“It was a great feeling to hear the words from coach [Fred] Tate,” said Yaghi, who also plays fullback. “I’m excited beyond belief.“
The 6-foot-3.5, 264-pound defensive tackle for Santa Ana (Calif.) Foothill worked out with Tate at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, the second of Cal’s two satellite camps on Sunday.
“He told me I had a great camp,” Yaghi said after coming off the field, “and that we’re going to be in touch.”
Shortly thereafter, Tate pulled the trigger, as the Bears joined Oregon, Utah, Washington State, Boise State, Air Force, San Jose State, San Diego, Nevada, Iowa State and UNLV in offering Yaghi.
“The academics stick out,” said Yaghi, who has a 3.6 GPA. “I’m thinking I want to major in engineering. My father, my brother and my cousin are all civil engineers, and my dad has a firm, so I’d like to either take over the business, or be a part of it, at least.”
Of the other schools recruiting him, Yaghi -- who was named Crestview League Defensive Player of the Year, and was named as a Third-Team All-State Junior on the defensive side of the ball by Cal-Hi Sports -- said that none are sticking out, in particular – “They’re all telling me about their school and how they want me,” he said – and that he wants to narrow things down after he takes some visits. One of those visits will be an unofficial to Cal in mid-July.
“The lower academic schools are kind of drifting away from my preference,” he said.
Yaghi is very much in a similar vein to recent Cal commit Russell Becker, in that he’s a big, broad body with room to add muscle. He also has active hands, and is bull-strong, as attested to by other campers who worked with him. His feet, though, need a bit of work, and that’s exactly what Tate told him.
“I think I could have had some better footwork,” Yaghi said. “But, I think I did pretty well on the pass rush in the one-on-one stuff.”
Yaghi responded well to Tate’s coaching, and beamed about the vocal defensive line coach following camp.
“He’s hilarious,” Yaghi said. “He’s enthusiastic, and I love it.”
Yaghi’s mother also complimented Cal’s D-line coach in concert with her son.
Tate and the Bears first started talking with Yaghi back in January, after which he attended Cal’s junior day.
“I met the coaches, and when I came back, coach Tate gave me a call during the evaluation period, when he was allowed to, and they told me to come to camp,” said Yaghi.