When California running back commit Biaggio Ali-Walsh got post cards and texts from the Bears coaching staff down in Australia before his season-opener last Saturday against Cedar Hill (Tex.), it made him feel the warm-and-fuzzies, but ever since he's committed, he's felt a bit befuddled.
"I'm just a weird kid -- a really weird, strange kid -- who runs with a football in his hands, and I get attention for it," Ali-Walsh laughed on Thursday, just ahead of his second game against Cocoa (Fla.), the No. 19 team in the nation, and the No. 6 team in the state of Florida, according to MaxPreps.
It shouldn't be that weird. His grandfather punched people for a living, after all, though he was so much more than that.
"After the commitment, I blew up like crazy. I remember tweeting [the commitment] out, and I was walking up from the football facility, going towards the field, and I remember, instantly, within 60 seconds, I had people calling me, texting me. I had to restart my phone, because it kept buzzing. I looked online, and there were a lot of things going on, on Twitter. It's cool for that to happen, because I never really considered a college, before that happened. I never put a top five list out. I was just blessed and honored to get that offer. It was kind of a big thing. It was super sudden. What I was impressed with was that the NFL picked it up."
The NFL. Ali-Walsh laughed, reflexively.
"I was like, 'Woah,'" Ali-Walsh said. "That was crazy."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1664229-ali-walsh-from-the... Then, he backed it up. Last week, in No. 3 Bishop Gorman's tilt against then-No. 5 Cedar Hill on ESPN2, Ali-Walsh delivered knockout punch after knockout punch, scoring two second-quarter touchdowns on a 54-yard run (above) and a two-yard rumble to put the Gaels ahead for good.
Ali-Walsh added a 77-yard score with 3:30 left in the third quarter, answering a 72-yard run by Cedar Hill's Marquise Forman.
By the time the dust settled, Ali-Walsh had rushed 18 times for 197 yards in a 44-14 win, and the congratulations flooded in from Australia.
"Sonny [Dykes] texted me, the OC (Jake Spavital) texted me, they all wished me good luck, and then coach Garret Chachere sent me an edit [in a Cal uniform], that was really cool," Ali-Walsh said. "That was really cool."
The furor that erupted when he committed to the Bears last month only intensified.
West Coast analysts and Nevada preps aficionados already knew his name, and his lineage. Now, the nation had seen what he could do, and against a team that's won three Division II titles in Texas -- 2006, 2013 and 2014 -- no less.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1696089-beyond-the-commitm... "I tend to visualize before games, and I tend to think positive before games," Ali-Walsh said. "I didn't know I was going to have that good of a game, but I did have the confidence that I was going to have a good game, and I had the mindset that I was going to. Cedar Hill is a big game, and that's a good football team. They're known around the country. We just knew that it was going to be a ballgame, and we came prepared."
While he was preparing for his own opener, Ali-Walsh also watched Cal's opening act against Hawaii, which featured a 10-carry, 96-yard performance from Khalfani Muhammad and a 10-carry, 73-yard game from Vic Enwere.
"I was watching the game, and I was pretty hyped," Ali-Walsh said. "Every time they scored, I was like, 'What's up!? We're good!' I saw Marshawn [Lynch] on the sidelines, and I was like, 'Hey!' Muhammad, he's crazy. He's fast. They're good. They're a good team."