Cal offers Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive lineman Chris Murray

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive lineman Chris Murray breaks down his first scholarship offer, his Cal connections and his future trip to Berkeley.

In the last three years, California has mined Southern California power Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei extensively, bringing aboard quarterback Chase Forrest, starting center Addison Ooms, receiver Matthew Rockett and cult hero fullback Malik McMorris. The class of 2018, too, is ripe with Monarchs the Bears are hoping flock to Berkeley, specifically tackle Tommy Brown and the newest Cal offeree, guard Chris Murray. "I'm really excited about this one," Murray said. "I've been talking to [offensive line coach Brandon Jones] for a couple of months, and we were talking on Twitter today, and I gave him a call. He's been out to Mater Dei before, for a couple games -- for the championship game against [Bellflower (Calif.) St. John] Bosco, and for the Upland game, earlier in the year, and he told me he was looking at me all year, but they haven't been able to say anything until now."

Murray -- who has a 3.42 GPA -- is set to be one of the top guards on the West Coast for the 2018 class, and is a big (6-foot-3, 290 pounds), mobile and aggressive pulling interior lineman. He currently plays right guard for Mater Dei, and earned first-team All-Trinity League honors this past season.

Between his fellow Monarchs and Bears center commit Michael Saffell of Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison, Murray is more than familiar with Cal, and in fact, Saffell was the first to reach out to him after the offer, over Twitter.

"We got to a lineman camp, called Men in the Trenches over the summer, and it's a good O-lineman and D-lineman camp, and me and him are always up there getting in work," Murray said. "I haven't talked to him, but I'm sure he's going to try to get me to come there."

Offline, it was McMorris who got in touch first.

"I was able to talk to Malik, great player, played defense for us, playing fullback right now, and he's trying to get me to commit right now," Murray laughed. "He was happy for me, congratulating me and giving me some good words." The Cal offer was the first for Murray, who has known McMorris since he was a freshman, and McMorris a senior -- "He was one of the leaders," said Murray.

Last summer, after participating in The Opening Regional at El Sobrante (Calif.) De Anza, both Murray and Brown made an unofficial visit to Cal, where Murray met Ooms. The two formed a fast friendship.

"I talked to him when he came for the homecoming game and he was telling me how the last couple of years, he wasn't really playing, but he worked this year," Murray said. "He got the starting spot, and said, 'Man, Cal's a good spot.' He told me that Cal's O-line and D-line are solid all around, and that it's a good place to come, for any guy who wants to play line."

Brown and Murray will make another trip up to Berkeley soon, for Cal's junior day at the end of January. Top Stories