Raleigh Texada didn’t even go to school on Thursday, because he was so sick, but he was certainly well enough to get an offer from California. On Wednesday, he was well enough to clock a 10.8-second 100-meter race in a practice track meet, despite pneumonia and bronchitis. The time was certainly slower than his 10.69-second personal best set last year, but considering he was basically using half a lung, not bad.
The offer from the Bears just made things better.
“It felt good, and I’m glad they offered me,” said Texada, who has a 3.6 GPA and scored his first offer from Duke. “I’m really interested in Cal, and I like the coaching staff, too. I’m open to going anywhere in the country. It doesn’t matter if I stay close to home or leave. The education and the location stick out about Cal. I really like California, and I’ve always wanted to go out there. I think my family and I are going to try and visit out there, too. I know Cal is a great place to be, right now, especially with the education. That’s a big part of it.”
Cal has been busy in Texas lately, with offers out all over the Lone Star State. On Thursday, Cal went back to Frisco, Tex., to extend an offer to the speedy Texada, who boasts a 4.4 40 time and dynamic playmaking ability both on defense and as a punt and kickoff returner.
“The corners coach told me to call him – coach [Greg] Burns, and I’d been talking to coach [Colin] Fry, the graduate assistant up there, because coach [Art] Kaufman came up to my school two weeks ago, and he told me that some of the coaches told him to come to the school, because they liked my film,” Texada said. “He wanted to get back up to watch it for himself, so I guess he got back up there and they all got a chance to watch my film, and coach Burns told me he loved my film, my speed and everything.”
This past season, Texada recorded 45 tackles, four picks for 81 return yards and a team-high 12 passes deflected.
“He just told me that they loved my film, and they love all the plays that I made throughout the year, and that’s why they offered me,” Texada said. “They like my physicality, too, because I made a lot of tackles, and they think that I’m a really good athlete, and they loved my covering skills, my quick footwork. That’s what really stuck out to them, was my footwork.”
The Bears went big this past recruiting cycle with defensive backs – with five of the six DBs taken standing 6-foot-1 or taller – but the 5-foot-10, 162-pound Texada is a departure from that. There’s a reason, though, why Cal is interested.
“It’s really my speed that separates me,” Texada said. “That, and my footwork. I just made a lot of plays on the field. I might not be the biggest, but I went out there and I made plays.”
Though Cal and Texada have not discussed special teams work, Texada was scintillating on kickoff return last season for the Titans, with 357 total return yards on 16 take-backs (a 22.3 ypr average).
“I almost ran a few back, but I never could quite get into the end zone,” Texada said. “I had some really good kick returns throughout the year, and next year, I’m going to do punt return and kick return.”
Texada hasn’t chosen a date for when he wants to visit the Bears, but he will “for sure” try to get out to Berkeley, to see another Frisco, Tex., native in defensive end Noah Westerfield.
“I know Jack Anderson, and I don’t know Noah Westerfield, but I know a lot of people who know him, and I think my brother knows him,” said Texada, whose brother just happens to be TCU redshirt freshman cornerback Ranthony Texada.
The elder Texada is slated to be the starting corner for the Horned Frogs this year, and Raleigh credits him with helping to mature his game.
“He’s taught me a lot,” Texada said. “I’ve always worked out with him and my DB coaches and track coach, and he’s taught me a lot, and especially in the weight room. I’ve gotten a lot stronger and bigger, and he’s taught me what kind of reps to do from what they do at TCU.”
Texada is about to max out on bench, and while he’s already over 200 on the lift, he expects to get to 210. He also has a vertical leap that’s been tested at 35 inches at school.