Defensive end Wole Betiku joins UCLA’s 2016 class

UCLA just added a significant piece to its 2016 class.

On Thursday afternoon, defensive end Wole Betiku verbally committed to the Bruins — giving them a talented, high-ceiling prospect as well as a rare Gardena Serra product. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound recruit is rated four stars by and five stars by — despite his late start in the sport.

He is also the most highly-ranked prospect that UCLA has pulled out of Serra in over a decade. The Gardena school, which has long been a USC pipeline, has produced just three Bruin signees in the past 12 years: three-star receiver Jordan Lasley and linebacker Dwight Williams in 2014, and two-star offensive lineman Tony Lee in 2004.

Betiku’s guardian in the U.S. is former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington; his parents still reside in Nigeria.

READ: Oluwole Betiku completing journey from Nigeria to sought-after recruit

His relationship with UCLA’s junior offensive offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch certainly helped with his recruitment. Both were born in Nigeria, although Benenoch moved to the United States when he was eight years old.

“It makes you feel at home, because everywhere I go people laugh at me for my accent,” Betiku told the Los Angeles Times last month. “He understands that being different isn’t a big deal and it just makes you feel comfortable.”