"I'm real happy Robert chose Cal," said Mullins' father, Robert Sr. "Cal is where we always wanted to see Robert go because of the excellent education you can get there and because they're already a great team that was highly ranked this year and will come into the next year ranked high, too.
"I think it's great that Robert will have a chance to get away to school but not be too far away. It's the best of both worlds."
Mullins was impressed with ASU and all they had to offer, but when it came down to decision time, Cal was the more complete package for Mullins.
Oregon was in there for me for a while, but I saw myself real comfortable at either Arizona State or Cal," said Mullins. "The academic tradition from Cal made a big difference for me. If you get a degree from Cal, you're doing something in life.
"My area of interest is in architectural engineering and a degree from Cal in that would be a tremendous accomplishment," noted Mullins. "We all know that Cal is doing some great things up there, too. They tied for the conference championship and Coach Tedford will be there for another 7 years. They're building something great up there and I want to be a part of it."
Although Mullins hasn't had an opportunity to formally study his area of interest, design has always been one of his hobbies. An excellent student, Mullins will bring an impressive 3.4 GPA to Cal.
"I haven't been fortunate enough to study design or architecture formally in school, but I've always enjoyed building things and studying structure like houses, bridges and buildings, with drawings and sketches. I've wanted to be able to design for a long time and it's going to be great to be able to study it officially."
Mullins missed his senior season with cartilage damage in his hip. The injury was serious enough to involved extended rehab, but the recovery is going well, even though it's taken somewhat longer than Mullins originally hoped.
"I was actually cleared to play earlier in the season," said Mullins. "But when I went out to practice, it just wasn't feeling right. If I go out there, I want to go out there with the mindset that I don't have to play in a way that I'll worry about re-injury and be able to give my all out there.
"After tearing the cartilage, what they do is puncture the area and a type of synthetic cartilage regrows. It's not the same as the original, but it's still strong.
"I'm doing a lot of agility training with our school training, working with cones and drills to regain my foot speed and lateral movement and stretch out the ligaments that haven't been used for a while.
"I'm also working on my core strength a lot to get my stomach and hips back to where they were."
Despite compiling such incredible stats his junior season, the humble Mullins is quick to deflect praise to his teammates.
"As the middle linebacker, I controlled the defense and it was just a situation that I had to do a lot. It could have been any of us that would've been in a position to do it and it just happened to be me," said Mullins.
"Mark (Johnson) is a great player but I guess my number just came up a lot.
Mullins attributed much of his success to his constant study of the game.
"My knowledge of the game definitely helped me out there," said Mullins. "My pursuit was always really good and I'm working to get back that edge and put on some additional weight to be a college backer. I'll be playing will (weakside linebacker). The Cal staff sees me playing in pursuit and in coverage, sort of like a Renaissance type of linebacker. I can play in dime, in nickel or different packages so I can stay on the field a lot when I get my chance.
Mullins decision also coincided with the hiring of new Cal linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson from San Jose State.
"Coach Thompson and I have spoken recently," said Mullins. "From our short time of being acquainted, I can tell that Coach Thompson's not only a good coach but a good person.
"Coach Gould is my main recruiter. I called him and let him know that I'd be committing. He's been recruiting me for a long time and we've always been able to talk about all kinds of things.
"Coach Gould and Coach Gregory are both real good guys. Coach Gregory was in my home today for a visit. We talked about the type of defense Cal runs. He's one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. He loves the game a lot and he knows how to use his players to get the most out of them."
With another year of preparation and working out to add weight and strength, Cal fans will be eager to see a return of the dominant Mullins on the gridiron at Cal.
Mullins will join former Dorsey teammate Keith Browner on the Bears and is excited for the reunion in Berkeley.
Robert Mullins Profile
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