At 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, with 125 tackles as a junior, and a father who played on Stanford's offensive line 30 years ago, somehow, J.H. Tevis out of Atherton (Calif.) Menlo School has flown under the radar. No longer is that the case. During California's midweek spate of offers last week, the Bears extended Tevis's first scholarship offer during a visit to campus.
"I'm not 100 percent sure how they found me," Tevis said on Sunday. "They asked me for my academic information, and that was Tuesday. The next day, they called my coach, and they asked for me to come up there and see them."
The visit on Wednesday to Berkeley lasted about two to three hours, Tevis said, during which he got to sit down and talk with new defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro.
"They want me to play outside linebacker and defensive end, depending on the front," Tevis said. "He's a great guy, a family guy. He's very dedicated to football. He's been a coach in the NFL, and all these other great programs. I really liked him, and he really likes to get down to business. I liked his style, and he seems like a good coach and a very good guy ... They said they liked my eyes, my approach, my effort on the field, and they liked how I wouldn't give up on a play. They liked my power, and my explosion off the ball."
Tevis received the offer during a talk with head coach Justin Wilcox, and brought along his head coach, Mark Newton.
"I went around, looked at the facilities, and visited the Haas School of Business, as well, and I talked with a few coaches," Tevis said. "I saw the strength and conditioning. I went around the facilities."
Tevis "definitely" intends to return to Berkeley at some point this spring, to get a better look at the stand-up rush end spot he'd be playing, a position that featured in Wilcox's defense at Wisconsin last year.
With Cal being Tevis's first offer, it brought up some mixed emotions; he's been going to Stanford games all his life, with his father, the former Mike Teeuws, John Elway's center who changed his Dutch surname name to the phonetic pronunciation before J.H. Tevis was born. Mike's brother, John -- J.H.'s uncle -- also played offensive line at Stanford.
"He was excited, and although it is his rival, he does understand the quality of school and the quality of football," Tevis said. "He was excited. He was excited ... It was a little bit weird, but it's not like I've hated Cal. I've always rooted against Cal, but I'm still very interested in that program, and I don't see myself being too loyal [to Stanford], if it comes down to switching to Cal. Dad may wear a Stanford Alum hat and a Cal Dad shirt."
Speaking of the quality of the education, Tevis has a 3.6 grade point average.
"I was just overwhelmed," Tevis said. "I was very happy, and I've had aspirations to play Division I football, like my father, my whole life. To see it morph into a reality, I'm very grateful for that opportunity, and especially from one of these programs with a great group of coaches, great facilities and a great academic school, all around. I'm just very grateful."