Vickers Talks Cal Offer

For a student with a 3.9 GPA, California provides quite the enticement, even with the likes of Alabama, Clemson and Ole Miss vying for the attentions of a running back like Johnathan Vickers.

Just a few weeks ago, California running backs coach Pierre Ingram extended a scholarship offer to 2014 Tallahassee (Fla.) North Florida Christian running back Johnathan Vickers, and recently, the two have been talking even more about the soon-to-be-senior coming out to the West Coast.

"It is a great distance, but I really like coach Ingram," Vickers said. "He's really genuine and a great guy. I talked to him more a couple of days ago, and he seems like a great guy to play for. I like Cal a lot, and it seems like it's a great school."

As a sophomore in 2011, Vickers ran for 1,537 yards rushing on 185 attempts, scoring 16 touchdowns, posting 243 yards receiving on 20 catches and scoring three touchdowns through the air. Vickers was unable to participate as a junior because he suffered a broken leg in the Kickoff Classic, just before the season began, but he's still gained plenty of attention, particularly from Ingram.

"He likes my vision and my versatility coming out of the backfield," Vickers said. "I can see a play before it starts and I think I have pretty good feet. We talked a lot, and he said that he'd seen my tape, and he liked everything about me. He was impressed by it. I think he really likes me, and the offensive coordinator and the head coach like me a lot, too."

Of course, the Bears aren't the only team vying for Vickers's services. The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Mississippi, Mississippi State and TCU, as well.

"Cal's up there at the top," Vickers said. "They're the No. 1 public academic school, so that's big, especially for me, because I'm an academic, as well. That puts them over the top. They're definitely at the top of my list, of schools I'm considering."

Vickers isn't just paying lip service to that aspect of his personality, either. He's got a bona fide 3.9 GPA, and says his favorite class is Honors Chemistry, with Advanced Placement World History coming in a close second.

"The academics are there," Vickers said of Cal. "They're the No. 1 public school in the nation, and that really sticks out for me. Other schools are great, like Alabama -- they've got a great running back program, and all the other schools stand out, but Cal, the fact that academics are No. 1 for them, that really puts them over the top for me."

With the Bears being the only team on the West Coast to offer Vickers on the strength of his sophomore season alone, it's unlikely he'll make his way out here before the summer for an unofficial visit, but, he says, that's in the works.

"We actually talked about that the other day, as well," Vickers said. "We're trying to plan it, whether to go in the summer or at the end of the fall. That's probably where I'll be taking a visit."

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