When Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd's Quinn Brinnon stepped onto a football field in fourth grade, playing for the Pleasanton (Calif.) Junior Football League's 49ers, across from Jevon Holland's PJFL Ravens, little did he know that they would grow to be as close as family. On Wednesday, seven years later, Brinnon -- a 6-foot, 182-pound safety -- and Holland -- a 6-foot-1, 170-pound four-star athlete -- stood on the turf at California Memorial Stadium, thinking about the future.
"We didn't say it," Brinnon said, "but we know we were both thinking it ... We both were amazed by the facility and the program."
The two could play together, once again brothers in arms.
"We are brothers," Brinnon said.
After that first season playing across from one another, Brinnon and Holland's fathers decided to coach a team together -- the Bills. They became fast friends, family friends, even.
"We figured we would be better together than going against each other," Brinnon said. "We definitely would love to stay with each other in college. We have been together for years as a duo. But we will have to see if it is in the cards ... We got a bond that can't be broken."
Last season, Brinnon, Holland and the Dragons went 15-1, beating Moreno Valley (Calif.) Valley View in the Division 5-AA state title game, 43-24. Holland caught two passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, while Brinnon led the way with nine tackles and one interception.
Brinnon played both ways for O'Dowd, catching 28 passes for a team-best 518 yards and six touchdowns, but the Bears -- who already have offered Holland -- like what they've seen from him on the defensive side of the ball. Brinnon is a shade undersized, but last season, he made 65 tackles, with 4.0 tackles for loss, 2 picks and 8 passes defended.
"The coaches want me to come by more often and develop a better relationship with the coaches and players," Brinnon said. "They like my intensity and passion for the game, also my ability to read and react on the field."
During the visit, Brinnon got to meet with the coaching staff, and both he and Holland got an up-close look at how Gerald Alexander coaches his defensive backs.
"I've been talking to Coach Alexander for a couple months about coming out during there spring ball practices and taking a look at the program," he said. "The program definitely focuses on technique and playing hard all the way through the whistle. Also, the coaches are elevating the intensity of all the players to always compete at 110 percent ... I first met all the coaches, then got to watch individuals, 1 vs 1, 7 vs 7, and team install. [After practice] Coach [Justin] Wilcox gave me a tour of the football facilities ... It was a great day."
Academically, Brinnon -- the son of a Syracuse-educated father and a Binghamton-educated mother -- has a 3.0 GPA.
Holland and Brinnon were not alone on the trip. They also brought along their teammate, in 2018 athlete Justin Ross. Ross rushed three times for 10 yards last season, and completed 6-of-10 passes for 94 yards and three touchdowns. Cal also hosted Alameda (Calif.) receiver Kenden Robinson.