With big defensive tackle Deandre Coleman likely to be plying his trade in the NFL come the April draft, adding a big defensive tackle that will be ready to contribute early was a must for the Cal 2014 recruiting class. Enter big 6-2/305 College of San Mateo DT Trevor Kelly, who committed to the Bears on his official visit this weekend.
"We toured the facilities and campus, went to the city (San Francisco) on the ferry and to AT&T Park, where we went on the field," said Kelly. "That was pretty cool. We went bowling at Lucky Strike, too.
"We went to Coach Dykes' house for dinner, too. That was cool."
Kelly, who prepped at South San Francisco's El Camino High, enjoyed his visit and had been looking forward to it for a while.
"My visit was great," said Kelly. "I'd been wanting to visit for a while. It felt great. I felt really comfortable, like I was at home. And I'm from pretty close by in South San Francisco. It felt good to have my grandmother there, too."
Defensive line coach Barry Sacks was Kelly's primary recruiter and made a good connection with the big DT.
"Coach Sacks was the main one recruiting me and he and the Cal coaches were great, making me feel really wanted. I took other visits but really liked it at Cal."
The Bears secured Kelly's commitment over an impressive list of competitors, including Florida, Illinois and Texas Tech as well as Colorado, who he visited last weekend.
The 3 star Kelly recalled visiting Cal in high school and focusing on former Bear and current Jacksonville Jaguar defensive end Tyson Alualu and his aggressive style of play on the Cal defensive line.
"I've looked up to him," said Kelly. "I definitely appreciate the way he plays. He has a motor. He's very strong and was a strong defensive lineman for Cal. I think I have a lot of those characteristics myself."
Kelly was the second CSM defensive lineman to commit to Cal in two years, with defensive end Sione Sina joining the Bears last spring. Sina used his redshirt season in 2013 while recuperating from knee surgery and is anxious to get back in action.
"I didn't play with Sione but he's a former SCM Bulldog so the connection's strong and having him give me the story on Cal was big for me," said Kelly.
Kelly was later joined by teammate Sam Atoe in committing to Cal -a fact that made both players happy.
Aw man, he's like a little kid," said Atoe of Kelly. "When we're together, I swear the little kid comes out in both of us, just messing around. He's a great guy and I love Trevor.
"He's a big strong guy, too. From what I hear, he was one of the top wrestlers in the state and a really good football player.
"When he came to CSM from Sac State, he was a really big piece of the puzzle. We had good guys but having Trevor come there to show us what it was like at the D1 level really helped. He and the other d-lineman kept the offensive line off us and they made lots of plays in the backfield. And if Sione were still here, it for sure would've been over."
Atoe and Kelly led the Bulldogs to a 10-1 record in 2013, with their only loss coming at the hands of state champ Butte College.
Kelly's a load up the middle, benching 450 lbs while tallying 45 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 4 sacks in his sophomore season.
"Trevor's explosive with his hands," said CSM defensive coordinator Tim Tullock. "He's so strong with his hands, he just knocks guys back. He's a physical force and a monster up inside. He dominates offensive linemen.
"I can see some similarities with Tyson Alualu. He's actually studied some tape of him and some of the fundamental work he did at Cal."
As for leadership, Tullock noted that Kelly's the type of guy you want on the field and in the locker room.
"He's a man of action. He speaks loudly with his play and when he speaks up in the locker room, everybody listens. He kind of picks and chooses the right time to speak up.
"It's great to work with guys who are really coachable -blue collar guys that will really put in the work and that's what Trevor is."
Kelly will be signing on early signing day on Wednesday and enrolling at Cal in January.