Lavonte Barnett came to the All-American Showcase at Cal last weekend not expecting an offer but hoping the Golden Bears would extend one if he had a good day.
He likes the coaches at Cal, said the campus feels familiar to him and that it definitely is one of his favorite places. So when Barnett, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound athlete from Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete, was offered at the end of camp it was an exciting time for him.
"It's a huge one for me," Barnett said. "I got to see the campus with two people who came from Paraclete, one who walked on and played for Cal and another who's a manager.
"I really like the campus and Cal is a big offer for me. I really like it a lot. I'm really close to the coaches and I really like them. It's definitely one of my favorites."
Even though Cal is probably his leader at this point in his recruitment, Barnett said he's going to wait a little while longer to make a commitment just to see which other schools might offer next.
So far, the Golden Bears, Washington State, Colorado State, San Jose State and Cal Poly have offered. The offer from Cal could get many other schools involved.
"I definitely want to wait it out and hopefully see what else I can get, kind of see where I feel most comfortable," Barnett said.
"What stands out about Cal the most is the comfort level with the coaches. It's familiar to me so I really like that and I like the weather, too."
Barnett can play linebacker, defensive end or tight end in college and probably projects better on the defensive side of the ball. In his junior season, he finished with 56 tackles and seven sacks and had 17 receptions for 390 yards and four touchdowns.