Coming out of Gadsden (Ala.) Gadsden City High School, new Cal commit Jordan Veasy had some looks, from Tennessee-Chattanooga and Tennessee State, namely, but because he'd only played one year of varsity football -- he'd played baseball the previous three years -- no one bit. Why did he decide to change sports at the last minute? Sheer numbers.
"I grew six inches from my junior year to my senior year," Veasy says. "I was 5-8, and then, I started dominating at football, going into camp. And, baseball's a very hard road. Even if you're a committed baseball guy, it's a lot harder to make it."
Not getting many collegiate looks, Veasy -- a full qualifier -- headed to Ittawamba College in Mississippi. After one season, he headed out West, to attend Golden West College in Huntington Beach, Calif.
"I was actually replaced by two Division I bounce-backs. In Mississippi, they're only allowed eight out-of-state scholarships, so that was the reason for me leaving," Veasy says. "My offensive coordinator that was at Ittawamba, in Mississippi, referred me over to the coaches at Golden West, and that's when I made the transition."
Because of Cal inside receivers coach Jacob Peeler's Mississippi connections, the Bears were able to unearth Veasy, who caught 63 balls last season for 1,036 yards and 11 touchdowns. Mississippi State took a look, and Fresno State and Eastern Michigan offered. But the Bears won out in the end, after an official visit this past weekend.
"The visit was great," Veasy says. "The people, that's what had the biggest impact on me, that and the coaches. Given that I'm a junior college guy, and I only have two more years left to play, it was the perfect fit for me. I loved the people, and just the fact that I'll be receiving a college degree from Cal Berkeley, that's once-in-a-lifetime."
Veasy, at 6-foot-3, and, he says, 218 pounds now, isn't quite big enough to be a replacement for senior Stephen Anderson, but he's definitely in the mold of outside receiver Darius Powe, and that's exactly how Cal sees him.
"I was talking football with the offensive coordinator, coach [Tony] Franklin, and he said that I'd be an outside receiver," Veasy says. "I weigh about 218, legit, so they want me on the outside for them. They said I could come in and have a chance to compete and work to earn the starting job right away. That's a possibility. They said I have the ability to really go up and get the ball, and that's what really struck them."
"Coach Dykes, me and him have a good relationship," Veasy says. "He's a good guy and a great coach. I think that he can get me to the next level."