Bigelow Visits Berkeley a Second Time

Fresno (Calif.) Central running back Brendon Bigelow was in Berkeley on Saturday. The four-star prospect was in town taking pictures for Tom Lemming's recruiting yearbook, but afterward he stuck around to watch California scrimmage and talk with the Golden Bear coaches…

Brendon Bigelow (5-10, 180) is the 13th ranked running back in the 2011 class, according to But according to the California coaches, he's the top.

"I'm No. 1 on their board and they really want me to become a Bear," said Bigelow. "They say I'm another Jahvid Best."

His first visit to Berkeley was in February for Cal's Junior Day. It's his only junior day visit to date and the only visit to a college campus this year. Despite committing to Washington in January, he has yet to visit the Seattle campus, something he plans to do this month or in the summer.

"They haven't talked too me too much, but I'm supposed to talk to my coach about their spring practice," Bigelow said about the Huskies. "I'm trying to get up there soon."

While he maintains his verbal commitment to Washington is solid, he is still exploring a few options. "They invited me and wanted to check them out," Bigelow said of visiting Cal back in February. "So when I went up there, I enjoyed myself talking with DeAnthony Thomas and the other great players visiting too."

For the most part, the Golden Bears are his most aggressive suitor. "I believe so," Bigelow said if Cal was recruiting him the hardest. "They want me pretty bad."

He also holds an offer from USC with UCLA and Tennessee showing interest of late.

"[Schools] call [Central head] Coach [Casey] Quinn, then he calls me up and says they want to talk to me," added Bigelow. "I've been chit chatting with the Tennessee coach. I talked to UCLA a few days ago. I've been to the Rose Bowl but not to the school. I went to the Oregon game last year that was my first college football game I went to.

"I talked to [USC head coach] Lane Kiffin the other day too. They are trying to get me down there to visit practice."

All this attention has been a blur for Bigelow and his father. A virtual unknown outside of Central Cali last summer, he earned MVP honors at Cameron Worrell's Passing Down Camp. But his stock didn't rise until coaches got their hands on his 2009 highlight DVD. At the time, when Washington offered in January, he says another offer wasn't on his mind. "Probably not at the time, but when it blew up, I could see it," added Bigelow.

"It has been real big; I don't know where to start. I've been working hard; [the attention] has opened a lot of doors for me. I'm trying to establish relationships and build on that. I'm just anxious to get on the field and have a good senior year.

"Basically for my dad, it's new for him too. He doesn't even know what to expect. He is taking it one day at time."

Bigelow tore his ACL in his final game last season, but his rehab has been phenomenal.

"I'm 85%, I feel maybe 90," said Bigelow. "I'm actually going to my doctor tomorrow to see if I can start running."

Nonetheless, he is not going to participate in track this year or compete at any camps or combines. "I'm just going to focus on grades and getting better," added Bigelow. "I don't want to jeopardize my senior year [being injured] at a camp or combine."

Florida was his self-proclaimed "dream" school, but he says the feeling is different now. "Even if they did [offer], I probably got to think about it. But I'll probably let it go," he explained.

The Bears, Bruins, and Trojans are the only programs he says he is seriously considering now if something goes amiss with Washington. "For me, I'm just seeing what other schools have to offer," said Bigelow.

Eventually, he plans to end the process, stop contact to other schools, and focus on school and football. However, his second trip to Berkeley wasn't initially to visit Cal and watch spring practice.

"I'm trying to get into the U.S. Army game, and [Tom Lemming] wanted to meet me and take pictures of me. He told me he was going to be at Cal [April 10]," said Bigelow.

Coincidently, Cal happened to have a scrimmage scheduled that day. "One of the [Cal] coaches emailed me and said they had a scrimmage the same day."

After meeting Lemming on the Memorial Stadium turf, Bigelow stuck around to watch the Bears in action. "That's the kind of offense I like," he said of the scrimmage.

"I talked to Coach Jeff Tedford. He asked how I liked it. I talked to Ron Gould, and watched a video up his office.

"Everything was just the same [at Cal] I'm getting used to it. I actually talked to Marvin Jones. He came up to me and asked ‘how is your knee' because I meant him the first time I came up there.

"I'm going to take it one day at the time. Cal is giving me my space, whatever happens, happens. They are still sticking by me strong."

Bigelow reports an overall 2.9 GPA. He takes the SAT for the first time on May 1.

Stay with and for continuing coverage of Brendon Bigelow's recruitment.

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