For a long time, Cal has been the favorite for four-star defensive end Todd Barr but the Lakewood, Calif., prospect wanted to give others an opportunity so he took visits and considered other options but in the end the Golden Bears always stood out more.
Barr committed to Cal on Monday, according to sources, ending a long courtship that the Golden Bears started early on and continued throughout his senior season. Many times, Barr said Cal was his favorite and now he backed those words up with a pledge.
"Every single person on their staff is great," Barr said this summer. "Coach Tosh (Lupoi) is really active with his defensive line. He goes through the drills with them. He's really hands on and I like that with a coach. He's really energetic.
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"Coach (Clancy) Pendergast is a great defensive coordinator. I like his defense by constantly putting pressure on the quarterback because it's important to keep him flustered. That's a big part of the game."
Barr finished his senior season with 74 tackles, 20 sacks and two fumble recoveries. In spot duty as a tight end, Barr scored seven touchdowns. Rivals.com rates him No. 11 at strong-side defensive end, No. 111 nationally and No. 10 in the California state rankings.
Oregon was also a serious contender for Barr, a 6-foot-3, 265-pound prospect who had 87 tackles and 12 sacks in his junior season and then shined at the Los Angeles NIKE Camp this spring.
Florida and Miami were also being considered in the final months but with the coaching turnover at both schools it seemed less likely that Barr would take that chance as he neared his decision.
Cal was always considered a frontrunner. Then the Golden Bears turned into the favorite in the final weeks of his recruitment.
A source said Barr had silently committed to the Cal coaching staff shortly after his visit earlier this month and now the four-star standout is prepared to make it public.
One of the top defensive ends in the 2011 class is staying in the Pac-10 and it's a big boost for Cal, which is just picking up steam and could be close to landing more commits in the days and weeks to come.