Bears Add Run Stuffing DT in Mafi

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By Jim McGill, Staff Writer
Posted Jun 11, 2017
If by BearInsider Staff or Contributor, this article is Copyright © 2017 BearInsider.com


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Serra DT Atonio Mafi
The Bears continued to get bigger on the defensive side of the ball, garnering a commitment today from Serra (San Mateo, CA) High School 6-4/330 OG/DT Atonio Mafi today following Cal's prep OL/DL camp this weekend.
If Mafi wasn't already sold on Cal before camping there today, the camp tour and visit were the clinchers for him.

"It was great," said Mafi. "Walking through the tunnel to the field, taking a tour of the school and the facilities, it was all great.

"After I went on the group tour, they called my mom, my brother and me over and asked us to hang on after the group left," said Mafi. "We weren't sure what we were waiting for but then Coach Wilcox invited us into his office along with Coach Azz and Coach Tui and gave us the good news, that they were going to offer me.

"It was a great surprise. We weren't expecting it.

"I felt a great sense of relief. I've been working towards having the opportunity to play at a great D1 school with top academics and the fact that it was Cal -my dream school- that offered made it that much more special."

Mafi dominated the 1-on-1 action today, catching the Bears' attention and sealing the offer opportunity.

Mafi plays both ways in high school, though primarily at offensive guard his junior season. The Bears, however, are recruiting him for nose tackle in their 3-4 defense.

Mafi is close with another Cal defensive line target in St. Francis DT Tyler Manoa, who offered his congratulations today to the newest Golden Bear.

"Tyler and I are good buddies," said Mafi. "We run hills and work out together. And of course I had to put my play against him as the first play on my film.

"We have a great relationship. I just talked him earlier today. I'm going to keep talking with about Cal. When we work out he's talked about potentially committing to Cal. That would be great."

Even though Mafi's recruitment is fairly new with Cal, he likes what he sees so far in his future staff.

"Coach Azz is a real family man, I could tell," said Mafi. "The way he was with us in the drills, pulling me aside to tell me not to worry, just keep working hard. It felt like he was a mentor and a father figure, even after the short time that I've worked with him. It was just awesome the way he related to me.

"Coach Tui's the one I've talked to the most. He's a great guy, too.

"Coach Wilcox, you can tell you can't bs him. He said the drive home would be great but then it's time to get to work. I liked that."
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