Getting a second interview is always a good sign, at least in the corporate world, but in the recruiting world, it's not the big organization that has to be impressed with the candidate; it's the other way around.
After three trips to UCLA last month – one official, and then two more unofficial visits – 6-11 post prospect Thomas Welsh decided that he'd double up with California, and flew up with his family this past weekend to get a closer look at the Bears.
"It was good to check the practice out," Welsh said. "I think it was a good opportunity to see what practices are like."
There wasn't much that surprised Welsh on the trip, and he said that he didn't even really have any expectations going in.
"I wanted to see a practice, because I wasn't able to see one when I came up for an official visit, and that's an important thing for me to see," Welsh said.
Welsh had seen a Bruin practice, and he wanted to be able to compare and contrast, and have as much information available to him as possible in advance of his decision.
"It was a great experience to be able to see both those teams practice," Welsh said. "They're both great teams, and they're both great programs."
Seeing practice helped Welsh understand what he's in for if he chooses Cal, as he paid particular attention to fellow seven-footer Kameron Rooks.
"It was a good comparison, to see what it's like for a freshman seven-footer," Welsh said. "I got to see how they'll coach me and work with me."
Welsh, his parents and his brother – 6-foot-8 Henry Welsh -- flew up on Saturday morning, and while his family flew back the same day, Welsh stayed the night in Berkeley, and spent some quality time with the current Cal players, trading their high-top sneakers for bowling shoes.
"I hung with the players a little bit more and got to spend some time with them," Welsh said. "I went with a couple seniors and a couple freshmen, bowling, later that night … I think Ricky [Kreklow] had the highest score. I did pretty well. I got a 128 one game, so that was good."
Welsh's recruitment will go down to the wire, but he still plans on signing on Nov. 13 – the early signing date for college basketball and baseball. Recently Welsh submitted an application to Stanford and arranged an official visit for this coming weekend.
"I think things are definitely coming closer, but I'll definitely make my decision by then," Welsh said.
Welsh Stays Course in Recruitment
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