Click here to watch video of Cedric Dozier’s announcement
Between bites of pasta and chicken during lunch Tuesday, Cedric Dozier dialed up California football coach Jeff Tedford.
“We were just talking and something just hit me, telling me ‘Hey, right now is your time, this is what I want you to do,’” Dozier recounted. “It was Cal. I said ‘Hey coach, I think it’s time that I recommit.’”
Later in the day, the fleet receiver reaffirmed his oral commitment to the Golden Bears when he told a crowd full of supporters that he picked Cal over Washington State.
The U.S. Army All-American gave an oral commitment to the Bears in the fall, but he reevaluated his options after two coaches, including receivers coach Eric Kiesau, left for position at the University of Washington.
Dozier quickly scheduled an official visit to WSU. He enjoyed the trip and new coach Mike Leach’s pass-happy offense was enticing and nearly pulled him to Pullman.
“I made up in my mind earlier in the week that I was committing to WSU,” Dozier said. “But I kept praying and it came to me today at lunch.”
Dozier said the status of Cal’s recruiting class, which has taken a beating since the departure of Kiesau and ace recruiting Tosh Lupoi, did not affect his decision. It did, however, cost him a college roommate. Dozier said he was supposed to live with Shaq Thompson, but the No. 1 safety in the country committed to Washington on Monday.
“They had to do what’s best for them,” he said, “like my boy Shaq. Everybody has to do what’s best for them.”
Like teammate Zach Banner, who orally committed to USC on Monday, Dozier had an offer from Washington and will not sign with the Huskies. Historically, Lancers with offers from the Huskies commit to Washington, leading to speculation about what went happened this year.
Lakes head coach Dave Miller believes Dozier and Banner simply picked schools that offered them something Washington couldn’t match.
“They both saw an opportunity to do something different out of state,” Miller said. “I’ve always told our kids if everything is equal, you stay home. But if you can find a little bit of something that you can’t find here than you’ve got to go.”
Miller had positive things to say about Husky head coach Steve Sarkisian.
“I have a great relationship with Sark,” he said. “He’s done a great job being honest with our kids and recruiting them hard.”
Dealing with three different recruiters in the past two years probably worked against Washington, though. Running backs coach Joel Thomas was in charge of the South Sound until former linebackers coach Mike Cox took over before the fall. When Cox was fired in December, Sarkisian took over the recruitment of Banner, Dozier and others in the area.
“The transitions with having different recruiters in our area that last three years has probably affected the momentum a little bit,” Miller said. “But they’ve rectified that and I think moving forward everything will be good.”