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Sunday, January 27, 2013
Three-star DT picks Pac-12 school

By Brandon Chatmon

Buoyed by its academics, beautiful landscape and the opportunity to join a program that could be on the rise,  California made a major impression on a three-star defensive tackle this weekend. So much so he decided to end his recruitment and pledge to the Golden Bears.

Jacobi Hunter (Houston/Cypress Falls) committed to Cal on Sunday after a terrific official visit to Berkeley, Calif. The defensive tackle prospect picked Cal over Indiana and Baylor.

One aspect of the Pac-12 school stood out to the Texas native.

“The academic prestige I could receive at Cal,” said Hunter, who hasn’t made a final decision on a major. “I didn’t fully know the weight of a degree from Cal until I talked to everybody. There are few places with great football and even better academics. And Cal is one of those places.”

A one-time Indiana commit, Hunter was recruited to Cal by Mark Tommerdahl, who had been recruiting him for Louisiana Tech before he joined Sonny Dykes at Cal after Dykes was hired to rebuild the Golden Bears in December.

“He was consistent, reliable and never ceased talking to me,” Hunter said. “After the coaching staff change at Indiana, I called him and he was at my house that night. That loyalty and drive to make me happy, that support is something I’ve never seen.”

The combination of academics, location and a strong bond with the coaching staff convinced Hunter that Berkeley should be his home for the next four years.

“Having coaches you want to play for, having a education that’s worthwhile and the competition on and off the field is going to be excellent,” Hunter said. “I’m up for a challenge, and Cal will give me that.”

Hunter has no other visits planned.