It is the night before Signing Day, but not every previously uncommitted recruit could hold off until the bright lights and TV cameras come out tomorrow morning. Kylie Fitts has just announced his commitment to Coach Mora and the Bruins.
Kylie Fitts is headed to #UCLA.— Annabel Stephan (@AnnabelStephan) February 6, 2013
Kylie is best known as the former Southern Cal commit who got screwed over by Lane Kiffin just two days before he was to come to Los Angeles to enroll early at SC, making him one of eight players to decommit from their recruiting class this year. In addition to his UCLA offer, he was considering Notre Dame and a return to Southern Cal, and also took a recent visit to Utah. He played in the Army All-American bowl in early January, just before the infamous phone call from the SC coaches.
The storyline surrounding Fitts and Southern Cal obscures the fact that he is one of the top defensive players in the West this year; a consensus 4-star recruit. Scout.com rates him as the #12 Defensive End prospect in the nation, #17 prospect from California and the #122 overall prospect regardless of position. Rivals.com considers him the 14th best Defensive End in this year's class, 12th best prospect in California and the #121 overall prospect nationally. ESPN rates him as the 8th best Defensive End, 8th best prospect from California and #85 overall prospect in the nation while 247Sports has him as the #102 ranked prospect overall, and #8 Strong-Side Defensive End.
Kylie currently measures in at 6'4", 260 with room to add on another 20 or 30 pounds if Sal Alosi deems necessarry, though going by the notes from his public Scout.com profile, he may be ready to go as he now stands.
Relentless is the best word to describe how Fitts plays, as he’s a high motor rush end that just keeps coming. He has good size and the frame to play at 265 pounds or so easily. He uses his hands very well, is explosive off the snap and has been very well coached at REV. He’s physically tough and does a nice job of getting off blocks and is already a good pass rusher.
The Notre Dame blog Irish Sports Daily wrote up an extensive post about two weeks ago breaking down the available film on Fitts. There is quite a bit of analysis at the link which I would suggest taking a look at. The short story - he is a very good prospect for a 3-4 defense as used by Notre Dame and UCLA, with the author's conclusion as follows:
I believe Fitts is a great fit as a defensive end in Notre Dame’s 3-4 scheme. He has the ability to rush the passer effectively and is stout against the run. He can play inside over a guard or tackle or lineup well outside if need be. He’s strong and quick with great technique and an overall understanding of what his responsibilities are as a defensive end. If he’s able to bulk himself up over the next six months he’s someone who could provide instant depth to the Irish defensive line.
Sounds good to me! This is a pretty significant commitment; in many years, this would be the big story of Signing Day for the Bruins. The fact that Kylie's decision to come to UCLA is the lead in for multiple major signing day announcements that may come our way is a sign of the work put in by our coaches over the past months on the recruiting trail and their ability to tap the inherent benefits that Westwood and UCLA provide.
UPDATE from the end of Kylie's presser. An observation from last fall that helped guide his move across town.
Welcome to Westwood, Kylie!