When it came to visiting the Cal campus this weekend, this wasn't Foothill (Pleasanton, Calif.) tight end Ray Hudson's first rodeo by any means. But this past weekend being Hudson's official visit to Berkeley meant it would be at least a little different.
"First off, with brand new coaches on staff, you would never know it. It was like they'd been there for years," Hudson said. "They did a great job, It was a really well-organized weekend."
Hudson was hosted by a fellow former First Team All-EBAL wide receiver. "My host was Bryce McGovern, the wide receiver from Monte Vista. I'd never had a conversation with him before but he's a cool guy."
Was it interesting being hosted by another guy who may play a similar position in Cal's offense?
"Bryce would be more of a true slot wide receiver. I'd potentially be more of an H-Back that could also play some slot".
As for the schedule of events...
"I got into Berkeley on Friday afternoon and we had lunch, then took the ferry to San Francisco and had dinner at Pier 39. We all went out with the team that night."
"Saturday was focused more the academic side of things. We toured the campus and the facilities, then had lunch. We had dinner at the top of the stadium. Then we went out with the team that night again. Sunday morning we did breakfast at the Claremont, which was awesome."
Hudson didn't hesitate when identifying a few of his own personal highlights from the weekend.
"The film session with Coach (Mark) Tommerdahl and Coach (Rob) Likens was really the biggest thing for me. They sat me down and we went through the position and where I'd play. I could play some slot receiver, but they also could drop me down to play some tight end. When we get down near the goalline, they could come out in a 3-back set and flex me out wide with the safeties in tight. I'd get a DB one-on-one. Hearing and seeing that... it's something I'm looking forward to".
With the football side of things settled, time with his fellow recruits was yet another high point of the weekend.
"When we all went out, it was as a big group. People would branch off here and there, but there weren't any real cliques or anything like that. That was the coolest thing... everyone being together. We all got along really well. When the big guy from Texas, Jacobi Hunter, first got out here, he really didn't know anyone. By the end of the weekend, he knew everyone. We all did."
That kind of cohesion within the class has been critical over a recruiting cycle that has seen both a tough season and a coaching change in the last few months. One current Golden Bear also did his part to impress both Hudson and many others in attendance over the weekend.
"Nick Forbes gave an academic presentation to all of the recruits and their families. Seeing how he presented himself and everything, that's something I really look up to. You could tell what a big impression it made on a lot of the parents too. It was really uplifting."
With the weekend a smashing success in Hudson's eyes, he's now looking ahead to just a week from now.
"Coach Tommerdahl came by today and walked me through the whole LOI signing. I'm ready."