Cal defensive line commit Gabe Cherry talks Cal coaching shuffle and Tennessee coming hard after official visit

Cal defensive end commit has some interesting up-close takes on the Cal coaching situation, and Tennessee is not letting up.

California head coach Sonny Dykes had a busy weekend. After returning from a recruiting trip through Texas, Dyke returned home to watch the North Coast Section title game between Concord (Calif.) De La Salle and Oakley (Calif.) Freedom, and, sandwiched in between his official visit weekend, he jetted down to southern California to see Cal targets Tommy Brown and Amon-Ra St. Brown of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei defeat Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco in the Southern Section title game.

With reports of him interviewing for the vacant head coaching gig at Baylor abound, Dykes told one of his longest-tenured commits -- defensive end Gabe Cherry -- that he's staying put at Berkeley.

"On Friday, I went out with the players for a little bit, and on Saturday night, too. But, it's really during the day is when I spent the most time with coach Dykes, on Saturday," Cherry said. "What he told me is that he's a really good friend with the athletic director of Baylor (Mack Rhoades), and really, he told me he's not going anywhere. That was great to hear.

"I was able to go out with some of the players, spend time with them and hang out with college students, and just get a feel for the campus. That was fun, too. Also, I'm grateful to have spent time with the other coaches, that I really don't get to see often, like coach Dykes. I got to spend a lot of time with him."

Cherry spent most of the weekend with his host, defensive end Zeandae Johnson, and position coach Fred Tate, who "didn't say much," about the status of the defensive staff that oversaw the nation's No. 127 scoring defense (allowing 42.6 points per game), the No. 125 (out of 128) total defense (518.3 ypg allowed) and 127th rushing defense (272.9 ypg).

"He didn't say much," Cherry said. "A lot of the time, me and him were just talking about techniques and fundamentals, and we were talking about what he expects out of me as a player in the future."

One coach he didn't see? Defensive coordinator Art Kaufman.

"Coach Tate was around, but I didn't see coach Kaufman," Cherry said. "I spent a lot of time with [Tate]."

Cherry, before arriving in Berkeley, signed his financial aid agreement with Cal, handed them to the staff upon his arrival, and plans on enrolling early. That said, since offering him three weeks ago, Tennessee has not let up.

"Tennessee, they're hitting me hard, especially since the defensive line coach [Steve] Stripling is coming out to see me on Wednesday," Cherry said. "I'm still committed to Cal, very much so, but I'm not willing to just say 'No,' to Tennessee. I want to see what they have to offer, at least." Top Stories