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Cal Football

Reno OL Vatikani Keeps the Bears' Commitment Train Rolling

June 23, 2021
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A week after his official visit last weekend, 6-4/295 Bishop Manogue (Reno, NV) High School OG Sioape Vatikani‍ announced his commitment to Cal. Despite offers from USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Nebraska and more, Cal ended up being Vatikani’s only official visit after cancelling a planned visit to UCLA next week, and he saw all he needed to see to jump on board with the Bears.

“My visit was great,” said Vatikani. “It was awesome.

“Oh man, I honestly felt really comfortable. All the coaching staff, the players. Even though it was just a recruiting trip, I could really feel the love between the coaches and all the players. Then hanging out with the players, everyone was like a family. The vibe was everyone was welcome with the Bear family.

“My pops loved it there, too.”

Sioape Vatikani

The Bears had a solid connection with the 3 star lineman coming into the recruiting season, obviously benefitting them in helping beat out tough competition for his commiment. The Bears were also one of his earliest offers, with Cal’s offer coming in during February of Vatikani’s soph season.

“Coach Angus, I go to school with with his son so we’re already close,” said Vatikani. “He helps me out a lot with all my techniques and how to translate it to the playing field.”

The official visit also allowed Vatikani to get acquainted with Cal’s scenic setting and the facilities.

“It was great to go around and see campus in the golf cart and tour the football facilities,” said Vatikani. “It was awesome hanging out with (former Cal OL and current director of on campus recruiting) Benji Palu. He really broke things down nicely.

“The campus, I was surprised. I wasn’t thinking it would be so green and scenic. I was expecting it to be more urban. It was really nice.”

Cal’s academic rep figured largely in the academically-oriented (4.0 gpa) Vatikani’s decision process, as well.

“We were talking about me possibly majoring in engineering or mathematics,” said Vatikani. “Obviously Cal is top tier when it comes to either of those.”

Vatikani’s commitment fills the first of 3-4 expected OL slots available in the covid-limited ‘22 recruiting class.

Other stories:

KJ Makes it 7 For Cal

Texas OLB Curlee Thomas Makes it 6 For Cal

Discussion from...

Reno OL Vatikani Keeps the Bears' Commitment Train Rolling

6,677 Views | 33 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Rushinbear
Big C
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This is great news! Welcome to the Cal Family, Sioape and... Go Bears!!!
BearForce2
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Incredible offer list, incredible GPA. Go Bears!
MoragaBear
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Staff
He was Cal's top interior line target so it's a nice pickup for the program that will likely get the dominos rolling for the last 2-3 OL slots.
Rushinbear
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Love this guy's natural strength and agility. Keeps his feet and keeps his tail down with straight back. Aggressive. We're gonna love this guy.
philbert
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Welcome to the Cal fam! This was a great 40 year decision!
Bubba_Bear84
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Welcome to Berkeley! Looking forward to seeing Vatikani pave the road with D Linemen and Linebackers for the next few years. Go Bears.
burritos
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His highlight video reminds me of the movie The Blind Side.
GivemTheAxe
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Big C said:


This is great news! Welcome to the Cal Family, Sioape and... Go Bears!!!

Accepting the offer from Cal then CANCELLING visits to other schools.
How refreshing
89Bear
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Love this signing. Awesome news!!
calumnus
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Malo e lelei Sioape!

Goobear
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Sioape, welcome to CAL. Wishing you nothing but the best of success on and off the field. Go Bears!
calbear80
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Mr. Vatikani, glad to have you as a Golden Bear! You will receive great education while playing for a great football team.

Go Bears?
MinotStateBeav
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wow , wants to major in mathmatics or engineering...that's crazy difficult path..good luck sincerely.
Calypso
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MinotStateBeav said:

wow , wants to major in mathmatics or engineering...that's crazy difficult path..good luck sincerely.
This sounds negative. Dude has a 4.0 GPA. And the great thing about Cal is that it has a lot of majors so if you don't like one you can usually switch to another one easily.
Calypso
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Welcome to Cal! Excellent choice and so excited to have you on board! Go Bears!

MinotStateBeav
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Calypso said:

MinotStateBeav said:

wow , wants to major in mathmatics or engineering...that's crazy difficult path..good luck sincerely.
This sounds negative. Dude has a 4.0 GPA. And the great thing about Cal is that it has a lot of majors so if you don't like one you can usually switch to another one easily.
It's not negative at all you're reading to much into it. It's just pretty uncommon for football players to take such demanding majors as that. I'm impressed.
upsetof86
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Feeling different now with recruiting. In a good way of course. Welcome Sioape!!
calumnus
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upsetof86 said:

Feeling different now with recruiting. In a good way of course. Welcome Sioape!!


Yes, our recruiting under Wilcox was lackluster but has made a big leap with the 2021 and 2022 classes. Definitely reason to be optimistic about Cal's future.
calumnus
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MinotStateBeav said:

Calypso said:

MinotStateBeav said:

wow , wants to major in mathmatics or engineering...that's crazy difficult path..good luck sincerely.
This sounds negative. Dude has a 4.0 GPA. And the great thing about Cal is that it has a lot of majors so if you don't like one you can usually switch to another one easily.
It's not negative at all you're reading to much into it. It's just pretty uncommon for football players to take such demanding majors as that. I'm impressed.


The main challenge for student athletes is all the time away from campus, which makes any class that requires lab time, group projects, library research, etc difficult. Math is a difficult subject to understand, but if a student athlete has the aptitude, it is probably a good major to combine with a sport. Mostly you are studying a book, doing problem sets and taking tests.
dimitrig
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Cal's academic rep figured largely in the academically-oriented (4.0 gpa) Vatikani's decision process, as well.

"We were talking about me possibly majoring in engineering or mathematics," said Vatikani. "Obviously Cal is top tier when it comes to either of those."

A math major on the Cal football team? Kudos to him if he can pull that off!

May he have success both on and off the field!

MilleniaBear
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Weren't Mike Mcgrath (?) and Joe Igber engineers? And Mcgrath was a walk-on initially.
BearForce2
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MilleniaBear said:

Weren't Mike Mcgrath (?) and Joe Igber engineers? And Mcgrath was a walk-on initially.

Joe Igber majored in Civil Engineering and got his masters at Cal as well and owns his own structural engineering company, SEDR Consulting in the bay area.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-igber-bb2ab31a0

https://sedrconsulting.com/
bear945
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Doug Riesenberg studied electrical engineering at Cal from 83-87 but left a few units short of graduating. He played OL in the NFL for 10 years before finishing up his degree.

https://today.oregonstate.edu/archives/2005/jun/nfl-osu-engineering
01Bear
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IIRC, DeSean Jackson was a math major at Cal.
kad02002
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Was our OC and oline coach in HS - extremely smart and thoughtful guy, great coach, great dude.
HearstMining
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bear945 said:

Doug Riesenberg studied electrical engineering at Cal from 83-87 but left a few units short of graduating. He played OL in the NFL for 10 years before finishing up his degree.

https://today.oregonstate.edu/archives/2005/jun/nfl-osu-engineering

I had not heard this 12-year-old story before. I'm a Cal engineering grad and the EEs were generally the brightest guys I encountered and I'm astonished one could pursue the degree while playing football. Having said that, I worked with and for two Oregon State engineering grads, both very smart guys. From what I could determine, it was a program that focused more on application than Cal's theoretical approach. As far as Cal refusing to accept their own (admittedly 30 year-old) credits, I'd say that's typiCAL. It shows the academia's disdain for anybody who deviates from the proscribed path. So when Riesenberg is approached for donations by Cal and OSU, which school do you think gets the $$$? And don't you think OSU coaches share this story with every recruit interested in a technical degree?
dimitrig
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HearstMining said:

bear945 said:

Doug Riesenberg studied electrical engineering at Cal from 83-87 but left a few units short of graduating. He played OL in the NFL for 10 years before finishing up his degree.

https://today.oregonstate.edu/archives/2005/jun/nfl-osu-engineering

I had not heard this 12-year-old story before. I'm a Cal engineering grad and the EEs were generally the brightest guys I encountered and I'm astonished one could pursue the degree while playing football. Having said that, I worked with and for two Oregon State engineering grads, both very smart guys. From what I could determine, it was a program that focused more on application than Cal's theoretical approach. As far as Cal refusing to accept their own (admittedly 30 year-old) credits, I'd say that's typiCAL. It shows the academia's disdain for anybody who deviates from the proscribed path. So when Riesenberg is approached for donations by Cal and OSU, which school do you think gets the $$$? And don't you think OSU coaches share this story with every recruit interested in a technical degree?

I had a girlfriend who dropped out of college (a UC not named Berkeley) a few units short of her degree. They were science electives. She wasn't a science major so any introductory science courses would do.

About a decade later she wanted to go back and finish her degree. She took a couple of science classes at the local JC and transferred them over no problem.

The administration said she had then met all the requirements for a degree and she just needed her department to sign off for her major. Her department said she was short one requirement, which was a non-credit requirement. She had actually completed that requirement, but since it was a non-credit requirement they needed proof and there was no transcript. All she had was a photocopy of a document related to the project she worked on which they found unacceptable.

She met with the department chair twice, which required a plane flight for her each time as by then she was living far from the campus. She met in person because getting him on the phone was impossible with his secretary playing interference.

The administration said maybe they could issue her a general studies degree or something but they never found out a way for her to move forward and she still doesn't have her degree nor does she even know what she would need to do to earn it because it has been so long now that the requirements for the degree have changed a lot.

I am guessing this wouldn't have been such a big deal at a private school.

Edit: I also remembered that they made her bring in old (hard copy) course catalogs that had descriptions of the classes she took so they could try to find equivalents. She had luckily saved some. Most people wouldn't have. Why didn't the department have these? Their excuse is that they moved to a new building and threw a lot of old stuff out when they moved. Incredible.

dimitrig
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From the article:

"Riesenberg, who had been living in the Bay Area, selected Oregon State because he wanted to live closer to his parents in Idaho, and because the OSU College of Engineering recognized more of his credits than UC/Berkeley.

"I would have had to basically start over there," he said. "Re-do all four years. OSU was a perfect fit. The people in engineering were very helpful and accommodating."


Eastern Oregon Bear
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dimitrig said:


From the article:

"Riesenberg, who had been living in the Bay Area, selected Oregon State because he wanted to live closer to his parents in Idaho, and because the OSU College of Engineering recognized more of his credits than UC/Berkeley.

"I would have had to basically start over there," he said. "Re-do all four years. OSU was a perfect fit. The people in engineering were very helpful and accommodating."

This was my experience when I decided to make a career change and went back to San Jose State to study Meteorology. San Jose State refused to accept any of my classes from Cal because it had been 12 years and it was too long ago. They had me start from scratch. I contacted Cal to see if they had any way to help me out and got no sympathy at all. I went to San Jose State anyway, though I avoided most of the classes I thought I should have been given credit for. I kept going back periodically to the academic advisors and pleading my case. Persistence paid off. Finally, on my 7th try at the beginning of the third year, I got a sympathetic advisor that agreed with me and signed off on everything from Berkeley. I had to scramble and take extra classes that year but I got it done and saved an extra year of being a student. I went on and got a Masters degree too. College was 10 of the best years of my life. Take that Blutarsky! Piker.
operbear
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Cal administrators are notorious for lofty expectations for themselves and contempt for the poor undergrad. I navigated this system successfully baack in the early '60s by adopting the mantra "f*** 'em".
Operbear
Rushinbear
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Eastern Oregon Bear said:

dimitrig said:


From the article:

"Riesenberg, who had been living in the Bay Area, selected Oregon State because he wanted to live closer to his parents in Idaho, and because the OSU College of Engineering recognized more of his credits than UC/Berkeley.

"I would have had to basically start over there," he said. "Re-do all four years. OSU was a perfect fit. The people in engineering were very helpful and accommodating."

This was my experience when I decided to make a career change and went back to San Jose State to study Meteorology. San Jose State refused to accept any of my classes from Cal because it had been 12 years and it was too long ago. They had me start from scratch. I contacted Cal to see if they had any way to help me out and got no sympathy at all. I went to San Jose State anyway, though I avoided most of the classes I thought I should have been given credit for. I kept going back periodically to the academic advisors and pleading my case. Persistence paid off. Finally, on my 7th try at the beginning of the third year, I got a sympathetic advisor that agreed with me and signed off on everything from Berkeley. I had to scramble and take extra classes that year but I got it done and saved an extra year of being a student. I went on and got a Masters degree too. College was 10 of the best years of my life. Take that Blutarsky! Piker.
I had the exact opposite experience: 1 year of engine. at Brown (from which I flunked out) and 2 years of econ at Drew (small lib arts college in NJ) transferred right in, first try, no questions asked, no delays. Of course, that was in 1965.
MoragaBear
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Staff
Rushinbear said:

Eastern Oregon Bear said:

dimitrig said:


From the article:

"Riesenberg, who had been living in the Bay Area, selected Oregon State because he wanted to live closer to his parents in Idaho, and because the OSU College of Engineering recognized more of his credits than UC/Berkeley.

"I would have had to basically start over there," he said. "Re-do all four years. OSU was a perfect fit. The people in engineering were very helpful and accommodating."

This was my experience when I decided to make a career change and went back to San Jose State to study Meteorology. San Jose State refused to accept any of my classes from Cal because it had been 12 years and it was too long ago. They had me start from scratch. I contacted Cal to see if they had any way to help me out and got no sympathy at all. I went to San Jose State anyway, though I avoided most of the classes I thought I should have been given credit for. I kept going back periodically to the academic advisors and pleading my case. Persistence paid off. Finally, on my 7th try at the beginning of the third year, I got a sympathetic advisor that agreed with me and signed off on everything from Berkeley. I had to scramble and take extra classes that year but I got it done and saved an extra year of being a student. I went on and got a Masters degree too. College was 10 of the best years of my life. Take that Blutarsky! Piker.
I had the exact opposite experience: 1 year of engine. at Brown (from which I flunked out) and 2 years of econ at Drew (small lib arts college in NJ) transferred right in, first try, no questions asked, no delays. Of course, that was in 1965.
Just met two Drew grads yesterday. Small world.
Rushinbear
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MoragaBear said:

Rushinbear said:

Eastern Oregon Bear said:

dimitrig said:


From the article:

"Riesenberg, who had been living in the Bay Area, selected Oregon State because he wanted to live closer to his parents in Idaho, and because the OSU College of Engineering recognized more of his credits than UC/Berkeley.

"I would have had to basically start over there," he said. "Re-do all four years. OSU was a perfect fit. The people in engineering were very helpful and accommodating."

This was my experience when I decided to make a career change and went back to San Jose State to study Meteorology. San Jose State refused to accept any of my classes from Cal because it had been 12 years and it was too long ago. They had me start from scratch. I contacted Cal to see if they had any way to help me out and got no sympathy at all. I went to San Jose State anyway, though I avoided most of the classes I thought I should have been given credit for. I kept going back periodically to the academic advisors and pleading my case. Persistence paid off. Finally, on my 7th try at the beginning of the third year, I got a sympathetic advisor that agreed with me and signed off on everything from Berkeley. I had to scramble and take extra classes that year but I got it done and saved an extra year of being a student. I went on and got a Masters degree too. College was 10 of the best years of my life. Take that Blutarsky! Piker.
I had the exact opposite experience: 1 year of engine. at Brown (from which I flunked out) and 2 years of econ at Drew (small lib arts college in NJ) transferred right in, first try, no questions asked, no delays. Of course, that was in 1965.
Just met two Drew grads yesterday. Small world.
Lost all track of the place after I left. At the time, our claim to fame was probably the best fending team at any college level. We dominated Div III and walked away with every championship, including the North Atlantics. No one would fence us, after we shut out Columbia. Otherwise, a good, little lib arts school. Probably still is. Don't know about the fencing.
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