Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports

Cal offers South Lake Tahoe (Calif.) South Tahoe tight end McCallan Castles

South Lake Tahoe (Calif.) South Tahoe tight end McCallan Castles chops up his Cal offer, his parents' affinity for the Bay Area and more.

Yes, McCallan Castles said, his parents named him after a brand of scotch. But, that doesn't mean that the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder goes down easy, especially for opposing defenders.

Castles racked up team-leading totals of 1,193 receiving yards, 65 catches and 15 touchdowns last season, as South Lake Tahoe (Calif.) South Tahoe went 9-3 and faced off against California signee Poutasi Poutasi in the NIAA Class 3A Northern semifinals (South Tahoe, along with Truckee and North Tahoe, is part of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, even though the school's address is located in California).

"I was playing defensive end, and he just crushed me," Castles said, of the 56-7 loss. "He's way better than I am. He's a high-caliber player, so to get an offer from Cal, to be offered at the same school he's going to, is pretty great."

Castles has a chance to join Poutasi, after the Golden Bears offered him a scholarship on Thursday. 

"This morning, I was talking to the OC, coach [Beau] Baldwin, and he had already looked at my film -- he and coach [Justin] Wilcox watched it together -- and coach Wilcox got on the phone, and he officially offered me," Castles said. "It was over the land line at the school. They said that they loved my athleticism, and that it would be vital in their offense."

Castles, born in South Lake Tahoe, has pulled down offers from the Bears, DukeWashington State and Utah in the last two weeks.

"It's crazy how it turns around like that," said Castles, who was born in Tahoe, but moved to Berthoud, Colo., when he was a year old. 

Castles and his family moved back to South Lake Tahoe this summer, after his parents -- Alison, a nurse, and Tom, a UC Riverside- and UConn-educated mortgage lender -- moved for work.

"It's just crazy that my film has gotten out to all these schools, so far," Castles said. "Back in Colorado, I wasn't even getting looked at by D2 schools, and now, since we came up here, everyone just started looking at me and going, 'Wow, who is this kid?' It's just great."

Baldwin and Castles have been in touch for about two weeks, and Baldwin has expressed his desire for Castles to come out and visit. He will do just that, saying he will attend Cal's April 22 Junior day and spring game.

"He was telling me how much he loved my football film, and my basketball film," Castles said.

Castles has played both with his hand in the dirt, and as an inside receiver, depending on which opponent the Vikings were playing on the gridiron. He's 215 pounds now, but he wants to get up to 230 by the time next football season starts. That's going to be a tall task, given the fact that he does just about everything for the South Tahoe varsity basketball team. He plays both shooting guard and center, averaging 15.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.6 steals and 3.0 blocks per game this past season.

Castles has played basketball since second grade, and gets his passion for the sport from his mother, who played at Idaho State. He said he intends on playing basketball through his senior year, no matter where he commits.

"I'll probably play basketball senior year, definitely," he said. "I don't think I could go without playing it, to be honest."

Castles is just in the nascent stages of learning about the Bears, but his parents grew up in Walnut Creek, Calif., and have always wanted him to go to either Cal or Stanford. Castles' GPA is at a 3.2 now, but it should go up after this semester to a 3.5, he said.

"Cal definitely sticks out, and Wazzu," Castles said. "Cal and Wazzu are the ones that stick out the most. My parents have wanted me to go to Cal or Stanford since I was little."


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