Having already visited California once this winter, Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis defensive tackle Tyler Manoa brought three of his brothers and a cousin out to Berkeley on Monday to check out the Bears' first shoulder-padded practice of the spring.
Offered back in February, Manoa is a lifelong Hayward, Calif., resident, so after a short day at school, he overshot his hometown by just a bit and got to see how his possible future coach -- Jerry Azzinaro -- got down to business.
"It was great," Manoa said. "Just to see the team get after it, I got to see how coach [Steve] Greatwood and coach Azz, how they coach, and how encouraging they are, and I got to see everyone. They're young, and don't have a lot of depth, but that's something that they'll work on this year. It's all about progression from them right now."
Manoa arrived at around 3:30 p.m., and got to watch the team go through its paces as the rain steadily dripped down over Memorial Stadium.
"I was right there, where coach Azz was coaching the defensive line, and I got to see the encouragement, but also saw him helping them, and stopping them midway through their rep and making them do it over so they could get it right," Manoa said. "That was something that I really noticed about him. He was very happy, and helpful."
Manoa -- who was formerly committed to BYU -- never got to see this side of the Cougars. He saw their prep for the Utah game, but never got to see this kind of coaching, in this kind of a setting.
"This visit was just to see how the coaches are on the field," Manoa said. "I got to see how they were off the field a few weeks ago, on that visit. On the field, the energy they brought to practice, it was something good, and something that I noticed ... I got to see the great knowledge that coach Azz was giving to all the players, and that's someone that I would like to be coached by. I'm keeping an open mind about everything going on right now."