Merced County football star announces his college decision. He’s headed to the Pac-12.

Prior to making his college announcement on Sunday, Buhach Colony star Trey Paster posted on Twitter: My decision...My new home...My best fit.

On Sunday evening Paster made his decision public in front of family, friends, teammates and coaches gathered at the Atwater Community Center. Paster is headed to Cal-Berkeley.

For Paster, it was always Cal.

“For me, it came down to the opportunity I really have there,” Paster said. “It’s the love I have for the coaches. It’s an amazing school, an amazing place, an amazing education... Why not? It’s always been Cal.”

Paster had trimmed his top five schools to five Pac-12 colleges in Cal, UCLA, Utah, Oregon and Washington on June 2. He also had offers from schools like Fresno State, Nevada and Arizona.

What set Cal apart?

“Really, it was life after football,” he said. “The alumni saying things to me is what got me even when I wasn’t committed yet. If football doesn’t work out, I’m going to find another way.”

ESPN has Paster rated as a three-star prospect with the ability to play safety or cornerback in college. He’s listed on the Buhach Colony roster at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds.

“Trey did a great job understanding the process and the journey it was to get here,” said Buhach Colony coach Kevin Navarra. “He’s a humble young man who appreciates everyone who helped him get here from the youth programs to SWAG to the high school and junior high programs.”

Navarra compares Paster to another former Buhach Colony product that played at Cal.

“When I was interviewed earlier I compared Trey to Aaron Cochran,” Navarra said. “The ceiling was so high for Aaron at this time. I feel it’s the same way for Trey. He’s already taken care of the classroom, he’s got great character and has great God given gifts. I think he’s going to absorb everything the coaching staff at Cal is going to teach him.”

Paster will enroll early at Cal in January, which will allow him to participate in spring practices next year.

After taking his official visit to Cal in February, Paster called it his dream school. He felt comfortable with the coaching staff right away and loved the campus.

Paster said he made the decision to go to Cal a few months ago, but only a tight circle of people know of his decision. Keeping that a secret wasn’t easy.

“It was really tough,” said Paster, who timed his announcement with his mother’s birthday. “Everywhere I go people just ask me, even people I don’t even know, they would just ask me where are you going to go. I would get random DMs on Instagram and Twitter, ‘Where you going? Where you going?’ So, now you know.

“It’s a relief. I’m excited. I’m done with this process, now I want to go to the real process which is school, football, grinding, summer workouts, winter workouts. That’s what I’m most excited for.”

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