching staff is hitting Texas hard this week, but defensive coordinator Art Kaufman went down to the Dallas-Fort Worth area with one, singular target: Ennis (Tex.) defensive end James Lockhart, who got an offer from the Bears' new defensive general on Monday.
"As a matter of fact, he told me he only came to the Dallas area for one reason, and one reason only: That was to see me," Lockhart said. "It feels awesome, it feels awesome. I've talked to California before, here and there, but shoot, I didn't expect an offer coming right now, I guess. I was really excited about the offer, and I was very fortunate."
Kaufman also had a message for the four-star defender.
"He told me that they have a lot of seniors leaving, and he also told me that he was going to be honest with me, and blunt: He's looking for true freshmen [to play right away]," Lockhart said. "He feels like I could play as a true freshman. He asked me, as far as playing, he asked me what position would I rather play: A JACK linebacker or a middle linebacker or a defensive end, and I told him, ‘I don't have a problem playing any position.'"
Lockhart has played linebacker and defensive line in high school, and is athletic enough to chase down runners in the open field. He's stout and strong at the point of attack, and projects as a strong side defensive end, much like Brennan Scarlett, but Kaufman has other plans for him.
"He tells me that he thinks I could play MIKE linebacker or really any other type of linebacker, but it's all on me," Lockhart said. "He feels like I'm athletic enough and fast enough to play a MIKE linebacker, and I told him, ‘Whatever you feel is the right fit for the team and the right fit for me as a player, I will do those types of things.' If it doesn't work out, I can move back to line, which is where I'm at."
Cal has been in touch with Lockhart since the end of the season, and after a period of time where the two parties didn't speak much, they reconnected when Kaufman visited Lockhart at his high school.
"I know that if you graduate from there, that looks really good on a resume," Lockhart said. "I know that this year, on defense, they didn't play too well, but other than that, I don't know that much about them. I know the defensive coordinator, he wants to play true freshmen this year and what-not, and I'm all ears. Coach [Sonny] Dykes, I talk to him a lot. Him and my recruiting coordinator, those are the two coaches I talk to the most. Coach Dykes wants me to call him later this week. California, they seem pretty big on me."
Lockhart said that he is tentatively planning on visiting Berkeley at some point soon, likely in the summer.
One Reason Only: Kaufman Targets Lockhart
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