Dual Sport Standout Chooses Cal

Newport Beach (Calif.) Newport Harbor linebacker Cecil Whiteside is one the state's top dual sport athletes. He is the No. 10 ranked MLB in the 2010 class, according to Scout.com, but he might be a better track athlete. He currently ranks third and fourth in the discus and shot put, respectively, in the state. At Cal, where he committed on Thursday, he will get to compete in both sports…

Cecil Whiteside (6-3, 205) is one of the top linebackers in the nation, but according to his guarding Craig Brown, he loves track and has future in that sport as well.

"Some are saying he's a potential Olympic thrower," said Brown.

Whiteside ranks among California's best, currently ranked in the top five in both the discus and shot put. He has yet to reach his potential, and he will continue to be a two-sport athlete at the next level.

With track commitments through the summer, Whiteside has no time to attend junior days, camps, or combines. Therefore, on Sunday, he decided to fly up to Berkeley with Brown to visit the campus. And just days later, he decided California was where he wanted to be.

"Uncle Craig, everything looks great, this is where I want to be," Brown said of his and Whiteside's conversation about Berkeley. "He watched practice on Sunday and met the track coaches. He hit it off with everyone, and he thought about it a few days, why wait.

"He likes the direction the football program is going. And the new athletic center will be ready when he walks on campus."

Brown became Whiteside's legal guarding when Cecil was nine-years-old. "He calls me his uncle for life," Brown added. Whiteside's father was murdered 13 years ago. "He's had a real tough childhood. He has grown up a bit faster than most kids."

This maturity is what Brown says helped Whiteside choose Cal. "He's real bright, it was purely academics and Cal's graduation rate is real high," said Brown. "[Cecil] understands his earning potential is greater with a Cal degree.

"Most kids his age don't think like that. As young man, he thinks like a young adult. He was looking for things beyond his athletics. It doesn't get any better than Cal."

Whiteside called Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi on Thursday to tell him he was committing. After talking to Coach Lupoi, the phone was passed to head coach Jeff Tedford, defensive coordinator Bob Gregory, and linebacker coach Kenwick Thompson.

The Bears are recruiting him as an outside linebacker. But his recruitment is not over per se.

"As of right now, he is going to qualify into Cal," said Brown "It all depends if he can academically qualify. He will know more by December of this year."

Whiteside will only open up his recruitment and take more visits if he feels he will make it into Berkeley. Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and USC are schools he is considering as backup options. "Cal is top choice," Brown added.

Brown says Whiteside plans to major in speech communications with a minor in business management minor. Besides the academics, Whiteside felt comfortable on campus. "He saw numerous friends visiting Berkeley during spring break while he was there," said Brown.

Whiteside carries a 2.5 GPA, and he has fulfilled his core class requirements, according to Brown.

Stay with Scout.com and CalSportsDigest.com for more on Cecil Whiteside's recruitment including quotes from Whiteside.

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