Last spring, Ben Wilson of Sumner (Wash.) hit .461 on the baseball diamond, driving in a team-high 23 runs with a team-leading 12 doubles. But, as good as the corner outfielder is with the bat, he's much better with the truck stick. Wilson, a four-star linebacker, racked up a mind-boggling 201 tackles on the year, averaging 15.5 tackles per game and making a team-leading 16.0 tackles for loss.
On Wednesday, California extended an offer to Wilson to play inside linebacker.
"Real excited to get the offer today," Wilson said on Tuesday. "I talked with coach Beau Baldwin and coach Tim DeRuyter. I had been in contact with coach Baldwin with his ties here in the Seattle area, and last week the coaches were in contact with Coach Ross (my high schoolcoach) about my potential."
That potential is sky-high. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder is one of the top 10 players in Washington, and one of the top linebackers on the West Coast. last season, he earned Scout Underclassman All-American honors. He shows great instincts in coverage, and doesn't back down from a physical challenge. He's at his best when running down plays from sideline to sideline, and serving as a stout run-stopper. In Cal's 3-4 system, he'd be a prototypical inside linebacker.
"I think with coach Wilcox and the new staff they are going to do great things down there," said Wilson, who chatted with Wilcox, DeRuyter and Baldwin during a 9 a.m., phone call. "Because I was in school we didn't have a lot of time to talk, but I look forward to building a relationship with coach DeRuyter. I think that they are going to do great things at Cal and seem to be great people and coaches."
Wilson doesn't know much about the Bears quite yet, other than Cal's success a decade ago.
"I know that they have had a lot of success in the past," Wilson said. "And, they have one of the most prestigious educations in the nation."
Wilson sports a 3.4 cumulative GPA, and is taking International Bacccalaureate classes in History and English. Next year, he will be taking up to six IB classes.