Each of the past few years, UCLA has poached a highly touted prospect from the East coast.
In 2009 it was Damien Thigpen. In 2010 came Arimide Olaniyan. Then 2011 brought Kevin McReynolds.
This year’s Eastern special comes in safety Kenny Orjioke out of Georgia.
Orjioke is only in his second year of football, but he garnered over a dozen offers from schools across the nation including Cal, North Carolina, ASU, Oregon State and Georgia Tech.
The UCLA offer came down just over a week after Mora’s hiring and Orjioke didn’t take more than a day to jump on the offer. The 6-foot-4, 225 pound safety is originally from California where he attended JSerra Catholic High School and the opportunity to return home was too much to pass on.
Orjioke is currently being recruited to UCLA as a safety but he does have the frame to grow into an outside linebacker.
Here is a quick chat that Inside UCLA Campus Correspondent Jacob Ruffman had with Orijoke, about his commitment.
Ruffman: How long have you been looking at UCLA?
Orjioke: I have always been interested in UCLA but I didn’t look too hard until I got the offer.
JR: UCLA hadn’t been on you through the whole process, what changed?
KO: I got a call from coach (Demetrice) Martin and coach (Adrian) Klemm to see if I was interested, and I said yes, and then they offered me a few days later. They sent me some pictures of the campus and statistics and I talked to some people who had gone there and were going there and I decided to go there.
JR: What made you jump on the offer so quickly?
KO: You know, there’s nothing at UCLA I could find anywhere else. It was the whole package. I love the campus, it has a great education, coach Mora is an excellent coach, it’s in a place where there’s a lot of national exposure and UCLA is in the top 5 for getting jobs post-graduation.
JR: What is your relationship like with coach Mora?
KO: He’s a really personable guy. It was just fun talking to him and I could see myself growing very close to him and he is a guy I can trust.
JR: When are you going to take your official visit?
KO: January 13th with a few other guys.
JR: How do they plan to use you at UCLA?
KO: They want me to play safety and that’s a big reason why I committed. I want to have an opportunity to play safety in college. If I end up playing linebacker in college so be it but I want a shot at safety.
JR: I saw on Twitter you talking with some other recruits, who are you going after?
KO: Bryce Treggs and I are really close and we’ve been close since I’ve been in California; he’s a guy I’ve been talking to. Really it just comes down to the fact that I want to have a really good team in college. I want to be a part of a dominant team. I want to win a National Championship, I want to win a Pac-12 Championship. I am trying to get as many recruits as I can. I think by signing day you will see. I have a few people I think will end up committing to UCLA that are committed elsewhere.