For much of Saturday, California football great Chidi Ahanotu was just Dad. He sat quietly as his son, three-star defensive end Mayan Ahanotu, was introduced to academic advisors, took a tour of campus and got acquainted with the Bears' football facilities. Then, the pair stepped into a meeting with head coach Justin Wilcox, defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro and outside linebackers coach Tony Tuioti (defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter was out sick).
"When it got to the football aspect of it, he was more critical," Mayan Ahanotu said of the father-son trip to Berkeley, which lasted five hours on Saturday. "He was just learning more about the 3-4 defense since he has never played in it. He thought it was very interesting. He's been away from the game for a while and I think he gets excited he gets to speak with someone who understands defense."
Mayan Ahanotu noted that Azzinaro is a unique character.
"That's for sure," he said. "He's a great guy. A lot of energy."
The coaches told Mayan Ahanotu that they see him playing just about everywhere on the defensive line -- the five, seven, nine, four and three techniques -- which is what he plays at Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep, in a 4-3 scheme.
"He liked the way it was set up giving them a two gap responsibility rather then one," Mayan Ahanotu said of his father's conversations with the staff.
The Ahanotu duo is staying in the Bay Area through Thursday, with them and Mayan's older brother E.J. -- 19 -- visiting their paternal grandmother, who still lives in the area. E.J. attended St. John's last year, but will play basketball at Diablo Valley College this coming year.
While the Ahanotu's didn't visit Chidi's old haunts in Berkeley, the fact that they got to spend Father's Day weekend on campus was special for the family. Chidi graduated from Berkeley (Calif.) before walking on at Cal and eventually earning All-Pac-10 honors and spending over a decade in the NFL.
"This was the first time I had come out with an offer yes sir. They left a good impression with me," Mayan Ahanotu said. "It was a great experience sharing that moment with my father. Not only visiting a college but the school that he attended was a great moment."