San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty defensive end Nick Alftin commits to Cal

Cal adds its fourth member of the 2018 class just days after the first commit of the Justin Wilcox era, as local defensive end Nick Alftin commits to join his sister as part of the Cal family.

The California family got just a little bit bigger on Tuesday night, as San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty defensive end -- and volleyball outside hitter -- Nick Alftin decided that, like his sister, Christine, he would be wearing blue and gold for his collegiate career.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Alftin, who visited Berkeley just over a week ago, got his offer to Cal on Thursday in what he said was a "dream come true." The offer left him speechless, but by Tuesday night, he knew just what to say: Yes. He announced the commitment on Wednesday evening.

It wasn't much of a surprise for at least one of his future teammates, J.H. Tevis, who predicted that Alftin would commit very soon. 

"I think he's, I mean, you talked to him. I think he's pretty into Cal, isn't he?" Tevis said after his own commitment on Friday. "I'd be surprised if [...] I'd give him, max, a week, what do you think?" Alftin may have been beaten to the punch as head coach Justin Wilcox's first commit, but he beat his future teammate's prediction by three days.

Fittingly enough, both Alftin and Tevis are defensive recruits, and both are Bay Area natives, two attributes Wilcox has focused on in his search for more commits for what's expected to be a sizable 2018 class -- likely to be 28 men strong.

Alftin, like his sister, plays volleyball, and is a member of the No. 1-ranked club volleyball team in the nation: Mountain View Volleyball Club. Alftin has been playing volleyball continuously since he was 13, and played from the ages of 9 to 11, and, as such, it's not as surprising as it should be to see his broad, thick frame vault upwards of 36 inches into the air as he hammers home a kill at the net.

Between his size and his explosiveness, Alftin is a natural fit for either defensive end, or, more likely, as a stand-up pass-rushing outside linebacker at the line of scrimmage, which Wilcox used to great effect while the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. He's been told that he'll be working with Jerry Azzinaro along the defensive line, and given his size, already, he could very well bulk up and play defensive tackle, which he has, in the past, as well.

His lateral quickness for such a large human being explodes off the screen when watching his film. He's able to change directions on a dime, even while going full-speed ahead. He has a variety of pass rush moves, using his hands inside the shoulders to gain leverage, or hand-fighting to get offensive linemen off of him.

Alftin can get skinny, use his hands and split the B gap or come around the edge to attack the passer or ball carrier. Most of his experience comes in the 4-3 as a defensive end, but he's got the size and athleticism to, as stated earlier, play both stand-up outside linebacker (he's got reps at that position on his tape) or true 3-4 defensive end. His height, length and vertical all help him get his hands on passes. He's got an exceptional burst that he can use either right off the line, or in a delayed fashion, lulling a tackle or a tight end to sleep and then getting on him quickly.

The bottom line: Alftin is a speedy, explosive load to handle at the point of attack, who can play a variety of spots for the Bears in 2018 and beyond. Top Stories