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Ben Hawk Schrider: Local Boy Makes Good on His Dream of Cal

September 4, 2019

From Berkeley to Chattanooga and back to Berkeley, grad transfer Ben Hawk Schrider finally saw his hard work and dreams pay off with a grad transfer slot at Cal, as well as a newly-awarded scholarship after an impressive fall camp.

Hawk Schrider, who was known simply as Benjamin Schrider as a child, grew up idolizing the local heroes who took the field at Memorial Stadium, just miles from his childhood home.

Ben Hawk Schrider with Aaron Rodgers

A camp participant and frequent game-attendee, the future Bear dreamed one day of wearing the blue and gold, inspired by the glory days of Cal football in the early Jeff Tedford era, including stars like quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson, not to mention current Cal receivers coach Burl Toler, who was one of Hawk Schrider’s earliest gridiron inspirations.

“It’s been really cool coming back to a place I know so well,” said Hawk Schrider. “And people that I’ve known for years, like Coach Toler and things like that, it’s been a pretty smooth transition. Obviously the camaraderie of the team, they’ve been really welcoming.”

“As a Cal fan growing up, my mindset is I just want to help the team any way I can,” said Hawk Schrider. “When I walk up those steps, I want to stack good days. Whatever role that is, whether special teams or on the field, just trying to do my part in seeing this team win because this is a team I’ve wanted to be a part of since I was a little baby. It makes it extra special.”

One of the areas Hawk Schrider excelled in fall camp was in setting the edge as Cal’s running backs found running outside problematic when he was in with his stout play taking on blocks.

“I wouldn’t say I’m perfect at that. I missed one yesterday,” said Hawk Schrider, with a smile. “That’s definitely something I think is one of my strengths. I always want to be physical at the edge. I’ve been out here five years playing college football so I’ve seen lots of blocking before. I think if you set the edge as a linebacker, it’s one of the most important things I pride myself on.”

As for the bevy of young linebackers surrounding Hawk Schrider, he has high praise for the young bucks and their ability.

“The potential these guys have -they’re so fast off the ball,” said Hawk Schrider. “They’re always in the quarterback’s lap. They’re in the backfield before I even get off a block at the line.

“They’re going to be such good players for us in the future and they’re going to help us out a lot this year.

“I tell them I’m going to have kids one day and I’ll still be watching them play here, they’re so young. It’s going to be really cool. I just tell them to keep working hard and have that mindset. They’ve got a really bright future because they have all the tools and athleticism. I’m really excited about them.”

Hawk Schrider and friend with former Cal WR and current WR coach Burl Toler III

The senior OLB’s passion for Cal runs deep, even dressing as Aaron Rodgers for halloween as a child.

“In 2004, I remember coming to some Cal practices and getting to play catch with Coach Toler (when he was a player) and them giving me some gloves. I still have some gloves. I have Geoff McArthur’s gloves from 2004. And being able to play catch with Aaron Rodgers. Those are probably some of my earliest memories.”

Hawk Schrider saw his first playing time as a Bear Saturday in Cal’s 27-13 win over UC Davis and is expected to be one of the earlier defensive players off the bench heading into the Bears’ next matchup Saturday in Seattle.

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