Oxnard (Calif.) Rio Mesa defensive back Kevin Thomas took his official visit this past weekend. He said the Bears did move up in his eyes, but was it enough to overtake his previous leader, the USC Trojans.
“Cal did make up some ground, I’m not going to lie,” Thomas said. “It was a great trip and the academic support system they have there is pretty incredible. That was probably the thing that stood out more than anything to me to be honest.
“They really did a nice job of presenting the academic side of things there and they have great support with tutors for each class you have. The coaches are real committed to making sure the players go to class there and you can just tell it means a lot for the players to graduate, which of course made a big impression on my parents who were up there with me.
“I met with my position coach, J.D Williams and he’s a very passionate guy who I could see myself playing for. I like him a lot and the rest of the staff too. I didn’t talk as much with Coach Tedford but I asked some of the other coaches about the rumors of him leaving. They all said he was staying and said there was nowhere else he would want to be right now and I believe them.
“The only down side to the trip was the game. They put me and my family in the student section and it was just way too crazy there for us. There were guys jumping all over each other and just going crazy the whole time. We had driven up that morning six hours and were pretty tired so I kind of wanted to relax but we couldn’t even see that well. Plus my 13 year old brother was there and as you can imagine when you have a rivalry game, the language was a little on the colorful side.
“I was supposed to meet one of the academic advisers at halftime but when I went down to the field to meet him, I think they forgot about it because they wouldn’t let me on the field. So my parents, brother and I ended up just leaving and walked back to our hotel. It was a little bit of a downer but not that big of a deal. The main reasons why I was going on the visit was to see the academics and to meet with the players and coaches and I loved that part of the visit so it was cool.”
So do the Trojans still lead?
“Yeah, SC still has a pretty big lead right now,” Thomas added. “I’m not going to make any decisions until I take my visit there though so I can really compare the two schools from all angles. I’m visiting (Dec .10) and I’ll also be going to the Notre Dame game this weekend. I should be ready to decide sometime around Christmas time.