When Mustafa Jalil sat down with Jeff Tedford on Monday to discuss his recruitment - and tell the Cal coach he wanted to switch his commitment to the Golden Bears - the San Diego (Calif.) Central Catholic defensive lineman knew he was making the right decision.
Jalil said he has tons of respect for San Diego State but Cal is the right place for him so the 6-foot-4, 300-pound recruit decided to make the switch. Jalil is expected to come in as a strong-side defensive end.
"The telltale sign was I told the San Diego State coaches I was going to verbal with them but I didn't feel any real passion," Jalil said. "When I told coach Tedford a couple hours ago I started crying.
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"The whole scenario, the coaching staff with coach (Tosh) Lupoi, coach Tedford, just everyone brought me here. The campus is unbelievable. You can't get any better with San Francisco and Oakland right here. Everything fit into one and it was Cal."
Jalil had been committed to San Diego State since early November but as his recruitment continued it became clear that Cal was making in-roads.
He visited Berkeley for Cal's junior day and things continued to go well after that. Finally, during this trip to campus with his family the timing was right to make the change.
"I did switch," Jalil said. "I want to thank SDSU for giving me the scholarship in the first place and it hurts not going to my hometown school but Cal is great.
"I knew in my heart I was going to go to Cal but then I took my parents up here and they absolutely fell in love with it. My little brother, my little sister, everybody in my family knew this was the place I want to spend the rest of my life.
"The biggest disappointment I have is leading on San Diego State. Honestly in my heart I felt like they were the school but once I got to Cal it was a totally unreal feeling in my heart. I feel so bad for them but I had to do what was best for me and my family. My parents work so hard to send me to private school and now I have the chance to be at the No. 1 public institution in America. I couldn't give it up."
For some time, there was speculation that Jalil was going to switch to Cal but he said even Tedford was a little surprised by the timing. Cal's coach was clearly excited about the big-time defensive lineman joining the class.
"He was a little shocked but in a good way," Jalil said. "He knew in the back of my mind I was going to verbal there but he didn't know the exact day. He had one of the biggest smiles and gave me one of the biggest hugs I've ever gotten."