Johnny Capra was named first-team all-league last season as an offensive lineman for Auburn (Calif.) Placer – his first season playing offensive line. Since the season ended, he's only gotten better, astounding his now-future coach, Zach Yenser, and the rest of the California staff.
"I've been working a lot with coach [Jon] Osterhaut at Linemen Win Games, and I actually know quite a few of the Cal linemen, such as Steven Moore and Vinny Johnson, from Linemen Win Games, so I'm excited to play with them one day" said Capra, who committed to Yenser and the Golden Bears late Sunday afternoon. "This summer, I've really been working on my form a lot, and learning to do the little things better. I learned that whoever does the little things the best is going to win the battle, so I've really been focusing on the little things, and that's what counts."
Speaking of "little" things, Capra committed just days after the Bears extended a scholarship offer to his younger brother, Jacob Capra, who, at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, bookends the Hillmen offensive line with the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Johnny.
How much did the offer play in to the older Capra committing?
"It did not play any part," Johnny said. "Obviously I'm very excited for him, but me and him are two different men, and we're making our own decisions."
The response to the older Capra choosing Cal has been staggering for the senior-to-be. One of the first folks to congratulate him on his commitment were future teammates Ryan Gibson and Zeandae Johnson, who just so happen to be the two most recent commits before Capra.
"I'll tell you, it's very humbling to see the response that I've gotten back, people are very happy for me, and I'm very humbled by that fact, and honored to be able to go through this experience," Capra said. "Obviously, I'm very excited to go to college for a number of reasons – the freedom of going to college, and I'm just very excited to join the Cal family. It's a great community, and I'm very excited for that."
The decision for Johnny turned out to be an easy one. With offers on the table from Colorado, Washington State, Utah and others, it came down to education for Capra.
"Right now, my reasons for committing, I feel that they absolutely had the best education that I was going to be able to get," he said. "That's a very high priority for me. I really like that a lot. I love the coaching staff at Cal. I feel like we really mesh together, and we're a family. Thirdly, it's very close to home. I'm glad that it's only 117 miles. I'll be able to see my family at games and possibly come home every once in a while. I'm very excited for that. Then, the legacy and tradition and honor of being a Cal Bear is huge, and it's an honor that I'll be able to experience that one day. That's another huge reason why I committed. Lastly, throughout the entire process with Cal, I felt like I was family there, and I really enjoyed that, and I feel like it's going to work great."
Education is very important to Capra, who wants to earn his degree in communications or business, and then be able to turn right back around after college and work in college football.
"Being a coach is definitely a possibility, but as I've gone through the process, I've seen a lot behind the scenes, like recruiting director and those types of jobs. All I know is that I want to work in college football," he said.
Another big reason? Yenser, who celebrated Capra's commitment with a trademark 4x4 from In-N-Out after Sunday's one-day satellite camp in Fullerton, Calif.
"I love coach Yenser." Capra said. "I think he's an extraordinary coach, and an outstanding person, and I'm very excited to work with him. I think that he really is a great coach. I am very excited. I feel like I definitely made the right decision, and I'm very happy with it."
Capra: "I felt like I was family there"
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