RECRUIT REACTION: Crist Flies In

EVEN MORE reaction from Cal's huge recruit contingent on Saturday, this one from junior offensive lineman Conner Crist, who hopped on a 6:30 AM flight to catch the Bears' 55-14 route over Sacramento State.

The majority of the recruits California hosted on Saturday were local, but one – offensive guard Conner Crist -- came all the way down from Tigard (Ore.), to pay his second visit to Berkeley, leaving on a 6:30 AM flight.

“When I took an unofficial visit to Cal at the beginning of the summer, I really liked the campus and the stadium, and I wanted to see what the atmosphere was like on a game day, with all the fans and stuff like that,” said Crist, who didn’t come away disappointed.

“It met my expectations. It was pretty cool to see all the students. The student section stayed basically the entire game, and it was cool that I saw the older generation, too, cheering on the Bears,” said the 6-foot-3.5, 295-pound Crist.

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Crist came up with his mother and his friend Zach, who, like Crist, wanted to check out Haas Business School. Both are interested in majoring in business.

While Crist got a good look at the campus when he visited back in June, he got a better feel for the town as he walked up to the stadium.

“I definitely loved the campus,” Crist said. “I liked how, as you get closer to the stadium, there’s more of the college campus feel. You get a city feel a little bit farther away from the campus, with regular stores and businesses around their basketball arena. I liked that aspect, too.”

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“I just took a really quick tour. We got to see the players lounge and the weight room, we got to walk through that. We got to see their academic wing, a little bit, and I got more of a look at the campus as we were walking up from where we parked. We got to check it out as we walked up to the stadium.”

During the 55-14 win over Sacramento State, Crist – who plays in a pro-style, I-formation offense – paid close attention to the offensive line, which helped plow the way for 253 rushing yards – the most the Bears have run in the Sonny Dykes era.

“I definitely looked at the offensive line. I liked watching their footwork and seeing how fast their feet are, compared to how fast my feet are, see if I can try to get to their speed,” Crist said. “I think they like that I can move pretty well, but that’s something I need to work on. [They like] my physicality, like how a lot of plays on my highlight film are a lot of pancake blocks, so they like how I can finish blocks.”

After the game, Crist got to make his way to the locker room to see the celebration.

“I caught the back end of that, the song,” said Crist. “That was cool, to see how they celebrated, the vibe after the win, because I’ve never been in a college locker room before, especially after a game, and it was cool to see how they were celebrating and how happy they were.”

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After that, he got to speak with Zach Yenser and head coach Sonny Dykes.

“We didn’t really get technical; we just chatted about how my game went the night before,” Crist said. “Coach Yenser said that he’s coming up to watch one of our games, on Halloween, before they play Oregon State, and coach Dykes came over and said thanks for being down there, and he’s glad that we got to see them play really well.”

Saturday was Crist’s first time experiencing a college football game as a recruit, but it won’t be his last. He has already visited Oregon and Oregon State unofficially, and the Beavers have invited him to come out and see a game, as have Washington State and Purdue. The visit to Purdue may or may not happen, as Crist said he will “probably” wait until he can take an official visit there. He does, however, have plans to visit Washington.

“I’ve been to Oregon and Oregon State. I have not been to U-Dub yet. I’m friends with Jared Elbers, who’s committed there, and he said that he wants me to come up there to visit,” Crist said. “We met each other through camps and stuff, and we play each other this week.”

Crist has yet to score his first scholarship offer, but the 2016 lineman feels that he’s close to one from the Bears.

“They’re really interested in me, and I talk to them a lot,” Crist said. “Coach Yenser, I talk to him a lot. I feel like, if I do well in my next three, four, five games, and they like what they see on my film, they might offer me, which will be the first for me, and hopefully, not the last.”


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