Despite having an offer from Idaho, and being close to one from Troy, when JuCo Signing Day came, Arthur Wainwright did not ink with a Division I program. He still had, by his own admission, a lot of classes to take, in order to be able to transfer from the College of the Sequoias.
He finished this year with a 3.38 GPA, and is on pace to finish up his two-year degree in the next three weeks as he needed 10 more credits in order to transfer to the UC system.
California defensive coordinator Art Kaufman felt comfortable enough, on Wednesday, to extend a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-3, 220-pound outside linebacker. It took him 24 hours to sign a financial aid agreement, and just like that, "I'm a Golden Bear," he told BearTerritory on Thursday.
"It was God. I prayed and I prayed and I prayed," Wainwright said. "I had faith in myself, and my coaches told me to just wait it out, just wait it out, so I decided to wait. I was very nervous. I was extremely nervous. I was worried that if I waited too long, I'd be stuck out in the ocean."
On April 18, he made a visit out to Berkeley, and fell in love. This, Wainwright thought, was a school he could wait for.
"I took a visit, and I loved everything about it," Wainwright said.
Wainwright led CoS with 65 total tackles, tallied 2.5 sacks an seven tackles for loss, to go along with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery as a sophomore, but at Atlanta (Ga.) Cedar Grove as a senior, he led his county in tackles for loss, and sacks, of which he had 20.
"I was in Atlanta, and a coach came out from California, and said, ‘We've got the beach, you can go to Visalia, and it's right there in California.' I'm from Atlanta, and I'd never been to California, so I was excited about trying new things," said Wainwright, who was not an NCAA qualifier out of high school. "I came to California, and I love everything about California. The atmosphere is different, the air is different, the vibe is so different, the people, I just love it all."
What attracted the Bears to Wainwright? Aside from the numbers, he's got plus speed. He's run a 10-second split in the 4x100, owns a personal best of 48.2 seconds in the 400 and a 400 split in the 4x400 of 47.9.
"They offered me yesterday, then shipped me paperwork for me to sign. We've been talking for a while, so it was a thing that was bound to happen, but it wasn't official until yesterday," Wainwright said.
What did Wainwright like about Cal? They're going to let him get after the quarterback at outside linebacker.
"I love to hit. That's my bread and butter," Wainwright said. "My college ran the 4-3 defense, and he has the outside linebacker on the line who drops back, that's perfect for me. I played defensive end in high school, and I love getting after the quarterback. That's my passion. That's how I pay the bills: Sacking the quarterback."
Wainwright will have three years to play two once he arrives on campus in July.
BEYOND THE COMMITMENT: Arthur Wainwright
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