When Oceanside (Calif.) El Camino running back Chris Brown called California offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin on Wednesday to officially get his offer from the Bears, the two didn't talk much about what Brown can do on the field.
"It's common knowledge," Brown told BearTerritory, without a hint of arrogance. Brown is a man of few words. He didn't have a favorite college team, growing up. Instead, he said he just wanted someone to hand him the football and let him go. It's that matter-of-fact work ethic that drew Cal to Brown, as much as his productivity.
"Mostly, off the field, that's what really matters [to them] -- how you are as a person," said Brown, who has a 3.2 GPA, overall. "[The call] was more like, 'I like how you are off the field, and we acknowledge you, and we want you to go to our school, and we'll talk later, go more in-depth later,' like that."
Last season, Brown rushed 221 times for 1,442 yards and 15 touchdowns, and caught eight passes for 83 yards, earning a second-team nod for the All-San Diego CIF team. He also played safety this past season, making 14 tackles and two picks, showing great instincts with a nose for the ball.
The 6-foot-1.5, 205-pound bruiser (who still has room to grow) is Scout's top running back in the state of California, and the No. 17 back in the country.
Brown is a downhill, straight-ahead runner that bursts through arm tackles, and while he doesn't have top-end speed, he has enough shake-and-bake to make defenders miss. He will usually make just one cut and get up-field and has a great stiff arm. Much like current Cal running back Vic Enwere, Brown's game is all about running with his momentum forward and breaking tackles.
"The Cal offer means a lot, because I actually have family that went there," Brown said. "My cousin, Chris Okannen, he graduated from there, so I've heard nothing but good things, so I'm excited about that."
Okannen -- a defensive back in the early 2000s -- has already told his younger cousin about Berkeley.
"He hasn't gone in-depth, but he said it's a good program," Brown said.
Brown first talked with Baldwin two weeks ago, and started building the relationship. He plans on visiting for the spring game on April 22.
"I'm going to be looking for a good program, overall," said Brown, who has only visited UCLA, on an unofficial last Tuesday.