It's fairly easy to do an immitation of former California wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins. All one has to do is adopt a squeaky falsetto. That said, Bears JuCo defensive back target Devron Davis -- who visited Cal over the weekend, and got an in-home visit from safeties coach Greg Burns and cornerbacks coach John Lovett early this week -- does it better than most, and he should. He and Hawkins go way back.
"I watched Cal growing up, I watched USC, I definitely watched the local teams [...] Lavelle Hawkins from Stockton, he went to Cal, and he is a guy that I looked up to, growing up," Davis says. "That's another reason why Cal is a school I watched.
"I actually workded out with Lavelle before, him and Tim Brown. Lavelle has been a mentor for me, as a football player, but I also learned a lot from Latef Grim, who went to Pitt, so I had a lot of idols growing up, and a lot of support."
The one-two punch of the campus visit for the Arizona State game -- and the experience in the locker room after -- as well as the in-home visit acted in synergy.
"They were really excited about the win against ASU, and the guys welcomed me in, they asked me what position I played, and they were very welcoming to me," Davis said of his on-campus visit. "I left with a little Cal gear. It was all good. I really like Cal."
As for the in-home visit?
"I really liked the coaching staff, I really liked the situation I'd be in, going to Cal, where I could come in and play right away," Davis said. "It had a big impact."
Both Burns and Lovett came because the Bears like Davis's versatility on the back end -- he's played both safety and cornerback, and at 6-foot, 205 pounds with a 4.4-second 40, he certainly could play either, or both.
"They see me as a guy who can play multiple positions in the secondary, they like my versatility, and being a corner and a safety definitely helped my stock as a player for them," Davis said. "Also, being able to return punts and kicks."
Davis has yet to snag an offer from the Bears, but that's going to come, he says, once they take a look at his grades for this semester.
"Thursday, coach Lovett is actually going to come back, and we're going to talk some more and check on my grades," he said. "They want to offer me. They're just waiting to see the academic situation. It's not about film. If it was just that, I would have been offered months ago. They knew about me months ago. They know that I have good academics, but in order to get into Cal, you have to be really academically prepared to be in that situation. They're just waiting on that."
Davis was not a full-qualifier out of Stockton (Calif.) Franklin, and readily admits that he goofed off and didn't take school seriously. His time at Merced College, though, has kicked him in the hind end.
"Definitely," he says, "my GPA will be a 3.0, at the least."
Most of what Davis and the coaches talked about on his in-home visit, in fact, was academics, and it had a big impact.
"They came and talked with my parents, and they got acclimated with them," Davis said. "My parents really liked the coaches. It was a good deal. They definitely swayed my recruitment, and who I feel like is leading.
"Everything was academics. Their academics are out of this world, when it comes to getting jobs and being a successful person in life. Academics are the biggest thing for them (his parents). It's the biggest thing for me, as well. I feel like academics really swayed me a lot. We mostly talked about academics before we talked about football."
Illinois, Cincinnati and Nebraska are "on the edge" of his consideration, and UCLA is "just waiting on grades, too," Davis said, and he has no shortage of suitors.
"I really like Cal, and I really like the atmosphere that they were playing in, and I could definitely see myself playing there next year," Davis said.
To see other JuCo guys figure so heavily in the mix, like Khari Vanderbilt and Darius White (who started right away) while he was on his visit on Saturday, certainly helped push him further into Cal's arms.
"Yeah, definitely," he said. "Seeing Khari and other guys like that go in and play, I'm way more intrigued by the situation at Cal. Academics always plays a role, too."
Would a Cal offer be hard to turn down?
"Oh, definitely," Davis said. "With the academics and football situation at Cal, Cal is a school that you really can't say 'no' to, with the development of their football program and the coaches and everything that they have to offer."
Davis said that there is "a big chance" that he will be able to come on board at the semester, if he winds up picking up an offer from the Bears and choosing Cal.