California head coach Sonny Dykes was busy on the defensive side of the ball on Tuesday, offering three Ground Zero defenders out of southern California. Though defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Art Kaufman has been absent on the recruiting trail, the Bears offered 2018 Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak linebacker Jack Lamb.
Dykes and Peeler talked to Ground Zero architect Armond Hawkins, who relayed the offer to the Southwestern League's leading tackler between periods at school.
"My friend texted me, and he saw a post on Twitter, and it aid that Cal offered, so I was like, 'What? No way,' and I called [Hawkins] and said, 'Is this real?'" Lamb said. "He said, 'Oh, yeah, I never told you. You just got an offer.'"
Lamb's first major offer (he had one from Montana State) made a big impact, as Lamb is a 4.3-GPA student with a 28 ACT score (he's re-taking it this month).
"I mean, I was really surprised when I got the offer. I was like, 'Really? Cal? Cal-Berkeley?' It's a great school, and I want to start talking to the coaches, eventually, whenever I can start doing that," Lamb said. "I have a friend who goes there, who I used to train with, and my sister applied there. She's 19, and actually is a sophomore -- technically, a junior -- at UCLA."
Lamb said that Cal has always held his fancy as the best public school in the nation, but as he started growing bigger and stronger, playing college ball -- and playing for the Bears -- became more plausible. After a season which saw Lamb rack up 117 tackles (including 80 solo) and 18.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and a pick, it's more than just plausible.
"A couple of years ago, I started to realize that it was actually a legitimate football school, and I started paying attention to it," Lamb said. "One of my friends -- Greyson Bankhead -- is going there, now. I started paying attention to school a little bit more, and obviously, it's a pretty ridiculous football program, as well."
Lamb has not talked with Bankhead since the offer on Tuesday afternoon, but he will reach out to him, Lamb said.
"I'm still in a state of shock," Lamb said. "It's like, 'Wow, this is really real.' You play football your whole life, and all of the sudden, all the hard work starts to pay off, and it's relieving. I haven't looked into the coaching staff yet, but I'll get into that."
Lamb is a quick linebacker with 4.65 hand-timed 40 speed, but where he excels is in his field awareness. At 6-foot-4, 207 pounds though, he admits that he needs to get his pad level lower to take on taller and heavier linemen.
"I can really see myself playing anywhere. My coaches have me playing both [inside linebacker and outside linebacker], right now," Lamb said. "Sometimes, I'll go out and cover, play man in the slot."
Lamb said he's been thinking about taking visits during the spring for quite some time, but didn't know where. Thankfully, the Bears offer gave him some guidance.
"Cal's definitely on the list, now," he said.