Just had a good conversation with new UCLA offensive line commit Ben Wysocki, who picked UCLA last night over Stanford and Oregon State.
Wysocki’s stock has been rising since his impressive performances at two UCLA camps in June, and he becomes the Bruins’ fifth verbal commitment, joining TE Junior Pomee, OL Torian White and Marc Mustoe and WR Brandin Cooks.
Ben, you’ve said you wanted to complete the recruiting process and go on visits, yet you commit early to UCLA, why?
“I just saw it as a place that I’d fit in perfectly. They’re building the offensive line and defensive line this year after going heavy on skill positions last year,and I saw myself fitting right into the loop there.”
What about the UCLA coaching staff interests you?
“They are all just so familiar with the game. I went to the two camps, and to see how much they wanted me to come on board was awesome. They’re so enthusiastic about the game. They’re so positive. It really sucked me in.”
What about Coach Neuheisel sealed the deal?
“He’s a really straight-forward guy. I called him up and he said, ‘Are we going to get this done? What’s it going to take to get you in the boat?’ He really makes it individual between you and him. He was really trying to get me on board. I think that’s what attracts a lot of guys. What he says, he really means. He wants to make this as strong as it can get, and I loved that.”
Talk about being a part of a class at UCLA that already has a few offensive line commits; does the “class” mentality matter to you?
“It’s another step in football – it’s a new game, a new beginning. It’s going to be awesome so see how all these guys transform. But I’m one of the five guys who’ve committed, I can’t wait to see who else gets on board.”
Are you someone who needs to play immediately, or are you interested in redshirting and devopment?
“They haven’t even talked to me about redshirting, but Coach Chow talked to (Los Alamitos coach John) Barnes and said if I pushed myself, I could be a three-year starter, if I can build up to that point. Coach Linn, listening to what he’s said at the camps, he’s telling me and the guys, ‘Go into your senior season in the best shape of your life, we want to see you come out hard in the first quarter and the same in the fourth.’ He wants to see no sign of weakness. But they still want to build you when you come in.”
You expected to wait to announce your decision…
“At first, I went into the recruiting process not having a favorite school. I just wanted to see what happened. I said I would wait it out, go through all the official visits, and make my decision going into league. But I came to realize, where else would I want to go? I want to play for this awesome program. I want to go to UCLA. It’s such a relief now that I know where I’m going.
Do you pay attention to your rankings by recruiting services?
“I’ve seen on Scout and Rivals that they’ve not ranked me high. But coming out of these camps, I’ve been complimented highly. I think I’ve shown what I’m going to be in my senior season.”