“That’s like, my dream school, to go to, stay close to home, so I’ve been keeping in close contact with them,” Udoffia said.
It was Udoffia’s second visit to Berkeley as a recruit, and it won’t be his last, nor will it be his last visit to Memorial Stadium, as he and Del Oro square off with Honolulu (HI) Punahou – the soon-to-be alma mater of two 2015 Bears signees in Kanawai Noa and Semisi Uluave -- on Sept. 4.
“When I went during the season, to a Cal game, I was like, ‘Wow, this is crazy,’ and when we saw our schedule, and we were playing at Cal, I was so excited,” Udoffia said at the Passing Down Nor Cal Regional on Sunday. “I just can’t wait to step on that field and play.”
Udoffia – a 6-foot-1, 180-pounder – plays both wide receiver and defensive back, but he specializes at corner, and that’s where Cal wants him. Though the Bears haven’t offered yet, Udoffia feels that they could be close.
“They like me as a DB,” Udoffia said. “They first started recruiting me as a wide receiver, but then they started looking at my size and my film, and my basketball skills – they like how I can move on the court – so they switched me over and they said they could use me as a DB, so I’ve been talking to the defensive coordinator, a lot, over there, and I’ll be going back down there in April and June.”
The staff, Udoffia said, wants to see him play in person, and on Sept. 4, they won’t have to go far, as the Bears play at home against Grambling the next day.
“The main thing is, they want to see me in live action. They’ve only seen film, so I think that the game against Punahou at Cal will be a really big one for me,” said Udoffia, who has a 3.0 GPA.
Before that game, though, Udoffia plans to attend some spring practices, and the Bears’ one-day prospect camp on June 10.
During his visit to Cal on junior day, Udoffia got to spend a lot of time with defensive backs coach Greg Burns, and the two have already built a strong relationship.
“He talks to me like we’re super close, just normal conversations,” Udoffia said. “Normally, coaches don’t do that. I see him as a brother, almost, when I talk to him, and he just gives me the best tips. He’s just a really cool guy, in general.”
What makes this coaching staff, and this school, such a dream for Udoffia? It comes down to a feeling of home.
“I just like how it’s in a small town, like how Del Oro is. It’s the same concept,” Udoffia said. “It’s a small-town vibe, but a big school. That’s just like how Del Oro is, so I’m used to that kind of environment, so I like it over there.
“I like how much more up-tempo they play, and more of a spread-type style. I feel like it’s more my kind of style, when I look at it, even though they want me on the defensive side. And, even the defense is so pumped up, and their strength coach. All the newcomers they brought to the staff, everyone’s so together. It’s almost like a small family, which goes back to Del Oro, because that’s how we are.”
There are other schools vying for Udoffia, though, including another UC.
“I just came back from an unofficial at UCLA,” Udoffia said. “In a couple weeks, I’m going to go to the junior day at San Jose State, and I’m going to go down to Arizona State in April, and USC.”
What did he think of Westwood?
“That campus is great. It’s more wide-open, and it’s right in the middle of L.A. There’s a lot to do around there, and that’s what I like more about UCLA than Cal, is everything around it,” Udoffia said. “There was a lot to do, and they’re putting in a new facility, so if I was there, by my second year, it would be in, so I would be one of the first people to use it. That would be pretty cool.”
The Bruins like Udoffia as both a receiver and a defensive back, which mirrors his career trajectory thus far.
“It’s kind of weird, because my whole life, I was playing running back, until my sophomore year. I got moved up to varsity, and they said, ‘We want you to play receiver,’ so I said, ‘Alright, let’s do it,’ so I played receiver, and I had a great year at receiver. My freshman year, I only played defense; I played corner. So, they said, ‘Let’s have him play corner, too,’ and I showed out at corner, so I had the same experience at both positions.”