Chris Purtz is a 6'1 215 lbs Linebacker from Clovis West High School in Fresno, CA. One of the Bears first commitments in the 2002-03 Class, Purtz is already in Berkeley attending classes. He graduated from high school mid-term this winter in order to get a jump on his education at Cal. Since Purtz counts towards this past season's scholarship total, Purtz is already practicing and conditioning with the team.

"> Chris Purtz is a 6'1 215 lbs Linebacker from Clovis West High School in Fresno, CA. One of the Bears first commitments in the 2002-03 Class, Purtz is already in Berkeley attending classes. He graduated from high school mid-term this winter in order to get a jump on his education at Cal. Since Purtz counts towards this past season's scholarship total, Purtz is already practicing and conditioning with the team.

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Meet Chris Purtz, 6'1 215# LB from Clovis West

<p class="txt">Chris Purtz is a 6'1 215 lbs Linebacker from Clovis West High School in Fresno, CA. One of the Bears first commitments in the 2002-03 Class, Purtz is already in Berkeley attending classes. He graduated from high school mid-term this winter in order to get a jump on his education at Cal. Since Purtz counts towards this past season's scholarship total, Purtz is already practicing and conditioning with the team.</p>

Easily one of the the top high school football players on the west coast, Purtz showed this past summer at the NorCal Nike Camp that he has the ability to be an impact linebacker. After posting a 4.5 in the 40, 4.1 in the shuttle, 32 inches in the vertical, and 25 reps on the bench ... he absolutely stood out in the camp. Despite playing most of his high school career at defensive end, Purtz showed he has the talent to cover receivers as well.

Chris was sought after by nearly the entire Pac-10 Conference, but chose Cal quite early in the recruiting process. Purtz particularly cited the ability to play close to home, have an immediate impact, as well as his interest in a strong academci program. 

I had a chance to talk with Chris the other night just after he finished his studies, and here is a portion of what we talked about:

AWP: First of all, how was that Graduation Party you had this weekend? I heard about it all the way up here in Sacramento.

Purtz- (Laughs). You know, I had a great time. Seeing all my friends, and my teachers ... it was just really great. So many people came back and I just couldn't of had a better time.

AWP: I heard you had about 100 people there?

Purtz:  No doubt, there was quite a few people. I saw so many people I played with from not only this year, but past years too.

AWP: As some of our fans know, you are already enrolled at Cal. How are you handling all the changes?

Purtz:  Well, its tough, but I'm doing well. It certainly is a tough transition, and I am being challenged. I am glad that I am here though, and getting this kind of start.

AWP: How is practice going?

Purtz:  Its great. We are really just conditioning .... working out a lot. Doing 7 on 7's.

AWP: Tell me a bit about Clovis West HS football? I know they have quite a tradition. And fill me in about the change from defensive end to linebacker if you can.

Purtz:  I was really glad about the change first of all. I always wanted to play linebacker, but my school wanted me on the end, you know, like a fast paced rushing end. Playing DE was okay, but I was glad about the move inside. I love the position. I mostly played inside, and now I can go to sideline to sideline and make things happen. Clovis West Football certainly has a strong tradition, and it was great to be a part of that.

AWP: Also, tell me a bit about your friendship with Brandon Hancock of USC? I know you went to school together at Clovis West, and you work out together.

Purtz:  It started in high school when we really began training together. He was actually at my house this past weekend! Brandon really likes USC, and though he knows I am at Cal ... we really don't let anything get in the way. He's a Trojan though, that's for sure. I think it'll be great to play them next season. We are great friends.

AWP: Are you glad with your decision to finish high school up mid-term? I saw Brandon has done the same thing.

Purtz:  I think I would have done it even if Brandon hadn't, but I think his experience helped me a lot. I somewhat knew the load I was taking on at a tough academic school.

AWP: What major are you thinking about at UC-Berkeley?

Purtz:  Business.

AWP: Who is your favorite NFL Team?

Purtz:  The New England Patriots. I'm actually from the New England area, though I wasn't really born out there. I just have tons of relatives there, so its definitely the Pats. I love their team.

AWP: They are indeed a fun team to watch. I love Boston myself - probably my favorite big city in the USA.

Purtz:  I could go on all night about Boston, I just would love to do something out there someday. My grandparents have the greatest house. It's a great place to live, that's for sure.

AWP: Who was the one player who surprised you the most in high school?

Purtz:  I'll say Jordan Long. He's a fullback at Clovis West, just a sophomore. This guy is an amazing player, and I saw him this weekend at my party. I know his older brother pretty well. In one of our playoff games this past year, he totally carried our offense for a large portion of the game. I am already trying to help him a bit with looking at Cal. However, his uncle went to USC so he'll likely end up there. You never know though.

AWP: Which game are you looking forward to the most at Cal?

Purtz:  USC. I am sure almost everyone says Stanford, but since I know Brandon it would be USC for sure.

AWP: Actually, I've got quite a few USC's in answer to that question.  Some of the guys coming up from Los Angeles like Cary Dove and Noah Smith mentioned USC too. I think that's cool, I mean they both wear a shade of horrible red.

Purtz:  (laughs). That's right. I guarantee you I'll be up for both of them. I study with Cary almost every night.

AWP: Tell me about your practice habits. What drills do you enjoy?

Purtz:  Coming from Clovis West, there is so much tradition there. Its always about working hard, so I just go out there and do it. I always try to go 100%, you know   - go every play.

AWP: Do you have a favorite musical group?

Purtz:  No, I pretty much just enjoy what's on.

AWP: What were some of the things the coaches said to you that helped make "Cal" the right decision?

Purtz:  Honestly, they didn't have to say anything. The school pretty much speaks for itself. They seemed the most sincere out of anyone who recruited me, and I immediately knew where I wanted to go. The program has such a positive feel, I can't imagine playing anywhere else.

AWP: What's your feeling about the academics at Berkeley?

Purtz:  To me, getting a Cal degree is so worth it. I know it'll be rigorous, but I want it.

AWP: Favorite course in High School?

Purtz:  English. My mom was an English teacher. I enjoy writing a lot.

AWP: If you could have lunch or dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be? Take your time on that one if you like.

Purtz:  God.

AWP: Favorite type of food?

Purtz:  There's this restaurant in Fresno called Yoshino's. I was there this weekend some, and the Sesame Chicken there is awesome. I am telling you, if you are ever there ... go. Its really great food.

AWP: (Laughs) Okay, will do. Have you been by Blondie's with Cary? I heard he's pretty much keeping them in business.

Purtz:  I can't really remember (more laughing), but they do have awesome pizza.

AWP: Favorite professional sports team?

Purtz:  The Boston Red Sox.

AWP: The most disappointing loss in high school was to whom?

Purtz:  No doubt about it, that was against Clovis High this past year for the Valley Championshi


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