Two months after California started sending mail, and two weeks before school ended for three-star defensive end Olalere Oladipo, Cal special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl visited the head coach at Oladipo's Huntley (Ill.) High School to see if Oladipo was just as big as his 6-foot-4, 235-pound player card suggests. He is. Then, yesterday, defensive line coach Fred Tate, report in hand, extended an offer to Oladipo, who's already got offers from Illinois, Indiana, Syracuse, Michigan State, Minnesota, Miami of Ohio, Missouri and others.
"They like how quick I look on film, my get-off, and he said, based off of what the special teams coach told him, I passed the eye test," Oladipo said. "He said he likes me, and he just had to talk to the D-coordinator before he could offer."
Oladipo didn't know much about Cal until his teachers got in on the act. Oladipo currently has a 3.3 grad point average.
"They said it's a very well-regarded academic school, hard to get into if you're going just to get an education," Oladipo said. "I also know some notable players that came out of there -- like the No. 1 draft pick, Aaron Rodgers and my favorite running back, Marshawn Lynch.
Of his 19 offers, Cal is he furthest from home for Oladipo. He hasn't discussed possible visits with his mother quite yet.
"I want to go to a team that can use me to my full potential, build me and be able to get me to the next level," Oladipo said. "I want strong relationships with my coaches. I want to love my team, and love my coaches, and I'm going to play harder for them. That's what I'm looking for in a team."