Elijah Gates has plenty of Cal influence around him

EL SOBRANTE, Calif. -- Elijah Gates is surrounded by Cal commits, and he plans to make it back to Berkeley soon.

EL SOBRANTE, Calif. -- Ever since California extended the first scholarship offer for Buena Park (Calif.) defensive back Elijah Gates, he's hauled in offers from Arizona StateNebraskaNotre DameOregonUCLAMichiganTCU and others. He's now a four-star prospect, and the No. 4 cornerback in the West region. He was one of the top defensive players at Sunday's The Opening Regional at El Sobrante (Calif.) De Anza, and that's where he spoke with BearTerritory.

"I'm going to go up there soon, with the two Cal commits I go to school with -- Jeremiah Hawkins and Taariq Johnson," Gates said of Berkeley.

Gates is also friends with another member of the Hawkins family -- Jaylinn Hawkins -- who's currently headed into his second year at Cal, and will also come back up during the summer, with Gates.

"They're going to try to set up a day, and I might go up there with them," Gates said.

While they're making travel plans, though, neither the younger Hawkins nor Johnson are pushing too hard on Gates.

"They're not pressuring me about anything," Gates said. "We're just focusing on the season. "They know they don't need to put much pressure on me. They said they committed because graduating from there and getting your degree, you can go anywhere and get a job anywhere."

Gates currently has a 3.1 GPA, and is being recruited primarily by Jacob Peeler, who, he said, comes to the school to talk to all three of the Buena Park standouts, and that's where the twist comes: The Bears want Gates as an athlete.

"They see me as a receiver a little bit, a corner, doesn't matter -- wherever I can help the team -- but my main position is corner," Gates said.

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