For those of you who read this blog and double as Cal football fans, your day is here. De La Salle linebacker Michael Barton has orally committed to play for the Golden Bears starting in the 2012 season.
Barton committed Friday, telling defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi (a De La Salle grad) and defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast of his decision.
“I was always interested in Cal and when they offered I started developing a really good relationship with coach (Kenwick) Thompson, coach Pendergast and coach Lupoi,” Barton said. “It’s a big family circle because coach (Mike) Blasquez is the strength and conditioning coach there and he started at De La Salle.”
Barton held offers from Arizona State, Colorado, LSU, Oregon State, SMU, UCLA, Washington and Washington State. He said that none of the others had really fallen from contention near the end, but that Cal just stood out. Barton added that he developed a good rapport with Tag McCurdy, Cal’s administrative assistant on defense and assistant linebackers coach.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound inside linebacker is rated as a four-star recruit by most recruiting services. He said the plan is to stay at inside linebacker in Pendergast’s 3-4 scheme, and said that he’ll have many of the same responsibilities he has in the middle at De La Salle.
And, as you might expect, Barton is happy to have made his decision and now be able to focus on his senior season. He credited De La Salle assistant coach Nathan Kenion for being a big help, and said the whole coaching staff made the process an easy one.
“I had so much support from my family and everyone at the school,” Barton said. “It made it so much easier.”