In one of the more unusual recruiting developments of the season, the University of California not only hosted two defensive tackle recruits that most Cal fans were unaware of but also pulled commitments from both as Santa Monica City College DT Marcus Manley joined Cypress Falls (Houston, TX) DT Jacobi Hunter as the newest Bears following their official visits to Cal.
Manley was first recruited by Cal earlier this season by former Bear running backs coach Ron Gould, who covered the LA area in Bear recruiting prior to his departure.
"Coach Gould was actually the first Cal coach to recruit me," said Manley. "Then after he left for UC Davis, he recruited me there, too.
"Coach Barry Sacks picked up my recruitment at Cal and wanted to meet with me. He said he liked my film a lot.
"So he came down and met with me in Santa Monica and was really impressed with me. He said he wanted me to come up for an official visit, so I did.
"The trip was wonderful. I just loved all the coaches. The campus was beautiful, the facilities were incredible -I don't think I've ever seen anything like that."
Academics were another draw for Manley -a full-qualifier out of high school, holding a 3.2 gpa at Santa Monica CC.
"Academically, Cal's one of the best schools in the country. It's exciting to even get a chance to go to school here, let alone play football there, too," said Manley."
It didn't take long for Manley to know Cal was the right place for him as he committed to the Bears not long into Saturday on his visit.
"Actually, I committed to Cal on Saturday but I told Coach Sacks again on Sunday that I was sure I made the right decision and reaffirmed my commitment then. He was very excited.
"He gave me one of those strong-grip handshakes he gives, looking you right in the eyes with that big smile. He's great.
"Talking to all the recruits, they literally all love him. They all have their own little stories about Coach Sacks. He's awesome."
The 6-2/280 Manley earned 1st team All-League this season and will come to Cal with four years to play three seasons, arriving this summer. As a frosh, he compiled 35 tackles and one forced fumble on the year.
"The coaches told me they're definitely excited about my quickness," said Manley. "I'm big and strong and they really want to utilize with with 3-technique defensive tackle."