Our regional expert Greg Biggins chimes in on just what the Cal defense is getting with the…
BEYOND THE COMMITMENT: Trevor Howard
Three-star Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian defender Trevor Howard came to the California campus on Sunday with what he calls a “very strong thought,” more than an inkling, less than a sure-fire fact, that he would commit to the Golden Bears, but by the end of the day, he was getting slapped on the back by the running back corps and childhood friend Tony Mekari, as he was welcomed into the fold.
“I had a thought, and it was a very strong thought, but after everything, when all of my questions were answered, I knew that this would be the place,” Howard said. As for the reaction of friend and rival Mekari?
“I grew up with him, and I’ve been talking with him for a while, and he’s had nothing but good things to say about Cal,” Howard said. “He’s definitely grown, and I can see that, and I can see what the school’s done for him. [After practice] I told him what I did, and he was all excited. I’m very excited to be here.”
Mekari wasn't the only Golden Bear to revel in Howard's commitment. Former Cal defensive end and NFL star Andre Carter was also quite vocal on twitter as he congratulated Howard.
"We originally met at a workout place called Proactive, that we both workout at," Howard said. "He's worked out with me a little on my technique. He is a really great guy, and I look up to him immensely."
Howard said that Carter has "been pretty good to me," as far as teaching him the defensive end position, which he'll play in Berkeley, and told him about his experiences at Cal.
"He's shown me a lot of techniques and a lot of skills that have greatly helped me during our season," Howard said. "He showed me a lot of fundamentals for the defensive end position."
Howard and Carter -- who most recently played for the New England Patriots in 2013, and was a unanimous All-American for the Bears in 2000 -- have known one another for about a year.
"I just texted him and let him know that I committed, and he responded about how great it was, and was telling me how great it was for him at Cal, and all that good stuff," Howard said.
The two work out together sporadically, and Howard said he hasn't worked with Carter in a while, but last summer, they worked out together quite a bit.
"We talked about Cal a little bit when I got the offer, and he told me how great of a place it was, and how great it could be for me," Howard said. "His main point was, whatever I choose, it has to be my decision, and that I have to do what's best for me."
On Sunday, that meant pulling the trigger and committing.
After telling defensive line coach Fred Tate and defensive coordinator Art Kaufman of his intentions, Howard got to go out and see the two of them in action. Howard had seen Tate coach before at the satellite camp at Fullerton College, but never in a full team practice setting.
After practice, Howard spoke with head coach Sonny Dykes to declare his intentions, and then was on to the task of informing his family, with a pit stop at the student store in order to buy some Cal gear for his mom and two sisters – one, older, and the other, his twin, Drew.
At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Howard is a fast, versatile jumbo athlete, with a 4.6 40-yard time, a power clean of 270, a squat of 335 and a bench press of 290.
“They’re going to use me as a D-end, hybrid-type,” Howard said. “That’s actually good, because it’s basically the same position I play at my high school right now. They also run pretty much the same defense.”
Howard has lofty academic goals that he’s set for himself, as well.
“It’s down to business or kinesiology,” Howard said of his intended major. “I want to be an ER doctor or a cardiac surgeon when I graduate, and I feel like this would be the place to do it.”
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