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July 10, 2014
Greathouse makes Cal commitment official
Almost a month after telling GoldenBearReport he was on the verge of a commitment after picking up a late offer from Cal, 2014 Mesa CC cornerback A.J. Greathouse made it official on Thursday, becoming the third DB to join Cal's 2014 class along with cornerback Darius White and safety Quentin Tartabull.
With the addition of Greathouse, the post-Signing Day additions now include Naval Academy Preparatory School defensive tackle Chris Palmer, former Wake Forest defensive tackle James Looney, College of San Mateo linebacker Jake Kearney, and now Greathouse -- four additions on the defensive side of the ball to a class that originally signed 13 defenders.
Greathouse addresses yet another hole identified by head coach Sonny Dykes during the offseason: size at the corner position. Just one of the Bears' corners -- JuCo transfer Darius White -- is over 5'11". Greathouse stands at 6'1", 180 pounds and recently ran a 4.47 40-yard-dash.
"It's a dream come true," Greathouse told GoldenBearReport on Thursday. "I'm just excited. I knew I had it in me this whole time. Coach (Greg) Burns, he flew in to Arizona, came out to Mesa (Community College), said they had high interest in me, then a few weeks later coach (Art) Kaufman came, watched us do 40s and drills, then they had me come out to the camp."
Greathouse needed just six hours at a weekend summer camp at Cal to secure an offer from the Bears' staff.
"I got to the school around 9am, warmed up, did some vertical tests, 40s, drills, then we took a break, saw the facility and everything, I was really impressed, and the weather -- especially coming from Arizona -- then we went and did some 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s, around 3pm I flew out," he said. "Before I left they gave me an offer."
"This is one I've actually been wanting since the beginning of high school. I've always liked Cal, I've always been a big Pac-12 fan, I already know a lot about them."
Greathouse graduated with a 3.1 GPA and is interested in studying business -- both of his parents are entrepreneurs and also UofA alums. His father was also a football player, a running back for the Wildcats from 1986-1990 who ran for 1,830 yards and 17 TDs in 43 career games.
Art's son started on the offensive side of the ball as well, before shifting to the defensive side as a junior to help the receiver-loaded Huskies. A year later A.J. Greathouse would start for Hamilton and play his one and only full year as a starting high school corner. He finished with two interceptions, one pick-six, 60 tackles, and 10+ pass breakups.
In addition to high interest from USC, Arizona State, Colorado State, and Colorado, Arizona offered Greathouse a preferred walk-on spot out of high school and a handful of FCS programs additionally offered scholarships, but the Chandler, Arizona product was willing to spend a year at Mesa Community College to see if some added time at the position might mean more offers.
Cal beat him to the punch.
"I wasn't even supposed to get this offer, I figured I would have to play at Mesa for a season. But I'd be able to come right in this Fall. It's just crazy, that's why you've just gotta keep the faith. That's the way it's supposed to be -- you're just supposed to keep working and good things will happen."
Doesn't hurt to already have someone in your corner in Berkeley.
2014 signee Luke Rubenzer went to school 23 miles away from Greathouse.
"He's one of my good friends actually, we played football together growing up, we were on a passing league team together in the summer last year, a lot of top guys around were on it," Greathouse said. "When I found out Luke was going to Cal, that was one of the reasons I continued to have a lot of interest.
"This is perfect of me. I've been working my whole life for this."
Greathouse says he'll report to Berkeley in two weeks on July 25th.