Bruins just picked up their 9th commitment for the class of 2011. Brandon Huffman broke the news on twitter (RTed through BN account) a little while ago and it is now up on BRO. Sam Tai, a 6-foot-4, 235-pound DE/LB from Liberty High School from Henderson, Nevada picked UCLA over Arkansas Razorbacks. The Las Vegas Sun got ahead with the story earlier this week:
UCLA didn't offer Tai a scholarship until late October, but he had been on the Bruins' radar since attending their camp this summer. An assistant coach for UCLA drove to Southern Nevada for Liberty's game with Foothill three weeks ago, and Tai had a scholarship offer the following day.
Tai, who is rated by Rivals.com as a two-star prospect on its evaluating scale of five stars, is coveted by recruiters for his raw ability. He played quarterback last year as a junior and is still coming into his own as a defender. Also, he injured his foot in late August during a scrimmage and sat out for more than a month.
Tai is on track to graduate high school a semester early.
Tai is a 3 star prospect per Scout.com and he is one of the best high school players to come out of Nevada, which is increasingly becoming a hotspot for bluechip talents. The bonus shot for the Bruins here is that Tai will be reportedly enrolling early so his commitment will not count against the total spots available for our incoming class of 2011. More after the jump.
Tai becomes the second defensive commit for this year's class, which is coming together pretty nicely. He should fit in pretty well and it will certainly help him to have a fellow Nevadan Keenan Graham, showing him around Westwood. Here is a quick highlight reel:
Looks pretty good to me. Welcome to Westwood Tai.
UPDATE (N): Really cool bits from Gold's blog on one of the main reasons Tai picked UCLA:
Tai, who plans to enroll in January, said that UCLA's academic tradition is what won him over - "My mom has raised me to always have a backup plan, football won't last forever, and that UCLA degree speaks for itself" - but that he has been paying close attention to the team this season as we
And his outlook on the big picture:
Tai has avoided riding the Bruins' season-long roller-coaster, choosing to remain neutral when analyzing the season's success and failures. Tai isn't looking at 2010, but beyond, particularly on the defensive line, where the UCLA coaching staff has concentrated extensively the last two seasons.
"I put all the wins and losses aside," Tai said. "I look at how the program will develop in the future and what my impact can be for the program. When they talked to me, they expressed that they really needed me, and I felt it when I was out there. I definitely feel the importance from them on the line."
Sounds like a Bruin to me. GO BRUINS.