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Cal Football

Carlton Talks Transfer, Transition to Cal

April 21, 2022

Former 2020 4 star prep recruit Xavier Carlton was a high target for the Bears, who offered him while he starred for Modesto Christian High School before moving to Utah his senior season and committed to the Utes.

Carlton played in all four games in 2020 off the bench as a frosh and played in 11 games for the Pac-12 champ in his redshirt freshman year in 2021, starting two. He totaled 18 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, one QB hurry and one pass defended for the Utes.

As for what brought him back West to Cal:

“I know you all know the story of when I came as a sophomore here when they were recruiting me. Getting to know everybody and getting to meet Coach Browning again and getting to meet Coach Wilcox and the entire staff, it just felt like home,” said Carlton. “I knew that coming from the portal and coming to Cal was the right choice for me academically and athletically and I’m excited and I can’t wait for this season.”

Coming in to Cal, Carlton was focused on doing everything he could to make the transition as smooth as possible and to put himself in a position to make the most early impact possible.

“Honestly I was just focused on getting back on the grind after last season and trying to fix all the little things I had to work on,” said Carlton. “I told Coach Browning, I told Coach Wilcox, I wanted to come in and I wanted to prove myself.  I didn’t want to be given anything. Since then I’ve been working my tail off, building a bond with my teammates and also building a bond with them on the field. We're all working hard together and I'm enjoying it.”

The transition for Carlton has been a smooth one so far. So far this spring, he’s spent time at both defensive end and outside linebacker and is making plays all over the field.

“It's been good, just little by little every day. Of course, I go into Coach Browning's office and also Coach So'oto’s office and ask them about what I can do better on the plays that we’ve installed throughout the spring,” said Carlton. “ Sometimes I’ll be coming over here and just working on the plays I need to work on so that tomorrow or the next day it's second nature to me. But all in all the installs in the playbook have really helped me become a better player and made me smarter in the film room. So I’m gonna continue to do that even after spring, heading into the fall camp.”

Carlton was asked about his various responsibilities playing both DE and OLB.

“Honestly just like every other defensive end has inany other program, just (playing) runs first, and if a pass is there I have a responsibility for the pass,” said Carlton. “There are times if it's a third down situation they'll have me as outside linebacker in pass coverage and play the number two receiver. I the film room, I just measure that as my area of opportunity I could work on. That's what I've been working on throughout the spring. And also pass rush. Pass rush has been my biggest mode of operation and it's constantly getting better everyday and everything will work in fruition.”

It didn’t take long for Carlton to get acclimated and build bonds with his new teammates, further validating that he made the right choice picking Cal.

“It's just honestly all my teammates are awesome. We're all filled with raw talent,” said Carlton. “We constantly build that brotherhood everyday. Me coming in new, they welcomed me with open arms as just another brother. And of course I knew some of them because I grew up in the Central Valley and I played against them, and Pop Warner in high school. It wasn’t anything new to me. Just playing with them everyday and getting to know them, but also challenging ourselves just to get better every second of the day. It's just beautiful to see. There’s times when we have days off that we go to one of our houses and watch film together and talk about what we need to work on and what we did right. When we get into the film room it's second nature. When Coach Browning tells us, ‘Hey this is what you need to work on,’ it’s like ‘Alright coach, I got you, i'll work on it, we’ll all work on it.’ That's a family right there.”

Carlton’s expectations for the Cal D are high. Coming from a program with one of the perennial top defenses in the league, he presumably knows what he’s seeing.

“This defense is going to be raw. I can feel it,” said Carlton. “I can just tell from everybody's demeanor - how they walk, how they talk and how they play. Usually in this game, talking doesn't mean anything. Once you put the pads, on all the talking stops. Let me see what you can do. And I feel like we're that type of team.

“Of course, Cal is a great school. We've always had a great defense, and this year I feel like we can actually dominate and prove ourselves. I just want to focus on spring ball with my teammates and building that bond and also building that continuity so when it's the fall, we already know what we’re doing.”

Other stories:

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Aristotle Thompson Talks about Cal's Running Game

Discussion from...

Carlton Talks Transfer, Transition to Cal

2,922 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by BearForce2
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I'm really looking forward to seeing Carlton play for Cal this season. Carlton - any chance you can use this dance after your QB sacks?

Carlton dance
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"This defense is going to be raw. I can feel it," said Carlton. "I can just tell from everybody's demeanor - how they walk, how they talk and how they play.
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