For the past three years, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom linebacker Kyle Harmon has wanted nothing more than an offer from California. He wanted to stay home. He wanted to put on for the hometown team. He wanted to be a Golden Bear. All he has wanted was a chance -- just a chance -- to prove himself. This weekend, he got it, as Cal offered, and, on Sunday, Harmon silently committed. He finally announced his decision on Sunday night, and plans to sign in a ceremony at Freedom on Wednesday.
Harmon has told BearTerritory, at every opportunity, from the seven-on circuit, to camps to an unofficial visit during the season, that he was hoping against hope that the Bears would offer. Yes, he was a bit undersized at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds (he weighed in at 229 pounds this past weekend) but Harmon is a football junkie.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1746796-five-takeaways-hir... Harmon -- the son of Kevin Harmon, a Palo Alto (Calif.) wrestling and football star, who passed away from congestive heart failure during Kyle's freshman year, and Cherri, who worked graveyard shifts to provide for Kyle as a single mother -- has clearly inherited his parents' work ethic, judging by watching him over many in-person scouting viewings over the last several years. He's a hard-nosed grinder, a tireless worker, a heady linebacker with a high football IQ and a motor that won't quit. He's the type of player who will play above and beyond his physical gifts. If nothing else, Harmon is a big culture get for the Bears. He'll bleed for his teammates, and, now that he's a Bear, he'll leave everything on the field for his school.
Harmon has been possessed of a relentlessly positive outlook, with the philosophy that as long as he keeps his head down and works, good things will happen. In the many conversations he's had with BearTerritory over the past three years, one phrase came up repeatedly, whenever he mentioned a Cal offer: "They won't regret it."
All it took, it seems, was a new head coach -- Justin Wilcox -- one who, from 2003-05, coached Cal linebackers. If Wilcox does indeed run the 3-4 defense, as he intimated at his introductory presser, Harmon is a prototypical inside linebacker. So, on a Tuesday trip to Freedom, Wilcox gave Harmon -- currently committed to Cal Poly -- exactly what he wanted: A chance, in the form of an official visit invitation. He pounced on it.
This season, for the North Coast Section finalists, Harmon, the BVAL Defensive Player of the Year for the second season running, racked up a staggering 146 total tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, four interceptions for 60 return yards, five pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Harmon has led the BVAL in tackles each of the last three seasons. In three years, he's piled up 405 total tackles, breaking the century mark as a sophomore, junior and senior. He's averaged 10.9 tackles per game through three varsity seasons. For his career, Harmon has accumulated 30.5 tackles for loss, 11.0 sacks, four forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1746714-bttv-cal-coach-jus... Harmon checks off every box Wilcox drew when he formulated Cal's new recruiting strategy: High-character, high-academic and local.
Harmon, who grew up in Antioch, has a 4.0 GPA, and had offers from Ivy League schools, but chose to commit to to the Mustangs in December, in part, he's said, because of the combination of academics and proximity. He initially choose Cal Poly over offers from Air Force, Army, Columbia, Cornell, Colorado State, Fresno State, Montana, Northern Colorado, San Jose State, UNLV, UC Davis and Utah State.
Harmon was set to visit the Mustangs last weekend, after visiting UNLV last weekend, but the invitation from Cal was too hard to ignore. When your dreams knock, you answer the door.