"Unbelievable," Capella said of the last six months of his life.
"I wasn't getting anything at the end of my junior year. It was a relief when I got my first letter in the mail."
Capella was a baseball player growing up. "Greg was a first baseman," his father George Capella said. "People told him he was too big for baseball, so he decided to try football."
The Capellas never expected their son to be such highly recruited because he got such a late start on his football career. Nevertheless, after being named a Fresno Bee all-star, all-league, and all-state in 2007 the attention came.
Like most parents, the Capellas wanted their son to stay close to home. Fresno State was an obvious favorite. However, the Bulldogs were one of the last schools to show serious interest. They eventually offered when Capella took his unofficial visit June 12.
"I didn't think [Fresno State] like me," Capella said.
His first offer came out of nowhere from UCLA in May. Usually, a Valley player flying under the radar does not earn his first offer until college coaches view senior film. If a school does offer early, it is usually not a school from a Bowl Champion Series conference.
These are Capella's quotes after receiving his offer May 19:
"UCLA had come by the school a while ago and Coach (Tim) Hauck called me today (May 19) and said they were offering me. They said I could play both guard and tackle, it didn't matter."
"It being my first offer, yeah, it was kind of a shock. I never thought my offer would be from a Pac-10 school, but I was pretty excited. It's nice to know that I'm good enough to play in the Pac-10."
The Bruins were not one of Capella's initial favorites. USC, Alabama, Cal, Fresno State and UNLV hold that distinction. But UCLA quickly moved up to the top after offering. Joining the Bruins on his new list were Arizona and UNLV. Both schools offered in late May just before the spring evaluation period ended on May 31.
The one school Capella was still waiting on was Fresno State. Coach Pat Hill is very particular when it comes to recruiting an offensive lineman. Capella was being recruited as guard or tackle by most schools. In the Bulldog offense, it was apparent he would have to play guard. Truth be told, Fresno State was loaded at offensive guard with young talent like sophomores Andrew Jackson and Charley Robbins, and 2008 signees Max Devlin and Matt Hunt.
Capella decided against attending the Fresno State Individual Skills & Techniques Camp June 7 and 8. Instead, he competed at UCLA's one-day camp June 7. It was his first trip to the UCLA campus, and he came away impressed.
"The campus was beautiful and the weight room was pretty big," Capella said. "I talked with Coach [Rick] Neuheisel for a little bit and he is really nice. [Offensive Line] Coach [Bob] Palcic is a pretty good coach. I talked to him for a while at the end of practice and they didn't really even bring up recruiting or me committing. They just told me that they really liked what I did at the camp."
Five days later, Capella and his parents took the unofficial trip to Fresno State. Capella's father said they got a warm and fuzzy feeling when they entered the football office. "It felt like home," Capella said.
The younger Capella did not think Coach Hill was going to offer him on his trip.
"I was there from about 1 to 4," said Capella. "When I first got there, I didn't think they were going to offer. But after the end of the meeting with Coach [Pat] Hill, he offered. I feel pretty good about the offer."
Capella must have; he decided not to attend Cal's camp June 14th or the UnderArmour/Scout.com Oakland Combine on the same day. According to his father, the Fresno State offer threw his son's recruitment in an entire different direction.
They were not expecting Fresno State to offer. UCLA was clearly becoming his top choice until their meeting with Coach Hill. The only other school Capella was considering was Colorado, but the Buffalo coaches never offered.
Capella says UCLA offered everything he wanted.
"[The Pac-10] is a bigger conference," said Capella. "It's a great campus and school and it's not too far from home so my parents can come and watch me."
The biggest reason for his decision to become a Bruin over a Bulldog was playing time.
"[UCLA] gives me a better chance to play early [compared to Fresno State]," said Capella.
We were shocked and had to ask him again.
"Yeah, [UCLA] is running thin on linemen," Capella repeated.
Skill position talent is one thing, but we never thought we would hear a high school linemen say he is choosing a Pac-10 school over a WAC school because it gave him a better chance to play early.
Pat Hill continually has one of the top offensive lines in the West. Apparently, the success is coming with a price. If the UCLAs of the world give three-star OL recruits a better shot at playing time, then Hill has to start recruiting the top four and five-star players in the country or continue finding the diamonds in the rough and turn them into future NFL players. Remember, Logan Mankins was just 220 lb TE coming out of Mariposa (Calif.) when Hill offered him the chance to walk on at Fresno State. Now, the former first round NFL Draft pick is an all-pro guard with the New England Patriots.