California dreamin' about landing one more really big recruit
One of the biggest remaining college football recruits, both in terms of size and potential 2017 impact, announced last week that he intends to graduate from California in May and transfer to another school for his final year of eligibility.
Aaron Cochran, a 6-foot-8, 350-pound left tackle who started 16 games in the past two seasons for the Golden Bears, will make some school's offensive line bigger, more experienced and better.
A native of Atwater, Calif., Cochran reportedly was considering declaring for the NFL Draft, but instead opted to play one more year of college football. If Cochran has decided where he wants to play his final season, he hasn't announced as much, but the way things have picked up for Kansas lately on the recruiting front, it's not a reach to think Kansas could make a strong pitch.
There is a link in the KU program to Cochran. His first offensive line coach at Cal was Zach Yenser, who left Sonny Dykes to become a part of David Beaty's first KU staff. Dykes was fired after this season and replaced by Justin Wilcox. Cochran reportedly was close with Dykes' offensive line coach, Brandon Jones, who recently was hired by Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to become the Red Raiders' O-line coach at his alma mater.
Oklahoma State also has a connection that could come in handy in its pursuit of Cochran. Cowboys running backs coach Marcus Arroyo reportedly knows the Cochran family from recruiting his older brother, Matt Cochran, to Cal and was the Golden Bears' quarterbacks coach when Aaron signed.
Even without landing Cochran, Kansas has a legitimate shot to field the most improved offense in the nation with key additions at running back (Dominic Williams and Octavius Matthews), quarterback (Peyton Bender), wide receiver (Daylon Charlot) and right tackle (Charles Baldwin).
Landing Cochran would enable Kansas to move Hakeem Adeniji inside for a season, playing guard next to returning starting center Mesa Ribordy, with Jayson Rhodes, Larry Hughes and others competing for the other guard spot.
Cochran has one remaining year of eligibility and according to at least one report shapes up as a good fit for a Michigan need.