If you watch closely, you can see 2017 El Cerrito (Calif.) offensive tackle Aaron Banks's trademark poof ball hair rising above the chaos in the Cal locker room, after the Golden Bears came back from a 21-point deficit to edge Arizona State on a last-second field goal. He was in the middle of a tornado.
"How they came back, after losing by so much, it was crazy," says Banks. "It was really cool to see how they came back, and everybody was super-excited after the win. When they were dancing in the middle, it was crazy. There was a lot of energy flying around. Everybody was really welcoming, and coach [Sonny] Dykes started dancing, the place went crazy."
Over the last five games of the season, offensive line coach Brandon Jones challenged his charges to play with more pride in their work, and it showed. The Bears allowed just six sacks over the final five games, after having allowed 20 over the previous seven, and allowed 16 tackles for loss over the final five games, compared to the 47 they gave up in the first seven games of the season.
"From when I saw them in the beginning of the season, to when I saw them the last couple games, the difference is tremendous," Banks says. "Coach Jones has done a great job, to be honest. They weren't giving up sacks. It was great to see how that group of guys really came along."
Seeing that group improve said a lot to Banks about how much work Jones has done in developing his unit in just his first season.
"To me, he knows how to get the best out of his players," Banks says. "He knows how to get the best out of those guys. That's something that I like to see in a coach. That was a plus for me."