RICHMOND, Calif. -- McCallan Castles spent five hours on the California campus on Saturday, before his Sunday performance at The Opening Regional at Richmond (Calif.) De Anza, and it was everything he'd hoped.
"I finally got the whole family to go up there with me, and everybody loved it," Castles said. "We got a tour of the campus, got to see all the buildings, so it was pretty great. I talked to everybody. I talked to coach [Justin] Wilcox, I talked to coach [Steve] Greatwood, I talked to coach [Charlie] Ragle. Everybody talked to me. Coach [Beau] Baldwin was up at the school last week, so that was pretty good.
"The thing that stuck out the most was how easy it was to connect with the coaches there. They're definitely easy to talk to, and8 relatable. The academics part of the school is ridiculous, and my parents really like that part ... It was definitely a big thing, because my mom loved it. That was her first time that she got to go in on a visit with me, so she was amazed the whole time. It's not too easy to impress her."
Castles and his family pressed Cal coaches on the academic questions, but the hardest question was reserved for on-field concerns.
"The hardest question we asked was how much playing time, early on," Castles said. "It was definitely helpful for them to say that if I work hard, and I play the position, they'll put me in early."
It was Castles's second trip to Berkeley, after coming out for the spring game.
"You could tell that they just revamped their tight end position, because a lot of the guys that they have are blocking tight ends, but it'd be nice to start that up if I go there," Castles said. "They're definitely going to play an H-back, so a lot of out routes, and they want to be able to widen me out, too, and play on goal line, so they like that aspect."
The Bears are "definitely" moving up for Castles, and, he said, "they've been up there for a while. They're definitely going to make the cut for top schools."
Castles's field of suitors widened this past week, with the addition of Mississippi.
"I just got the Ole Miss offer last week, and that was pretty big, to get my first SEC offer," he said. "Coach [Maurice] Harris offered. I definitely want to try and go visit there. I don't know too much about it, so the visit will help me out a lot, with a lot of questions. I know they're a pretty decent SEC school, so that'll help."
Academically, Castles has a 3.5 grade point average.