Vallejo no longer a Cat

Elliot Vallejo, 6-6, 291 pound offensive lineman from Salinas (Calif.) Palma took an official visit to UCLA over the weekend and committed to the Bruins. As many know, Vallejo had earlier given Arizona a commitment and the change of decision put a lot of stress on the family.

"This whole episode was tough on all of us," Denise Vallejo, Elliot's mother said. "When Elliot committed to Arizona, he gave them his word and in our family, that means a lot. We've always raised Elliot that way and we came close to canceling the visit just because we felt so bad about everything.

"The thing is though, UCLA is a school that Elliot has always wanted to play for and academically, they're one of the best. Their Engineering program is in the top five of the country and that's what Elliot wants to major in. He really wanted to take the visit but how could we go along with it when his whole life, we preached against this. We even canceled our plane tickets but later in the week, we got in the car and drove down to UCLA and it was incredible.

"UCLA had come in on Elliot a little late but he improved so much this year and earned 1st team All-State (Cal Hi-Sports) that they were really pushing hard for a visit. Elliot felt so comfortable there and told us that UCLA was where he belonged. We knew it would be tough to tell Arizona but his heart was set on UCLA for a long time and the trip just enhanced that. He loves everything about the school and so we agreed that UCLA was where he should go. The hard part was going to be telling Arizona. My husband called them today and they were obviously disappointed which I understand. I'm still a little emotional about everything just because it was such a big deal when he did commit to Arizona and then to turn around and commit to UCLA, it was a stressful weekend.

"I guess the important thing is Elliot couldn't be happier. Right now, UCLA is talking about gray-shirting him which would mean instead of enrolling in the fall with the rest of the freshman, he would enroll in January. That first semester he'll probably take some classes at a local junior college and lift a lot of weights to get bigger and stronger.

"We actually think it's a good move for Elliot but they said they still might want him to enroll in the fall if they don't fill up their scholarship allotment. Academically it will help him because he's planning on getting his major and they'll pay for more of his schooling now. Either way is fine with us. I'm just glad this whole thing is over and I can hopefully relax a little now."

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This story is courtesy of Pac West Football, the best source of West Coast recruiting on the net.

ATH Marcus Smith

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