Eddie Vanderdoes announces for UCLA, breaking NLI with Notre Dame

Eddie Vanderdoes officially announced this morning his intention to enroll at UCLA, paving his way to a future in blue and gold.

The five-star defensive lineman originally signed to Notre Dame, but said he needed to be closer to his family in Northern California. The Placer High product was not officially released from his national letter of intent, but the Irish lifted the recruiting ban — a step that allowed him to sign grant-in-aid and enroll at another school.

Notre Dame said it does not intend to release Vanderdoes from his letter of intent, meaning that he cannot play for the Bruins until 2014.

Here is Vanderdoes’ statement, one he texted to the Sacramento Bee and other outlets.

“I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban and allowing me to sign an athletic scholarship with UCLA. Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family. For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and be near those who are most important in my life.

“I am honored and humbled that Note Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship. They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near my family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family.”

UCLA head coach Jim Mora confirmed the news shortly after Vanderdoes’ announcement. Unless Notre Dame changes its decision not to release Vanderdoes, he will have to sit out a season and lose a year of eligibility as a basic penalty for breaking a NLI. He will have four years to play three.

Irish head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement that his school chose not to release Vanderdoes “in order to protect the integrity of that very important program.” Continue reading “Eddie Vanderdoes announces for UCLA, breaking NLI with Notre Dame” »

Eddie Vanderdoes could decommit from Notre Dame

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.

Adidas unveils camo sleeves, shorts

Well, that’s … bold. Adidas introduced daring new alternate looks for six basketball programs Tuesday, continuing what’s become a norm in college athletics. UCLA will be among those donning camouflage-patterned shorts, joining Baylor, Cincinnati, No. 21 Notre Dame, No. 10 Louisville, No. 6 Kansas.

UCLA, Baylor and Louisville’s new alternates also feature camo sleeves. The Bruins last attempt at an uniform change didn’t go very well, using an all-blue look during a home overtime loss to USC. They’ll wear this latest edition at least once during the Pac-12 tournament.

UPDATE: A UCLA spokesperson said players were presented with uniform concepts in advance and loved them.