"I couldn’t be happier to go to the No. 1 public school in the world, to follow in my brother’s footsteps. It’s remarkable." – Patrick Mekari
The Skinny on California signee Patrick Mekari: I saw Mekari in person at the satellite camp down in Fullerton, Calif., and he’s certainly got his brother Tony’s motor. There weren’t very many Pac-12-sized defensive tackles that he went against, though, and he mainly used his size to overpower them, which he does in his high school film, as well. He’s going to take some tinkering, to be sure, and, like Gibson, his body is going to need to get better. He’s carrying around some bad weight right now, and needs to redistribute it. If he slims down in the middle and bulks up his lower half, he could be a very serviceable interior lineman, particularly under the tutelage of Brandon Jones, who should be able to lower Mekari’s pad level and help him play with leverage, like his older brother does on the defensive side of the ball.
Mekari’s been told that he’ll work at center, but there’s a wealth of guys at the position as it stands, with Jordan Rigsbee having a load of experience, along with Matt Cochran. Addison Ooms will definitely push to be the starter after the departure of Chris Adcock. Since Mekari’s played center at Westlake, his footwork is tough to really peg down one way or another, in his highlights, which is a problem if he moves to guard, and an even bigger concern if the 6-foot-5 body gets moved to tackle.
At camp, though, he showed up in lacrosse shape, which leads me to believe he’s absolutely capable of transforming his body, particularly with a college strength program. He also proved to be eminently coachable, and did get his pad level down to where he was able to use more leverage and really drop his hind end.
Mekari earned Co-Lineman of the Year for the Marmonte League, and was previously committed to Utah State. When Johnny Capra left for Utah, he was a natural offer. If Capra and Nick Buchanan stay on board, Mekari probably doesn’t get his offer, but I think he’s a value-add.
One thing that’s not in doubt is the fact that Mekari – again, like his brother – has one hell of a motor. He really engages defensive linemen, but at times will reach, and that makes him over-extend (again, leverage is key in blocking) and get out over his skis, which won’t work at the next level. But, the one thing you can’t coach is aggression, and he has that in spades.
Sonny's Take: “Patrick is a big, strong offensive lineman that was a bit of a late developer but really blossomed as a senior. We are impressed with the way he plays. You know what you are going to get with Patrick. You are going to get someone who plays really tough and physical, and who is going to finish blocks. He loves the game and plays with great enthusiasm. We’re really excited to get him.”
Related Story: Mekari Joins Brother, Commits to Cal
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