ELITE 11: Waller Talks Cal, Opening Invite

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Travis Waller may have had to give up a bit of his clothes budget to convince his mother to let him come up for the Elite 11, and the trip was more than worth it, as he snagged an invite to The Opening and gets a chance to visit Berkeley.

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Anaheim (Calif.) Servite quarterback Travis Waller has blown up recently, with offers coming from California and Tennessee in the past several weeks, and on Friday, he made a case for even more attention, earning his invite to The Opening at the Elite 11 regional try-out at Chabot College – one of four quarterbacks to earn a ticket. As soon as his name was called following the competition, his eyes popped wide and a smile manifested on his lips like a flame.

"It means a lot," said the 6-foot-4.5, 185-pounder. "My mom, props to her. She got me out here. She didn't want to come. She's like, ‘Travis, why do you want to go?' I was like, ‘Mom, I can do this. I believe I can do this. Just trust me.' She said, ‘Alright, Travis.' I can't get clothes now, but I got this. I was going to go on a shopping spree, but I'll take this instead."

Waller proudly pops his gold Elite 11 shirt and grins again, just like he grins when he talks about his Cal offer.

"One: it's in California. It's right at home," Waller said. "They told me that they need a quarterback that can run, too. A lot of schools have said that, but they said that they believe I can help that program out, since a lot of colleges are leaning towards dual-threat quarterbacks – not necessarily the running part, but guys who can make a play last longer, and they believe I can do that."

Waller isn't a typical dual-threat quarterback in that, while he can run, he is most certainly a throw-first signal-caller, but a hard-running, evasive escape artist when he takes to the ground.

That's exactly what the Bears like about him, and on Saturday, he's going to pay them a visit.

"Tony [Franklin, Cal's offensive coordinator] told me to visit, and I really want to visit there, so I want to see it," Waller said. "My O-lineman (Clayton Johnston) got offered there, so it would also be cool to go with someone that I know. He likes that school a lot, so you never know. We could end up at the same college."

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Trent Dilfer -- who is the chief coach at Elite 11 – made a point of coming over to Waller following the day of throwing.

"I'm really proud of you," Dilfer said. "You really grew as the day went on. You've just got to tweak a couple things, but overall, very proud of you."

Waller said that he speaks with the Cal coaching staff regularly, but after his recent offer, he said, they're just starting to develop a relationship.

"It's starting to kick up a little bit, and I'm starting to get comfortable with them," Waller said. "I'm going to be honest: I didn't really watch their games, and I know they've had a little struggle with their offense, but they told me that I can help them out a lot."

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