The Cal staff had been on him all season until a coaching move changed everything for Freedom (Oakley, CA) High School linebacker Kyle Harmon. With the arrival of new head coach and former collegiate linebacker Justin Wilcox came an official offer to become a Golden Bear and last weekend, Harmon answered the call.
"Kyle is a great kid," said Freedom head coach Kevin Hartwig. "He's self-driven, a hard worker and has a nose for the football.
"Kyle's a football junkie. He has a high football IQ and loves anything that is going to make him better on the field.
"He lives in the weight room and on the field outside of all our workouts. He is also a hard worker in the classroom with a 4.0 gpa.
"He's a great fit for the Bears."
Harmon put up monster numbers for the 11-2 Eagle this year, posting 146 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 4 interception 10, 1 fumble caused and 2 fumble recoveries.
"Last Sunday (11 days ago), I got a call saying that Coach Wilcox would be coming by the school and on Monday, Coach Wilcox came by and sat down and talked with me and let me know they'd like me to come out for an official visit that weekend.
"I went on my official visit and talked with the new staff. They liked me and later that night, they offered me so I committed on the spot and will be a Golden Bear.
"I'd been to Cal many times before my official visit but the vibe was definitely something new, a new feeling at Cal. All the players were all amped up about the new coaching staff. I talked to Ray Hudson and he said he can't wait for how he'll be used as a tight end. And I talked to a couple linebackers and they said they're fired up about the new staff and they're going to do some good things. They said the new coaches really want to get to know the players on and off the field and build relationships. They're going to do great things there."
Harmon's passion for the game is clear in the way he talks about playing the game he gives his all to every day
"I feel like whenever I come on field, I can make plays," said Harmon. "When I played a little tight end, I scored a couple touchdowns. And when I played special teams, I blocked a punt and ran it back for a touchdown And on defense, I just like to fly around, get to the ball, try to rip the ball out and tackle you somehow, some way. I just love playing hard and making hits."
Harmon lost his father in recent years so the ability to stay close to home while playing Pac-12 football and earning a prestigious degree was an opportunity that Harmon couldn't pass up after decommitting from Cal Poly to play for the Bears.
"I think it means a lot to my mom that I'm not going too far away for college and she can come see me anytime," said Harmon. "Staying close to her is really meaningful for me.
"She was really, really happy for me after visiting Cal and she knew I was going to be in good hands and close.
"She was really excited and I was happy, too.
"My teammates, coaches, friends -they were all amped up and really happy for me. It's only a 45 minute drive and really close to home so they can come see me a lot."