Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds linebacker has eyes opened during Cal visit

Visit to Berkeley an eye-opener for Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds linebacker Paul Scott.

Growing up in Oakland, McClymonds linebacker Paul Scott didn't idolize the hometown hero, Marshawn Lynch. No, he idolized another running back: LaDainian Tomlinson.

"I really don't know why," said Scott, who visited Lynch's old stomping grounds on Monday. "When I was younger, that was my football number, No. 21."

The Warriors star defender had not been to a college campus yet, though he does have offers from Northern Colorado, East Carolina, Hawaii, Fresno State and Northern Utah. That changed on Monday, when he spent two hours at California.

"I really like the school. They have a lot of stuff there, and it was the first time I've seen all of that," said Scott. "They have a lot to offer, with the weight rooms, and they do a lot for the students, with meals throughout the day."

The experience was an eye-opening one for Scott. McClymonds is a predominantly African-American school in the heart of Oakland, with aging facilities and a reputation for being a hardscrabble place to spend one's adolescence. Nothing is given at McClymonds, on the field and off. More than 90% of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. As of 2013, the school had a 513 Academic Performance Index score (out of 1000).

"Being where I'm from, there's not a lot of privileges for guys growing up like me, and when I walked away from that experience, there's just more to the world," Scott said of his visit to Cal. "The more you keep working, the better it's going to get."

The Mack House, the alma mater of NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, has lost much of its luster from last century. Still, though, it churns out football talent, and Scott is the latest.

Scott's core GPA is 2.7, and cumulative is 2.9, but he's "working to get that higher." Seeing what can be his, if he does that, was motivational, to say the least.

"It gives me a lot more motivation. I like the bigger schools, and bigger schools like that, they're almost within my reach. I can get it," Scott said. "I just have to work even harder both in school and on the field."

During the course of the visit, Scott met with defensive quality control assistant Carlos Alvarado, who helps defensive coordinator Art Kaufman coach linebackers.

"I met with the defensive coordinator, and watched some film, and he told me their defensive philosophy, what he wants from guys as linebackers, and then me and coach Carlos, I met with him after, because he had gotten me to come up there," said Scott. "He showed me around the school, and we really talked about everything, from football on to being around the school, what the school's like."

The visit came about after the Bears saw Scott on Sunday at the Golden Gate Showcase at Contra Costa College, which opened even more doors for Scott.

"Since that showcase, more Pac-12 schools have started talking to me. I've started talking to Cal -- that's what got me to talk to Cal -- so, Cal, Oregon State, Washington and Washington State. I've been talking to them more, now," Scott said. "Washington State, I went to their camp, and me and the defensive coach, we exchanged numbers and twitter [handles], and UCLA, they've been looking at me too. They're watching my film and looking at me. As soon as I get my transcripts out there, it should boost up my recruitment."

BearTerritory.net Top Stories