Gerris Bowers-Wilkinson was the last one I remember from Cali. Seems like there was one more, but I can't recall. Gerris was a terrific player for us.I doubt there's anything to this, but …
There's simply no question that the two biggest states for the kind of student -athletes we want at Tech are – wait for it – New York and California. Especially the latter.
It is true that we will have a hard time recruiting in California. It is also true that when you recruit in California you are not recruiting in just another jive state: you're recruiting in another country. There are more good athletes who fit our academic profile in California then any other state in the Union. And when I say that I mean that there are probably at least 2X as many potential Tech recruits there as anywhere else. That we don't recruit there is what's the puzzling question; not whether we would succeed. Shoot, a 10% success rate would repay the cost in talent quickly, imho.
But the only thing that's more risk-adverse then football recruiting is, perhaps, planning for the next war. Besides, I don't know that Hill would be an answer for this. Still, we need to think about it. Seriously.
I think we lost 2 very close recruiting battles in Cali a few years ago. One was Malachi Lewis and the other was Casey Mathews. We came in a very close second to Oregon for both of those guys. Lewis turned out to be a decent TE IIRC, and Mathews was a VERY good LB - would've been a major difference maker for us.