Cal Football: What Bears Look for in an Offensive Lineman Recruit

Jake Curtis

The first day of the early signing period is Wednesday, and Cal has 23 commitments so far. With a lot of offensive linemen returning next season, Cal does not figures to sign many offensive lineman this year.

Offensive line coach Steve Greatwood suggested Cal would probably sign just two, and so far, only two -- Everett Johnson and Ender Aguilar -- have committed to Cal for 2020.

Nonetheless it is worthwhile to note the kind of player Cal is looking for when it recruits offensive linemen.

Greatwood has more than 30 of experience as an offensive line coach -- at Oregon, USC, Maryland and the St. Louis Rams. He makes it clear that athleticism is the top priority, with the belief that a player, with the proper frame, can add enough weight and strength over time to be a quality Pac-12 offensive lineman,

“Well, I’ve always favored athletes,” Greatwood said in the video following Saturday’s practice. “We’re recruiting offensive linemen that are athletes first. If I feel like they have the frame to add the weight that’s going to be necessary, the strength that’s going to be necessary, to complete at this level. If I’m going to make a mistake, I going to make a mistake on a guy who’s an athlete first.

“Secondly, they got to be guys that football is extremely important to them, that are going to spend the time, not only in the weight room but in the film room and are driven to be better – self-motivated guys.

“That second part of it is hard to judge sometimes, and you can’t open up a guy and look what’s inside right here, but just by being around him enough to get a feel for the importance of the game and the importance of improving over their career.

“Offensive lineman is a position you develop over time. Very few guys come in just ready-made to play. So you want to see that growth potential about them, physically, mentally, emotionally.

“That’s what I’m looking for. Not always perfect at it. I’ve got my share of skeletons in the closet, but hopefully that’s the kind of guys we’re attracting.”.