To my Bruin family, After long discussions with my family, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is in my best interest to forgo my last year of eligibility and enter the 2017 NFL Draft. I would like to thank everyone affiliated with UCLA Athletics, the UCLA football program, and UCLA Academics for allowing me to progress where I am at today. It’s been a honor to represent this University both on and off the field. Thank you to each and everyone of my teammates and my outstanding coaching staff that has helped me and will continue to help make my dream of pursuing a NFL career possible. ONCE A BRUIN ALWAYS A BRUIN!
Redshirt junior Eddie Vanderdoes officially traded his final year of eligibility at UCLA for a chance at the NFL on Monday, announcing on social media that he would be entering the NFL Draft this spring.
Vanderdoes was honored as a senior prior to UCLA’s last home game of the season this year and was carried off the field after his final practice, as is the UCLA tradition for seniors.
In replacing Kenny Clark, who declared for the NFL Draft early last year, Vanderdoes had 29 tackles this season with 1.5 sacks while starting all 12 games for the Bruins. His 29 tackles were a career-low for him in a season, except for 2014 when he played only one game before tearing his ACL.
Before becoming a first-round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers, Clark finished his UCLA career with 75 tackles, six sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2015.
Vanderdoes was named to the Bednarik, Lombardi, Nagurski and Outland Trophy watchlists during the preseason. A stout defender against the run, Vanderdoes was ranked 18th in Pro Football Focus’ top 32 draft prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft in October.
His departure leaves a big hole in UCLA’s defensive line that is also losing key seniors Eli Ankou and Takkarist McKinley. Reserve defensive end Deon Hollins is also graduating.
Freshman Boss Tagaloa, who played in all 12 games this season, is set to jump into the starting lineup next year. The Bruins also have a verbal commitment from four-star defensive tackle Greg Rogers, who is a top-10 defensive tackle in the country. UCLA can also plug up the middle with juniors Matt Dickerson and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner next year.