A whole slew of California offensive line offers went out on Thursday, to Anaheim (Calif.) Servite three-star tackle Clayton Johnston, Redlands (Calif.) East Valley tackle Joseph Price, three-star guard Nick Polino out of Buford (Ga.) and four-star tackle Kaleb Kim out of Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek, but one offer went out to a tackle who's got a long history with the Golden Bears: Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure's Nick Capella.
"My dad's from the San Francisco area, and when I was a little kid, I used to always go to Cal games," Capella told BearTerritory. "I had this feeling. I knew all about Cal and stuff, and I used to tour the campus a lot. I've always liked the school, and it's great, education-wise; it's a great school."
Capella – who boasts a 3.8 GPA at the academically-rigorous St. Bonaventure -- had originally thought that the Bears wanted him to take his SAT before offering, but that all changed on Thursday, when he fittingly got his first Division I offer from Cal.
"My coach walked up to me when I was going to my sixth period class, and he said, ‘I need you to come to my office really fast and you need to call coach [Zach] Yenser.' I hadn't talked to coach in a while, so I said, ‘I need to just do some stuff in class,'" Capella said. "Then, I get pulled out of class, I call him (Yenser), and he tells me. I kind of blanked out for a second in surprise, because I thought Cal wanted me to take my SAT before they offered me. All I could say was ‘Thank you.' I ended up having to sit in my counselor's office for a while, because I was just shocked. I was completely blown away, and I was pumped."
Despite living in Ventura his whole life, Capella made regular trips up to the Bay Area to see his grandparents, and visits to Berkeley were always part of the agenda.
The 6-foot-6, 265-pounder went to see the Cal-USC game this season, and the last one he remembers before that was a rain-soaked affair against Oregon.
"I had fun," Capella recalled. "It was my first college game. I can't remember the exact year. I remember we were sitting in the rain for a long time, and I bought some $5 hot chocolate. By the end of the fourth quarter, it cleared up and it was nice and sunny."
During the phone call on Thursday, Yenser told Capella that the Bears were a "program on the rise," and said that he liked Capella's athleticsm.
"He came to one of my games and saw me play, and he said he liked how aggressive I am," Capella said. "I'm not the biggest dude; I'm still under 300 pounds, but he liked how I played like I was over 300 pounds, how I was getting after dudes. He liked how athletic and how fast I am, and said that I was pretty quick."
The Seraphs run a spread offense, which allows Capella to play in space – something he'd do if he were part of the Bear Raid.
"He liked how I was able to move," Capella said. "I also have a 3.8, so he said he liked that, too."
With his first offer out of the way, Capella has no idea which school is next.
"Coaches come by and say ‘Hi,' and I send out my film, just to get my name out there," Capella said. "Honestly, right now, I can't guess who would be next."
Capella's parents went to the College of the Canyons and San Francisco State, so staying in California – and in the Pac-12 – is a very enticing prospect.
"California's the best place on earth," said Capella, spoken like a true son of the Golden State.
Next week, Capella and his family will set up some spring unofficial visits, and he said he intends to check out Cal spring ball, starting on March 31, with the spring game scheduled for April 26.
Capella Hauls in First Offer
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