HAYWARD, Calif. -- Heading into the Oakland Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday at Chabot College, Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill athlete Isaiah Langley had two goals in mind -- to improve his play at the cornerback position that will likely be his destination in college, and to earn an invite to The Opening.
Consider the latter mission accomplished. The 5'11, 170-pounder earned one of the six invites to the prestigious summer Nike event that were handed out on the day.
Prior to his strong performance, Langley spoke with SB Nation Recruiting about the current state of his recruitment.
When asked if there were any schools that stood out for him, Langley answered quickly and simply -- Cal.
"Other than that, I'm just taking the process in and trying to enjoy it," he said.
The Golden Bears are a local program -- just a 45-minute drive over the mountains that separate Plesanton from the Bay Area -- which helps, but the real reason why the Golden Bears are favored is that head coach Sonny Dykes and his staff have been recruiting the consensus four-star prospect longer than any other school.
"Cal was my first offer and that's home," Langley said. "They offered me first and I just have to consider them -- two minutes away from home. I know the staff, I've been to a bunch of practices, and Cal is just home."
On the recruiting trail, the Golden Bears are trying to overcome the worst season in school history, a campaign in which their lone victory came over FCS opponent Portland State. The struggles aren't lost on Langley, but they also haven't played a huge role in his recruitment, either.
"I mean, as long as they have my best interests in mind on the football field and off the football field, I guess they're good. They were definitely hit with adversity, so now it's about what they're going to do to get past that and compete with the other teams in the Pac-12."
Besides the staff coaching up the players already on campus, the future for Cal will depend on Dykes and his staff adding some talent to the roster. It has been a relatively slow recruiting process so far, with the 2015 class currently featuring just four pledges and slotting in at No. 56 nationally in the 247Sports Composite team rankings. All of Cal's commits are rated as three-star prospects at this time.
Langley has taken notice of that as well, but has adopted an equally pragmatic mindset as he has towards the 2013 losses.
"Absolutely I've looked at the class, but that's not going to make or break whether I go to that school or not. If it feels right, if it's in my best interests, I don't care who goes there, I know that I can pretty much compete and do my best," said Langley, who's the nation's No. 14 cornerback in the Composite rankings.
Langley didn't offer any names when asked which other programs are currently on his list, but did say that he's interested in some Pac-12 and SEC schools. He eventually cited Georgia, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Florida State as schools that has considered.
The fact that he hasn't taken visits to any out-of-state schools other than Oregon has likely slowed down Langley's recruitment, however. Plans to take college courses at Chabot College during the summer so he can enroll early at his eventual choice may limit his ability to see other schools in the coming months.
Langley said that he hopes the possible inability to take visits in the summer won't push back his decision, which he hopes to make before the start of his senior season.
As for his future position, most schools are recruiting Langley at cornerback, but some are recruiting him with the option of playing offense, as well. The ability to play both ways is something that he's going to consider as he gets ready to make his decision. Langley said that he wants to play as much as he can and find a school that will showcase his talents.
The Golden Bears are giving him that option, but Langley looks at himself as a corner, primarily, and will take having the ball in his hands as a bonus if he chooses Cal.
As a result, improving at cornerback, whether in zone or man coverage, is a point of emphasis for Langley, who sees events like the Oakland NFTC as opportunities to get better. It's a process that he'll continue over his several days in Oregon this July when he attends The Opening.
"It starts with doing well here and then continues with getting invited to The Opening, which is my goal -- I really want to get invited to that," Langley said, prior to receiving an invite. "If I do, it looks like a commitment might be coming out of me, so i just hope that I get that opportunity."
He earned that opportunity Sunday, and so unless Langley is able to take some eye-opening visits between now and early July, it looks like he could be the next big addition to the 2015 Cal recruiting class for Dykes.