A week after de-committing from UCLA, 6-7/310 Mission Viejo offensive tackle Erik Bunte traded the baby blue of the Bruins to the navy blue of Cal as he committed to the Bears following his official visit this weekend.
The Bears were recruiting Bunte all season but things didn't pick up for them until recently, ironically only†after a coaching change occurred.
"Coach Tedford offered me early on but after the coaching change is when I really started getting interested in Cal," said Bunte.
After the Bears started filling out their staff, Bunte took notice and decided to be proactive, picking up the phone and calling new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin this week.
"I eventually got†a hold of Coach Franklin and he and was as (running backs) Coach (Pierre) Ingram caught the first flight available down to Orange County to meet me in Mission Viejo.
"The next day, I was on a plane to Oakland for my official visit."
Suffice to say it was a successful visit for the 4 star offensive tackle.
"I ended up committing to Cal," said Bunte. "It couldn't have gone any better (on the trip).
"I love the new coaches, espcially (head) Coach (Sonny) Dykes. They are all men of integrity and are really hard workers."
Despite coming from Orange County, where Berkeley is often a big adjustment, Bunte felt right at home, a factor that played a big role in his decision to commit to Cal so quickly. That, plus a future degree from the top public university in the country sealed the deal.
"The area felt like home to me," said Bunte. "I didn't feel uncomfortable around anyone and I liked that a lot. And the education can't be beat at Cal."
When Dykes was hired as Cal's new head coach, he quickly noted that Cal's offensive line needed to get bigger and stronger. But not just any big man can fit into the high-tempo pace of Dykes' new Bear Raid offense.
"I'll be a good fit at Cal because not only am I big, like Coach Dykes is looking for but I'm an athletic big man, ready for the pace of his no-huddle offense," concluded Bunte.
Bunte attended Rancho Santa Margarita High School through his junior season, winning a state championship in 2011 while earning All-State Underclass status before transferring to Mission Viejo for his senior season and received offers from Arizona State and Cincinnati along with Cal and UCLA.
To view Bunte's junior highlights, use the embedded viewer below: