It was no secret that Brendon Bigelow was looking at other programs and was reconsidering his commitment to Washington for some time and Cal had always been considered a frontrunner.
When the news broke Friday night it was still big though that the Fresno (Calif.) Central East four-star running back finally switched his pledge from the Huskies to the Golden Bears.
When someone as talented as Bigelow calls it for another school headlines are bound to be made.
Rivals.com recently dropped the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder in the rankings mainly because he missed almost all of his senior season with a second knee injury but that doesn't damper Cal's recruiting coup: The Golden Bears got an elite back and the Golden Bears know how to utilize elite backs.
"I sat down with (Cal running backs coach) Ron Gould, and man, we just hit it off," Bigelow told BearTerritory.net.
"I was just like, 'Wow.' Then, I went into coach (Jeff) Tedford's office, we talked a little bit and it just felt right. It just felt right. I was like, 'Wow, I'm kind of scared now, because if I can feel this way, and it's not an official visit yet, dang. What can I expect?' All along, I knew, in my heart, that I wanted to go there."
Bigelow, rated No. 11 at running back and No. 167 in the 2011 class by Rivals.com, committed to Washington before visiting and had stayed with the Huskies for months but many believed - at some point - he was going to switch his pledge.
Cal's coaching staff did a tremendous job of not overwhelming Bigelow during the recruiting process but striking the right balance of keeping him interested. The program's running back success had a lot to do with Bigelow's switch, too.
And Bigelow is excited about the future as he continues to rehab his knee again - certainly a concern for everyone involved but because of his talent worth the risk of getting so excited about his potential.
"They can use me to the best of my ability," Bigelow told BearTerritory.net. "I haven't had a coach yet be able to actually use me the right way.
"I'm deadly, and you've got to use me around the field. My coach, he did an OK job, but I can play a lot of other positions besides running back or slot receiver. I may be small, but I can do some stuff. I can play (defense). I can play wide out, too."
Other programs weren't scared away by Bigelow's knee injury as Oregon, Tennessee and others pushed for him. Washington stayed with him as well through all the ups and downs.
To Bigelow's credit, while looking around at other teams and trying to find the best fit he publicly let his intentions known. For months, it was well known that the Golden Bears were a favorite.
Bigelow isn't the only running back committed in Cal's class. The Golden Bears also have four-star Daniel Lasco from The Woodlands, Texas, and three-star Darren Ervin out of Houston (Texas) Lamar in the mix.
And Bigelow might not be the only Fresno Central East star to end up in Berkeley.
According to sources, the Golden Bears' coaching staff is also highly interested in 2012 standout Tee Shepard, a shutdown defensive back who shined at the Palo Alto NIKE Camp this spring. Many others are getting involved for Shepard as well.
Having Bigelow in Berkeley has to help in landing Shepard. It's also a major step forward in rebuilding Cal's offense.