Report: Quarterback Everett Golson has UCLA on transfer list

Could UCLA’s quarterback race expand from four contestants to five?

According to ESPN, former Notre Dame signal-caller Everett Golson has included the Bruins on his list of 10 potential transfer destinations, along with Florida State, Alabama and South Carolina. Arguably the most intriguing prospect on the graduate transfer market, Golson could immediately help expand a quarterback-needy offense.

After spring camp, UCLA appears likely to turn to true freshman Josh Rosen behind center over Jerry Neuheisel, Asiantii Woulard and walk-on Mike Fafaul. Only Neuheisel has any significant game experience. Continue reading “Report: Quarterback Everett Golson has UCLA on transfer list” »

After Oregon’s loss, is UCLA the new Pac-12 favorite?

Nearly four months ago, UCLA was listed as an early favorite almost through its entire 2014 schedule. The exception? Mighty Oregon, just a year removed from four straight BCS bowls, and an early three-point favorite.

My, how things have changed.

UCLA stumbled out of the gate, collecting three uneven wins before stomping on then-No. 15 Arizona State last Thursday. The Bruins still have question marks, but they’re on the upswing, and back in the hearts and minds of at least a few national pundits. One ESPN analyst has them in the San Francisco Bowl, but another picked the Fiesta Bowl. CBS Sports has slotted UCLA back into the Sugar Bowl, as the No. 4 seed in a national semifinal against Alabama.

The No. 2 Ducks, meanwhile, might have cost themselves national title hopes with their 31-24 loss at home last night to Arizona — the most surprising undefeated team left in the country. (Earlier this week, Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde wrote this of the Wildcats: “Chances of being unbeaten by Halloween: zero.”) Continue reading “After Oregon’s loss, is UCLA the new Pac-12 favorite?” »

Eddie Vanderdoes discusses his successful appeal process

SAN BERNARDINO — Rarely thought of as an efficient organization, the NCAA’s quick decision surprised even Eddie Vanderdoes.

The five-star defensive end had hovered in limbo for weeks after reneging on his signed letter of intent with Notre Dame. After a written appeal failed, he finally had a chance to speak directly to the NCAA last Monday. He didn’t waste his chance, laying out his case for nearly 90 minutes.

The next day, the NCAA cleared him to play immediately. If they hadn’t done so, Vanderdoes would have had to sit this fall, as well as lose a year of eligibility.

Now he is available to replace starter Owamagbe Odighizuwa, a would-be senior who will redshirt the season recovering from hip surgery.

“I was real surprised,” Vanderdoes said. “They actually had called me an hour after, talked to me and told me they would have a full decision tomorrow. They basically had a decision but they kind of wanted to cover their bases the next day.”

An All-American at Placer High in Auburn, Calif. — roughly 35 miles from Sacramento — Vanderdoes gave the NCAA four main reasons for his appeal. One was his grandmother’s breast cancer, but he declined to discuss the others. Continue reading “Eddie Vanderdoes discusses his successful appeal process” »

Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play for 2013 season

Five-star defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes has been cleared to play immediately for UCLA after an appeal with the National Letter of Intent committee, officially ending his dramatic exit from Notre Dame.

The touted recruit initially committed to the Irish on National Signing Day in February, but asked out of his national letter of intent due to an illness in the family. The Placer High grad decided on UCLA to be closer to his home in the Sacramento area.

Rick Kimbrel of recruiting website first reported Vanderdoes’ immediate eligibility, a boon for a UCLA defensive line struggling with health. Had Vanderdoes not been released to play, he would have had to sit out the upcoming fall as well as lose a year of eligibility — leaving him with only three seasons of college football. Continue reading “Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play for 2013 season” »

Report: Vanderdoes left Notre Dame for ailing family member

When Eddie Vanderdoes officially signed with UCLA earlier this week, breaking his letter of intent with Notre Dame, the five-star defensive lineman only cited “very personal reasons.”

A report from CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman sheds a little more light on the situation. Sources told Feldman that one of Vanderdoes’ close relatives was diagnosed with a severe illness a few months ago, prompting him to push for a release from Notre Dame.

The Irish have declined to do so, with head coach Brian Kelly explaining that he needed to protect the integrity of his program. Left unsaid was that no head coach wants set a precedent by allowing recruits to renege on their letters of intent.

Unless Vanderdoes and his family can successfully push for a release, perhaps through an appeal, the top-rated lineman will lose a year of eligibility and start playing in 2014.