When 2018 four-star cornerback Braden Lenzy said that he met all the California coaches before he got his scholarship offer -- as a wide receiver -- on Friday, he means all. While Lenzy, his parents and younger brother spent seven hours on the Berkley campus, they not only met the football staff, but also with an old family friend: Cuonzo Martin.
Lenzy's father and the Bears' head men's basketball coach went to Purdue together, and Lenzy's mother was the one who introduced the two. They're more than old college buddies; Lenzy said that his father and Martin are "best friends."
After meting with graduate assistant David Gru and inside receivers coach Jacob Peeler ("Great dudes who expressed how much they wanted me"), Lenzy had a pre-practice chat with offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, and then with head coach Sonny Dykes, the Lenzy clan caught up with Martin, who was more interested in finding out how football recruiting worked than in trying to sell the Tigard (Ore.) athlete on the school.
"It was great," Lenzy said. "I hadn't talked to him in a long time. We were catching up, and he asked me questions about my recruitment, and how football kind of worked."
The football staff, though, did plenty over Lenzy's seven-hour visit to make their pitch to the 6-foot-1, 160-pounder, who, with a 4.47 40-yard time, is being recruited as a wide receiver. Only one other school is recruiting him on offense -- Oregon, which is recruiting him as a two-way athlete. Lenzy has no preference as to position, with Oregon State, Washington State and Purdue offering him at corner.
"We got a campus tour, I got to meet all the coaches, got to talk to academic advisors, got to see how everything worked and got to see what it would be like to be a student-athlete at Cal," said Lenzy, who has a 3.5 GPA. "I got to see a little bit of the receiver [meeting]."
Cal receivers certainly put on a show during practice, with Patrick Worstell opening up seven-on-seven work with a 20-yard dart from Davis Webb and a 37-yard touchdown strike from Webb to Chad Hansen in the full-contact period, along with intense reps during one-on-ones by Hansen and Melquise Stovall.
"They were very impressive," said Lenzy. "It was definitely a good show."
Last season, Lenzy caught 18 passes for 513 yards in a run-based offense, and split his reps about 60/40 in favor of defense. This year, the offense will shift to more of a spread formation, and he anticipates that his reps will even out at 50/50, with his receiving reps coming on the outside at the X and Z -- exactly where the Bears want him.
"They said that they'd just get me the ball, and allow me to use my speed and allow me to make plays," Lenzy said.
After practice, Lenzy and his family had one more meeting with Dykes, who extended the scholarship offer.
"What sticks out about Cal is how many receivers the staff has produced, stud athletes," Lenzy said. "Great overall technicians. That stuck out to me."
USC: "Tradition. They have a very rich tradition."
UCLA: "Intensity of the coaches. It's a very fast-paced, very loud environment."
Stanford: "Academics, and how well it sets you up for life.
Lenzy's family "loved" the visit, and Lenzy was quite taken with it, too.
"More of a home feel," Lenzy said of Cal. "It feels very similar to Portland. I like seeing a lot of trees, and there were a lot more trees than I expected. I would say I liked that. It feels a lot more like Portland than some of the other schools."null