Hutchings takes a close look at Cal

California linebacker Michael Hutchings of powerhouse Concord De Le Salle visited Cal Saturday for the Bears’ junior day to get a feel for coach Jeff Tedford’s staff.

Until recently, much of Hutchings’ contact with Cal went through former defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, a ex-De La Salle standout who left Berkeley for Washington in January. Hutchings, an ESPNU Watch List member, met Lupoi as a high school freshman.

Still, the depature of Cal’s ace recruiter had a minimal impact on Hutchings’ view of the Bears.

“He’s the best at what he does for a reason,” Hutchings said. “He’s young. He understands us a little better, but he’s not my position coach, so I’m not looking at Cal any different.”

Hutchings said he enjoyed the junior day, visiting with fifth-year linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Kenwick Thompson and second-year defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.

“The main thing was getting the chance to spend some time with them,” Hutchings said.

Among the top prospects in California, Hutchings owns scholarship offers from most schools in the Pac-12. In fact, USC is recruiting him as hard as any program, Hutchings said.

He said he plans to map a few unofficial trips for early April, though he’ll hold off on the Trojans and UCLA, which are more easily accessible. Candidates for his spring visits include Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon -- and, of course, Washington.

Hutchings said he talked to Lupoi the day the coach started his new position with the Huskies. He continues to hear from Washington and feels a connection also with new defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, who recruited Hutchings for Tennessee until they joined Steve Sarkisian’s staff this year.

Hutchings said he expects to attend Nike events at Stanford and USC this offseason but that he’ll likely wait on a college choice until late in his senior season.