One of the longest recruiting stories in this year's football class has found a resolution this morning. After becoming dissatisfied for whatever reason with his commitment to Notre Dame, and several weeks of attempting to get out of that Letter of Intent, Eddie Vanderdoes was given permission to enroll at UCLA this morning. Yes, Eddie is now officially a Bruin!
The Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson has been doing a great job covering Vanderdoes, during his high school career and the normal recruiting process as well as the past few weeks after his desire to go somewhere than Notre Dame became public. This tweet is how he started his day, raising Bruin spirits everywhere.
Eddie Vanderdoes makes it official: Says via text that he thanks Notre Dame for lifting recruiting ban,allowing him to sign with UCLA.— Joe Davidson (@SacBee_JoeD) June 4, 2013
Per Davidson's Sacramento Bee story on Vanderdoes's signing with UCLA, Eddie provided the following statement:
"I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban and allowing me to sign an athletic scholarship with UCLA. Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family. For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and be near those who are most important in my life.
"I am honored and humbled that Note Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship. They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near my family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family."
Notre Dame's action in allowing Eddie to sign a scholarship agreement (Grant in Aid) with UCLA is very welcome news to him, as well as to Coach Mora, his staff and Bruins in general. But it is not the last step in the process. The Letter of Intent to Notre Dame is still in force; they waived the ban on other schools recruiting Eddie, but have not (yet) fully released him from the letter.
Given his status at this moment, Eddie would have to sit out this season, losing a year of eligibility in the process to result in his getting 4 years to play 3 seasons beginning in 2014. But it is still possible that one of two things happen: 1) Eddie gains a full release from his Notre Dame commitment as a result of his pending appeal with the NLI appeals committee, or 2) Notre Dame decides to grant a full release from the Letter of Intent.
For the first point, the NLI appeals committee is expected to announce their decision on the Vanderdoes appeal in the next week or two. As for the second option, the Vanderdoes family is hopeful that Notre Dame will release Eddie after he has started classes at UCLA, having not enrolled at a school that is on ND's current or future football schedule. Per Davidson's article, there was concern on Notre Dame's part that he might enroll at Southern Cal.
Coach Mora wasted little time in welcoming Eddie to the family.
UCLA welcomes DL Eddie Vanderdoes ofPlacer HS to the Bruin Family. #8Clap #BruinRevolution— Jim Mora (@UCLACoachMora) June 4, 2013
Mora and members of his staff will be making the trip to Auburn today, and Eddie will be taking Summer Session classes later this month with this fall's other incoming players.
As a reminder of why Eddie is such a big get, here are a couple of his highlight videos. The first is a compilation from Maxpreps, followed by a clip from last summer's Nike camp.
Hudl.com has more of his game tapes. He is a consensus 5-star athlete, ranked as the #2 defensive tackle in this year's recruiting class by Rivals.com and Scout.com, and is considered one of the top defensive recruits from California in the past several years. His addition should raise UCLA's 2013 recruiting class ranking to #3 overall on Scout.com, and up to 6th or 7th in Rivals.com.
UPDATE. Notre Dame does not intend to release Eddie from his LOI (per SBNation)
#NotreDame spokesman says school will not release Eddie Vanderdoes from letter of intent. School will have comment today.— Brian Hamilton (@ChiTribHamilton) June 4, 2013
Welcome to Westwood, Eddie. And...