In keeping with their desire to bring in seasoned, local talent ready to make an early impact, the Bears' pursuit of College of San Mateo defensive end Sione Sina made a lot of sense. In the end, the fit was equally as strong for Sina as he committed to play for Cal on his official visit last weekend,
joining fellow JC defensive end Kyle Kragen and Mission Viejo offensive lineman Erik Bunte as the newest Bears.
"Sione is a great player and more importantly, an outstanding young man," said Tim Tulloch, College of San Mateo defensive coordinator.
"Sione's excited about the opportunity to play for Cal. It's been his dream school since he was young and he's really excited to work with the new staff there.
"He was on our leadership council as a freshman, which rarely happens. He has outstanding character and he fits Cal as far as being a student athlete. He's an excellent student. He was outstanding for us on and off the field in many ways.
"I'm happy for him and proud of him."
The 4 star Sina is known as a relentless pass rusher and will bring some much-needed life to the Bears' pass rush in 2013.
Missing three games to injury, the 6-4/250 Sina accumulated 22.5 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one fumble recovery on the year.
The numbers don't scream "relentless pass rusher" but playing in a defense where he's not the constant center of attention should free up Sina to do what he does best for Cal.
"We had 36 sacks this year running a 3-4 defense," said Tullock. "We blitzed a lot of different linebackers.
"Sione was a guy that commanded a lot of attention and a lot of times, he'd have a tackle and a back on him so we'd overload the blitz on the other side and we did a lot of things to take advantage of that.
"He was kind of our version of a DeMarcus Ware or Aldon Smith. The fact that he demanded a lot of the offense's attention freed up a lot of other guys."
Tullock feels that Sina is a complete player, able to stop the run as effectively as he was able to bring pressure on the rush.
"He's very good against the run, too," said Tullock. "We played him on the tight end. Knowing the coaches that I think are going to be in place on the defensive side at Cal, I think they'll try and play him as a rush end."
Along those lines, Tullock has a personal connection with Cal's yet-to-be-named and still pending approval defensive coordinator and is enthusiastic about the impact their future coordinator will have on the Cal defense.
"I was impressed with Coach Dykes, and the defensive guy coming in I've known forever and have a ton of respect for him," said Tullock. "I played junior college ball with him and he's an outstanding coach.
"I'm sure he'll come in and evaluate his personnel and look at either the 3-4 or the 4-3 but I'm sure he'll do an outstanding job there.
"He's a great recruiter and he knows how to recruit high academic kids who can make an impact on the field. He's recruited high academic guys wherever he's been and I have no doubt he'll do well at Cal.
"He'll bring the same mentality to coaching and recruiting as he did as a player. He was a beast."
Sina will come in as an early entrant to Cal, enrolling next month and participating in spring camp for the Bears.