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Photo by Twitter / Fernando Mendoza
Cal Football

Bears Add Miami QB Mendoza to '22 Class

February 1, 2022
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The Bears added 6-4/215 Columbus (Miami, FL) High School QB Fernando Mendoza‍ to their 2022 class after his official visit to Cal last weekend.

An excellent student, Mendoza holds an impressive 4.9 gpa. Rated 3 stars by 247 and a prior Yale commit, Mendoza got on the Bears’ radar in December when offensive coordinator/QB coach Bill Musgrave reached out to the Cuban native. After studying film with the Cal staff, Musgrave eventually made a trip out to Miami to evaluate Mendoza in person and watch him throw and was impressed enough to offer.

“When we talked on the phone, it was clear that we were very like-minded individuals, with similar IQ and football philosophy,” said Mendoza of his first contacts with Musgrave. 

“He really liked me when he came out and saw me throw, then we did a home visit soon after and he offered me a scholarship. I was going to commit right away but he said I should take trips out to Yale and to Cal so I could make the best decision for myself, which I thought was amazing because it showed they cared about me a lot.

“After taking both visits, I just felt how welcoming the whole Cal staff was and throughout all the phone calls and visit process, I had a lot of question and Coach Wilcox and Coach Musgrave did a great job communicating with me and helping me feel comfortable on my official visit. Although it’s really far from home, they made me feel I had a second home in Berkeley. I was just ecstatic when I came home and talked to my mom and we decided that I'd commit. Honestly, I’m just so glad that Cal gave me this opportunity.

“Alabama and a couple other programs came on late and offered me preferred walk-ons but I told them I was committed to Cal and that Cal was the best place for me. Everyone on the coaching staff - the GA’s, Marshall Cherrington, Coach Mike Saffell -everyone made me feel at home. And not only that but I saw the culture within the program. I've been to a lot of camps and programs and you don’t really see that intensity. Talking to Coach Wilcox and the players, you just see how competitive they were and the culture that Coach Wilcox has instilled there at Cal. They were really just a few plays away from a bowl game this year.

“The quarterbacks and receivers are throwing constantly there, which got me really pumped up. I feel like I’m going to strive to get a great degree but more importantly, win some Rose Bowls and compete for National Championships there, too, and evolve into an NFL QB working with the likes of Coach Musgrave and Coach Geep (Chryst) after coaching in the NFL for so long. And I know Coach Wilcox will always give our offense a chance to win games because he's such a defensive genius.

There wasn't one person on the coaching staff I didn't feel good about. Everyone’s so welcoming and I just knew it was the right choice. I prayed on it and knew after the first night, this is where I want to be. It was a competitive environment who values academics and competes at the highest level.

“I really can’t wait till spring to look at the practice film, get started in June and most importantly, sign tomorrow. I feel like I'm family already.”

As a senior, Mendoza played behind a young offensive line and was often under heavy pressure when Columbus opted to throw. He completed 63% of his passes (107-169) for 1109 yards and 11 TDs with 4 interceptions, showng a live arm and an ability to pick up yards with his legs, adding 140 net yards and a touchdown on the ground, though he's more of a classic pro-style QB.

“We were pretty young with our receivers this year,” said Columbus coach Dave Dunn. “We threw more his junior year and his sophomore year. We were just a young team. We were very effective thowing the ball more efficiently this season. We just didn't pass as often as in the past.

“He’s got a big arm and can make all the throws. He's a very cerebral young man. Loves football. He's a big kid so he doesn't have a problem throwing over and around people, which is a big plus, especially at the next level. He can tuck it and run it when he needs to, which he did a really good job of this year. We had five new starters on the offensive line after sending guys to Florida State, Miami, two to FIU and a D3 guy. So all those guys were gone and this year, he had to run it more and there was more pressure on him. But he's a tough kid and is very resilient. He never complains about anything. He just wants to win football games. He's one of those guys who will do whatever it takes to win.”

In the meantime, after his signing ceremony tomorrow, Mendoza will be fully-focused on his future home at Cal and doing what he can to help bring the program to a new level.

“I met the other quareterbacks -Jack Plummer, Zach (Johnson), Kai (Millner) and Ryan and they're all great guys," said Mendoza. “We all have one common goal: Win the Pac-12, and I can promise the fans, we’re going to win a Pac-12 championship. I can just see it so vividly through the culture, the coaching staff, the players and how they hold each other accountable. Everyone has such great synergy there. I just can't wait to get out there and be a part of the Golden Bear family.”

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Discussion from...

Bears Add Miami QB Mendoza to '22 Class

11,465 Views | 43 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by gardenstatebear
Bobodeluxe
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4.9?

Show off.
KoreAmBear
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Bobodeluxe said:

4.9?

Show off.
Why not 5.1?

Big C
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Welcome to Cal, Fernando! Go Bears!
JimSox
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"...win some Rose Bowls and compete for National Championships" ????

C'mon. We can do better than that!
bluehenbear
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Saffell is a coach now?
MoragaBear
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Staff
bluehenbear said:

Saffell is a coach now?


A GA
bearsandgiants
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He's not coming here. His tweet says he's going to Berkley.
Bobodeluxe
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bearsandgiants said:

He's not coming here. His tweet says he's going to Berkley.
Spelling cost him .1.
UrsineMaximus
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Michael Luckhurst will sign w/ the Bears as well. Kicker with a pedigree.
RighteousGoldenBear
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Welcome to Cal young man!
Bobodeluxe
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KoreAmBear said:

Bobodeluxe said:

4.9?

Show off.
Why not 5.1?


They have Cuban Tiger Dads?
91Cal
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Welcome to the family, Fernando!

Go Bears!
GivemTheAxe
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Bobodeluxe said:

4.9?

Show off.


Musgrave was smart to encourage him to visit both the Cal and the Yale campus.
Based on My tour of the Yale Campus 15 years ago

1. The city surrounding the Yale Campus is not very attractive even when compared to Telegraph. ave.
2. The Yale campus itself is pretty but tiny compared to the Cal campus
3. The buildings on the Cal campus are much larger than those on the Yale campus.
4. CMS is very imposing but I haven't seen if there have been any major improvements to the Yale stadium
5. The setting for the Cal campus and SF Bay are beyond compare.
Big C
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GivemTheAxe said:

Bobodeluxe said:

4.9?

Show off.


Musgrave was smart to encourage him to visit both the Cal and the Yale campus.
Based on My tour of the Yale Campus 15 years ago

1. The city surrounding the Yale Campus is not very attractive even when compared to Telegraph. ave.
2. The Yale campus itself is pretty but tiny compared to the Cal campus
3. The buildings on the Cal campus are much larger than those on the Yale campus.
4. CMS is very imposing but I haven't seen if there have been any major improvements to the Yale stadium
5. The setting for the Cal campus and SF Bay are beyond compare.

Agreed. Campus-wise, Yale is not the least bit impressive, compared to Cal.
79 Bear
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He clearly can make all the throws and reads the field really well. Welcome to Cal Fernando! Go Bears!
HearstMining
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UrsineMaximus said:

Michael Luckhurst will sign w/ the Bears as well. Kicker with a pedigree.
Going back to the 1970s, Cal has produced some great punters and kickers and that's really fallen off the last few years. I don't think Wilcox has really trusted any of his field goal kickers since he's been here. Let's hope this kid has his father's leg.
Rushinbear
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79 Bear said:

He clearly can make all the throws and reads the field really well. Welcome to Cal Fernando! Go Bears!
Quick release, reads quick, too. Accurate. Didn't see any long ones, so hard to gauge the arm. Nifty in the pocket.
chalcidbear
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Love how he scrambles. His receivers appear to get wide open a lot, which makes it easier on the passer of course. And early in the clip it looked like he locked on receivers rather than scan the field ... although it is hard to tell based on the quality of the videos. Nevertheless, looks like a solid pickup.
Rushinbear
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chalcidbear said:

Love how he scrambles. His receivers appear to get wide open a lot, which makes it easier on the passer of course. And early in the clip it looked like he locked on receivers rather than scan the field ... although it is hard to tell based on the quality of the videos. Nevertheless, looks like a solid pickup.
If your first guy is gonna be open, you zing it in to him. I saw a lot of that.
calumnus
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Smart, confident kid with good size and mobility in the pocket and reported to have a strong arm. Hopefully can run well enough to pick up a first down. Has good rapport with Musgrave, so "stars don't matter" he will be a good test of Musgrave's ability to develop QBs. Expect him to blueshirt this year and compete for the job as a Musgrave trained QB in 2023.

Go Bears!
MoragaBear
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Staff
calumnus said:

Smart, confident* kid with good size and mobility in the pocket and reported to have a strong arm. Hopefully can run well enough to pick up a first down. Has good rapport with Musgrave, so he will be a good test of Musgrave's ability to develop QBs. Expect him to blueshirt this year and compete for the job in 2023.

*The comment on his own intelligence had a cocky arrogance/insecurity that reminds me of AR at that age (and today). Can lead to being a very competitive/great QB.

Go Bears!
I can tell you after talking with Mendoza for quite a while, he doesn't come across as even slightly arrogant or insecure. And while you can read the comment about IQ as cocky, I think there's a difference between confidence and cockiness and he didn't come across cocky to me, either, and I've talked to plenty of cocky players. Sometimes you need to hear someone say something rather than read it to get a little more insight.
calumnus
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MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

Smart, confident* kid with good size and mobility in the pocket and reported to have a strong arm. Hopefully can run well enough to pick up a first down. Has good rapport with Musgrave, so he will be a good test of Musgrave's ability to develop QBs. Expect him to blueshirt this year and compete for the job in 2023.

*The comment on his own intelligence had a cocky arrogance/insecurity that reminds me of AR at that age (and today). Can lead to being a very competitive/great QB.

Go Bears!
I can tell you after talking with Mendoza for quite a while, he doesn't come across as even slightly arrogant or insecure. And while you can read the comment about IQ as cocky, I think there's a difference between confidence and cockiness and he didn't come across cocky to me, either, and I've talked to plenty of cocky players. Sometimes you need to hear someone say something rather than read it to get a little more insight.


Ok, thanks, I meant no disrespect and will delete my comment.
MoragaBear
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Staff
calumnus said:

MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

Smart, confident* kid with good size and mobility in the pocket and reported to have a strong arm. Hopefully can run well enough to pick up a first down. Has good rapport with Musgrave, so he will be a good test of Musgrave's ability to develop QBs. Expect him to blueshirt this year and compete for the job in 2023.

*The comment on his own intelligence had a cocky arrogance/insecurity that reminds me of AR at that age (and today). Can lead to being a very competitive/great QB.

Go Bears!
I can tell you after talking with Mendoza for quite a while, he doesn't come across as even slightly arrogant or insecure. And while you can read the comment about IQ as cocky, I think there's a difference between confidence and cockiness and he didn't come across cocky to me, either, and I've talked to plenty of cocky players. Sometimes you need to hear someone say something rather than read it to get a little more insight.


Ok, thanks, I meant no disrespect and will delete my comment.
No big deal at all. I got the point you were making. It's great to see recruits who are really confident in their ability.
rkt88edmo
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Sounds like he will be a great golden Bear, I hope he works hard and breaks out here.
CALiforniALUM
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I think every time he throws an INT fans should yell "Ah Fidel".

That is what the taxi drivers throughout Cuba would say when they hit a pot hole.
calumnus
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CALiforniALUM said:

I think every time he throws an INT fans should yell "Ah Fidel".

That is what the taxi drivers throughout Cuba would say when they hit a pot hole.


Hopefully, never (and not because he isn't playing).
76BearsFly
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Young man looks good. Love the way he looks forward to getting in the battle!!!
Ncsf
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bearsandgiants said:

He's not coming here. His tweet says he's going to Berkley.
He's coming to CAL!
Ncsf
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MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

MoragaBear said:

calumnus said:

Smart, confident* kid with good size and mobility in the pocket and reported to have a strong arm. Hopefully can run well enough to pick up a first down. Has good rapport with Musgrave, so he will be a good test of Musgrave's ability to develop QBs. Expect him to blueshirt this year and compete for the job in 2023.

*The comment on his own intelligence had a cocky arrogance/insecurity that reminds me of AR at that age (and today). Can lead to being a very competitive/great QB.

Go Bears!
I can tell you after talking with Mendoza for quite a while, he doesn't come across as even slightly arrogant or insecure. And while you can read the comment about IQ as cocky, I think there's a difference between confidence and cockiness and he didn't come across cocky to me, either, and I've talked to plenty of cocky players. Sometimes you need to hear someone say something rather than read it to get a little more insight.


Ok, thanks, I meant no disrespect and will delete my comment.
No big deal at all. I got the point you were making. It's great to see recruits who are really confident in their ability.
I loved the fact that he was talking Rose Bowls.
monol96
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I hate to talk **** about our recruits but this guy seems like a big reach
CALiforniALUM
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monol96 said:

I hate to talk **** about our recruits but this guy seems like a big reach
Like maybe somebody drafted 199th and named Tom Brady kind of reach?
calumnus
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CALiforniALUM said:

monol96 said:

I hate to talk **** about our recruits but this guy seems like a big reach
Like maybe somebody drafted 199th and named Tom Brady kind of reach?


Maybe, and we are rooting for him and for that Cinderella story to happen, but considering we had 4 star Justyn Martin commited a year ago who had offers from Top 10 programs, stealing a recruit whose best offer was Yale (not even the rest of the Ivy League)?), is not a strong showing on the recruiting front. Hopefully it means Musgrave has an eye for finding overlooked talent and developing it, but as his experience is in the NFL he has no track record of doing that. Mendoza would be his first. As I said, it would be great if it happens, it would make Musgrave a certified "QB Guru" (like Tedford was supposed to be) which is what Cal needs to move out of the bottom half of the PAC-12.
BearForce2
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The next great Cal QB.
Rushinbear
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calumnus said:

CALiforniALUM said:

monol96 said:

I hate to talk **** about our recruits but this guy seems like a big reach
Like maybe somebody drafted 199th and named Tom Brady kind of reach?


Maybe, and we are rooting for him and for that Cinderella story to happen, but considering we had 4 star Justyn Martin commited a year ago who had offers from Top 10 programs, stealing a recruit whose best offer was Yale (not even the rest of the Ivy League)?), is not a strong showing on the recruiting front. Hopefully it means Musgrave has an eye for finding overlooked talent and developing it, but as his experience is in the NFL he has no track record of doing that. Mendoza would be his first. As I said, it would be great if it happens, it would make Musgrave a certified "QB Guru" (like Tedford was supposed to be) which is what Cal needs to move out of the bottom half of the PAC-12.
How about just citing his strengths? Why tear him down?
calumnus
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Rushinbear said:

calumnus said:

CALiforniALUM said:

monol96 said:

I hate to talk **** about our recruits but this guy seems like a big reach
Like maybe somebody drafted 199th and named Tom Brady kind of reach?


Maybe, and we are rooting for him and for that Cinderella story to happen, but considering we had 4 star Justyn Martin commited a year ago who had offers from Top 10 programs, stealing a recruit whose best offer was Yale (not even the rest of the Ivy League)?), is not a strong showing on the recruiting front. Hopefully it means Musgrave has an eye for finding overlooked talent and developing it, but as his experience is in the NFL he has no track record of doing that. Mendoza would be his first. As I said, it would be great if it happens, it would make Musgrave a certified "QB Guru" (like Tedford was supposed to be) which is what Cal needs to move out of the bottom half of the PAC-12.
How about just citing his strengths? Why tear him down?


I did post his strengths earlier in the thread and absolutely am not "tearing him down." the post you quoted I was addressing both the "this a a reach " and "he"s the next Tom Brady" posts. Again, I am not tearing him down. He is a smart, confident kid with a strong arm and I am rooting for him. I like this kid. However, it is also true that his only other offer was Yale. Thus, this is a big test of Musgrave's ability to find raw, overlooked talent and develop that talent. My post was less about Mendoza and more about Musgrave. The kid obviously is smart enough, and has the physical ability to become a great QB as long as he has a good teacher and play caller. Thus, this is a test of the evaluator and teacher because Musgrave has no track record there. I am rooting for both of them. .
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