SANTA ANA, Calif. -- “I’m considering my options,” says Texas Tech wide receiver commit Carlos Strickland. One of those options, he says, is California. “They play on a big stage, and everyone’s looking – the NFL is looking at California, and everyone wants to see them.”
Strickland – who spoke with BearTerritory on the first day of the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl practice -- made his official visit to Berkeley back in late October, and before the holiday dead period hit, had an in-home with the Bears staff, as well as several others.
“I’ve been talking with Texas heavily, UCLA and Cal – those are the top schools,” said the 6-foot-5, 203-pound Strickland, who’s heavily considering the local Longhorns. “I talk with coach [Rob] Likens a lot. That’s my guy. He’s a great dude. He’s been gaining trust. He was at one of my playoff games, Dec. 6 or something, in Waco, and after the game, he did a home visit, and got to meet my parents and stuff, so that was really, really big. Him and coach [Sonny] Dykes are going to be coming out in January.”
Strickland will officially visit both UCLA and Texas after the dead period lifts, and will make his final decision in late January.
“I want to go somewhere where I can develop, not only as a player, but as a person,” said Strickland, who’s been hearing plenty about what Cal can do in that regard from his teammate on offense -- Lonny Powell. “Lonny, he’s been talking to me a lot.”
What would the Bears have to do to pry the Dallas (Tex.) Skyline receiver out of his home state?
“Another home visit will be good with the head coach,” Strickland said. “That, and keep communicating. Keep selling the program, build the relationship and stuff like that.”
For Strickland, there are several things that have stuck out about the program, particularly since he’s seen an entire season.
“Player development,” said Strickland. “They’re good on player development. They have a lot of players in the NFL; a lot of players not in the NFL, but who are doing big things in the market, and in real jobs and stuff – in real life.”
While the Bears can hang their hats on DeSean Jackson, Marvin Jones, Jeremy Ross and Keenan Allen, it’s a name a bit closer to home that the staff has used to describe Strickland.
“They see me kind of like No. 4 – a Kenny Lawler – an outside receiver,” Strickland said. “Something like that.”
When asked about Lawler’s propensity to haul in crazy catches, Strickland shakes his head, smiles, and simply says, “Aw, man. That guy is awesome. He’s done a lot of good stuff in the program. He’s Spider-Man. He’s a go-getter. You’ve got to have one of those.”
It’s been speculated that the quarterback situation may play a role in Strickland’s ultimate decision, but he said that the fact that Jared Goff is coming back for his junior season, and Brett Hundley is leaving for the NFL doesn’t matter much to him.
“It has no effect on me,” he said. “They both have good quarterbacks coming in, and some pretty good ones behind them.”