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Cal Football

Hearing From the Newest Bears: Frosh OLB Patrick Hisatake

March 9, 2021

2021 outside linebacker Patrick Hisatake was one of seven prep early enrollees at Cal in January along with a greyshirt (Nate Rutchena) and rs soph Florida State transfer Ray Woodie. The former Portland prep player by way of Hawaii has thoroughly enjoyed his time at Cal so far since arriving eight weeks ago in Berkeley.

“Oh man, the transition has been nothing short of amazing. Just being able to be here with my teammates and fellow students is a blessing,” said Hisatake. “Everything has just blown my expectations out of the water. 

“Ever since I’ve gotten here, I’ve gotten nothing short of respect from all my teammates as well as students. I really feel like I’m fitting in just perfectly, like I’m the missing piece of the puzzle.”

The large early entry class has bonded quickly, particularly since the live together in student housing and have trained together leading up to spring ball this month.

“I can really call them my brothers,” said Hisatake. “It’s just been us most of the time throughout the week except for when we have practice. “We’ve just built that great relationship, us eight (nine). We’re all very close and I’m happy to call them my brothers.”

Hisatake has embraced the mentorship he’s received from senior OLBs Cameron Goode and Kuony Deng this spring and credits them with helping him get acclimated quicker.

“Guys from my position group, which is outside linebacker, KD -Kuony Deng and Cam Goode have taken me under their wing, just to show me what it takes to be a leader but also just being a part of the defense, learning the plays and getting the playbook down. They’ve really been a big part of that.”

It can often be tough for new arrivals who lose the position coach who recruited them to another program but as an Oregon recruit, Hisatake has the benefit of a preexisting relationship with his new coach, Cal OLB coach Keith Heyward, who made the move from the Ducks to Cal when a position opened up with the departure of Cal OLB coach Tim DeRuyter to Oregon.

“I talked to him on the recruiting trip and from time to time,” said Hisatake of Heyward. “Once he came to Cal, I was very excited because I’d talked to him a bit and got to meet him.

“It’s been great. Everything he’s taught us, I soak it in like a sponge. “I’m just ready to see what this summer and fall brings.”

Cal fans will be happy to hear that the Bears’ new OLB shares a long-held goal with passionate, longsuffering Cal fans.

“The number one goal is to win a Rose Bowl,” said Hisatake. “I feel like as a team, we all have that goal and we’re working towards it since spring ball started. It’s been amazing just being with other people, just fighting for that same goal -to win the Rose Bowl and hopefully become National Champions in the future.”

The Hawaii native was looking forward to exploring Cal’s culinary offerings before his move to Berkeley and has wasted no time in getting a lay of the land around campus.

“Oh, I’ve hit the whole row,” said Hisatake with a smile. “Top Dog, IB’s, the Asian Ghetto -the lane with like 12 restaurants- four of them. I’ve hit Koja Kitchen, Chipotle. I can’t name all of them but I’ve gotten around.”

The 6-4/255 OLB will be reunited with former Mililani classmates Eric and Mo Iosefa at Cal once the younger Iosefa brother arrives this summer.

As a junior, Hisatake garnered 42 tackles and seven sacks at Clackamas High School in Oregon in just four games after his parents moved to the mainland the year before. With covid restrictions in Oregon, he did not have a senior season before enrolling early at Cal.

Other stories:

Bear Insider Video: Cal OLB Commit Patrick Hisatake

Hearing From the Newest Bears: Cal Tight End Jermaine Terry

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