It was a whirlwind weekend -almost overwhelming- for Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, MS) High School receiver Jordan Duncan and his mother Mary, who accompanied him on his visit to Cal. But when mother and son headed home to Mississippi, there wasn't a shred of doubt that the talented receiver had found his future home.
And that future home won't have to wait too long, as the 3.9 gpa student athlete will be enrolling at Cal as an early entrant not much more than four months down the road.
"I'm blessed to be able to commit to Cal," said Duncan. "It's a great opportunity.
"It was an awesome trip. Getting to meet with Coach Peeler and Coach Dykes and their awesome coaching staff was great.
"The coaches and the players and everyone get along so well out there. It's like a big family and that's just what I'm looking for. Cal's such a special place.
"Going there and seeing that it met all my expectations made me know Cal was the right place for me and that made my decision so much easier. I felt like it fit just right for me and I know my mom felt the same way.
"I'm blessed beyond measure to have this opportunity, not only for me and for my family to experience something new and better. I can make a difference for future generations with this decision. I know I'm making them proud making this decision."
The memory of his commitment is already a fond memory for Duncan and just underscored how the fit at Cal felt right for the talented receiver.†
"On that last day, when I decided to make my commitment, I stood up and told the coaches that I wanted to be a part of the Cal family and you could just see the happiness all over their faces," said Duncan. "You could tell they were really grateful. And to see how much they cared about me and my mother, it was just awesome, both ways. It's something I'll always remember. My commitment is as solid as can be.
"I'm so happy to have this decided before my season so we can concentrate on winning a state championship. My heart is just filled with joy."
Duncan wasn't alone in his excitement about the Cal commitment. Duncan's mother, Mary Williams, thoroughly echoed her son's feelings, and then some.
"I am SO grateful," said Mary. "I thank God for the opportunity for my son.
"He did all the things I asked of him and stayed humble. He always listened to me and for that, I'm grateful.
"We prayed about it and it was kind of a step of faith for both of us.
"Coach Dykes, I'm just so impressed with him. Words cannot describe my feelings about how happy I am that Coach Dykes and Coach Peeler will help guide Jordan through his years at Cal.
"They're taking the reigns from me with Jordan and they really understand where we're coming from. They just love what they do and that shines through. It's just like a family. I feel like we've just joined a family. To have him be in a place where it's just like he's there with me, it's just such a blessing from God. I'm so grateful. I just have such a peace in my spirit about Jordan's decision."
When her son felt the time was right to make his commitment to Cal, it was clear as can be to Duncan's mom that he'd thought things thoroughly through and that now was the time to make the call.
"We had talked about Jordan's other experiences with other schools recruiting him and that the decision was going to be ours. It wasn't going to be him on his own. It wasn't going to be me telling him what to do, but rather a decision we came to together.
"He kept pulling me to the side all visit saying, 'Mama, what do you think? That's just how we communicate.
"When we were sitting around the table talking with Coach Dykes and Coach Peeler on that last morning, all the sudden, Jordan just pushed his chair back, stood up and said, 'Well, I have something to say. I want to be a part of this Cal family.
"When he stood up and announced it, I was looking at the man he was becoming. I was just so proud. He just knew the time was right.
"I was like, 'My son is becoming a man, right before my eyes."†
A 3.9 gpa student, the prestige of the cal degree played a big role in Duncan and his mother's comfort level with Cal.
"This is a school where you can look at the history, where men and women came there and changed the world. said Mary.
"The history that came from that school is just incredible.
"When we got a chance to see the place where the first atom was split, Jordan was just so excited and wanted to take a picture of it.
"He said, 'Mama, they split the first atom here!' He was so excited, like he was the one who did it.
"He truly gets everything that Berkeley has to offer -not just football." †
The weather was another selling point in Cal's favor with Duncan. Leaving behind steamy †temps for a comfortable and breezy low 70's with no humidity felt like heaven for the Mississippi duo.†
"Down here in Mississippi, it's just so hot and humid," said Duncan. "Some days you just sit there and say, 'When's a little bit of a breeze going to come through and cool things off a little?'
"When I got off the plane, I said, 'Mama, do you feel this? This is just the right temperature for your body -not too hot, not too cold.'
"I just can't imagine playing football in this weather. Man! Coming back home, it's like a sticky heat everywhere. We don't have that bay breeze like you do back home in Mississippi.
"Little things like that just added up in my decision."
The 6-2/195 Duncan's been a productive receiver for Oak Grove to-date, hauling in 65 passes for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns as a soph, followed by 71 receptions for 1,207 yards and 14 td's as a junior in 2014
Duncan's recruitment has been famously-linked to a trio of talented Mississippi receivers including himself, Oxford, MS receiver DeKaylin Metcalf and Starkville, MS reciever A.J. Brown, who have talked about playing together as a trio in California.†
"AJ feels like me, that it's a great opportunity to play for Cal," said Duncan. "I've talked to both of them a lot about Cal.
"When DK took his visit to Cal, he said it was awesome.
"I don't know what's holding them back. Maybe they'll wait to decide till they take their official visits to Cal. The good thing about it is I'll be able to host them since I'll be a student there already since I'm graduating early.
"Now they see someone from Mississippi -a great player who could've gone to Alabama, to North Carolina, to Tennessee, to West Virginia- who chose to play in the Pac-12 and with Cal. I'm sure that will give them a lot to think about.
"When AJ congratulated me, I said, 'You're next.'
"Imagine all of us going there together on the West Coast to play Cal football -that's really the life to live. I feel like I'm going to do my best to get them to join me and understand what Cal has to offer. Don't just look at football but look at where that degree can take you.
"When you go for a job interview and they see you have a Cal degree -having that creates so many opportunities. But I know Cal's really on their minds. I'm just speaking the truth. The truth is the truth. I'm not just selling things.
"I just want the whole Cal family to know that I'm appreciative of this opportunity. To be able to come out there and get that Cal degree for free? I'm going out there to earn my part. I'm not taking that opportunity for granted. I'm just really looking forward to the next chapter of my life at the University of California. I can't wait for it."†
To view Duncan's profile page, including scouting review and junior highlights,†click here††