On Monday night, multiple UCLA and Notre Dame recruiting sites reported rumors that five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes may be parting ways with the Irish.
From the Sacramento Bee’s Joe Davidson, who emceed the Placer High star’s signing day ceremony:
Speculation about Vanderdoes ranged from character concerns to an academic fall out. Vanderdoes’ coaches continued to rave about his upstanding character on Monday, and his father Eddie Vanderdoes on Monday night texted of his son, “One thing I can tell you is grades or eligibility is not and has never been an issue.”
Placer football coach Joey Montoya affirmed Vanderdoes’ academic eligibility, and praised his character as well. Regardless of reason, he seems set to leave the Irish before even arriving in South Bend.
Should Notre Dame release him from his letter of intent, the blue-chipper could very well be headed to UCLA. Although he also had USC and Washington hats on the table, Vanderdoes’ other major finalist was Alabama
, a destination the Irish may wish to block. (Correction: Schools cannot block destinations once they release a player from a letter of intent. All or nothing.)
Given that Vanderdoes was the biggest recruit UCLA missed on, securing him would be a major coup for a defensive line that was banged up through spring practice. Though he’s primarily a 4-3 tackle, the 6-foot-3, 310-pound prospect could also play as a 3-4 end.