Schwartz Comments On Commitment To Bears

With the commitment of 6-6/305 Pacific Palisades offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, the Cal Bears continued their run of impressive offensive linemen recruiting.

The CIF Los Angeles City Offensive Lineman of the Year (Invitational bracket) is the 4th highly-touted OL commit for the class of 2007 for the Bears, joining Peninsula center Todd Huber, Bakersfield guard Justin Cheadle and Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks) tackle Sam DeMartinis –all who committed prior to Schwartz.

Schwartz had recently narrowed his choices to Stanford, Oregon and Virginia, but the decision where he'd ultimately end up became clearer recently for the big OT.

"Athletically and academically, Cal is probably the top public school in the nation," said Schwartz. "Cal's program has been one of the top programs around. Coach Tedford has really helped turn this program around at Cal.

"Really, I like everything about the program."

While Cal's 45-10 Holiday Bowl blowout win over Texas A&M last night has the obvious potential of swaying recruits still on the fence with the Bears, Schwartz' mind was already made up.

"That was a pretty impressive win," said Schwartz. I wouldn't say it had a huge impact on me though because I already knew they had a great program.

"It was kind of a statement game for Cal and the whole Pac 10, so that was a pretty impressive game."

Schwartz had had a chance to start bonding with his incoming OL teammates already, spending time working out over the summer with DeMartinis and becoming acquainted with Huber at Stanford's Junior Day and occasional conversations since then.

The recruitment of Schwartz was a team effort, as he noted the roles that Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford, Offensive Line Coach Jim Michalczik and Running Backs Coach Ron Gould shared in bringing Schwartz to Cal.

"Coach Gould's territory is in my area, so I've been in regular contact with him," said Schwartz. I also got to spend some good time with Coach M when I went up for Cal's summer camp last summer. I've gotten to know Coach Tedford, too. It was pretty cool to have him at my house for their in-home visit.

"They've all been texting me a lot and keeping in regular contact, building our relationship.

Schwartz' Palisades squad had a breakthrough season of sorts, going 5-6, but making the sectional playoffs for one of the few times in recent years before bowing out in the first round.

"We lost in the first round," said Schwartz, but it was pretty big to be a part of making the playoffs.

The ability to consistently challenge for league titles and postseason play at the next level was an obvious lure for Schwartz in choosing the Bears.

Schwartz is also an excellent student, compiling a 4.0 GPA at Palisades Charter. He'll fit right in with his future linemates –all whom are excellent students in their own right.

With the way the Bears future O-Line is shaping up, Cal quarterbacks will be able to sleep comfortably without having to worry about protection in future Bear seasons.

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