Russell Ude Talks About Cal Commitment

Russell Ude made his two-month silent commitment public on Wednesday, and he spoke with BearTerritory about why the time was right to finally make his announcement, PLUS, who does he want to bring into the fold?

Three-star defensive end Russell Ude has long said that he wants to play for an academically-oriented school, and on Sunday, Aug. 10, he quietly committed to play at California, speaking with head coach Sonny Dykes, and then later in the week, speaking in-depth with defensive coordinator Art Kaufman.

On Wednesday, Ude – who has grown from 6-foot-3, 245 pounds to 6-foot-4, 270 – made his commitment public, and official, and shortly thereafter, spoke with BearTerritory.

“It was just time,” said Ude. “I knew that I would do it when the time was right, and I felt that the time was right to make it public. I’d been silently committed for a little bit, and I had told other coaches that were recruiting me that Cal was the place I was leaning towards, for various reasons, and I wanted to just wait no things. They were really happy that I decided to make this move. It’s something that my mom had been wanting me to do, so I decided that the timing was right. It just felt right.”

What made it feel like the right time?

“I prayed, and I just knew that I would know when it was time,” Ude said. “I’m definitely a person of faith, and I had a feeling that, when the time was right, God would tell me it was right, and the time was right, so I went ahead and decided to go on that.”

The three-star defender of Atlanta (Ga.) The Westminster Schools chose the Bears above Miami, UCLA, Penn State, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Boston College.

“They were very much open, before the season started, about the fact that they were going to change things, and needed to change things,” Ude said. “They needed to get the program turned around. It’s very apparent that the program’s moving in the right direction, and you can tell already, with the wins that they’ve had and some of the close losses – controversial in some cases – that they’re moving in the right direction. I can fit into that system well, and it’s a family over there. It’s something I want to be a part of. The main thing, really, is that the academic opportunities are hard to beat.”

Ude visited Berkeley in late June, and was hosted by freshmen Vic Enwere and Luke Rubenzer, while meeting with defensive line coach Fred Tate.

“I just fell in love with the place,” Ude said.

Ude has said that “California sort of fits my personality even more than the South does,” since he has a wide range of interests and appreciates cultural diversity, given that his family is from Nigeria.

The 3.6-GPA student-athlete is the No. 79 defensive end in the 2015 class, but was one of the top defensive ends at the Atlanta NFTC, after he moved from outside linebacker to defensive end.

“From a football standpoint, I really, really, really like Cal, I really like UCLA and I really like Miami, and those were the other schools I was looking at from a football standpoint, and I was able to go visit Cal, but I was not able to visit Miami or Oregon, so my coaches and my family, they were kind of hoping that I wouldn’t make a decision without visiting the other schools, but I wasn’t able to,” Ude said. “But, Cal, academically, offers things that those places can’t.”

Ude still wants to take visits once his season is over, including one to Berkeley, but “for sure” will officially visit Eugene and Miami. Wisconsin and Missouri are also in the mix, he said. Vanderbilt is also in contention

Though Ude will take visits, he's already been recruiting for the Bears since before he made his own commitment public.

“My boy Stanley Norman, he’s a guy I definitely want to talk into coming with me,” said Ude, who may already have a head start in that regard. “He’s a big-time player. Me and Stanley were talking at a camp, and I met him last year. I know UCLA and Cal are on him, and academics mean a lot. At Cal, he’d get to choose to play whatever side of the ball he wants, and play immediately, and he knows that. Also, my boy T.J. – T.J. Rahming -- he’s committeed to Duke right now, but I’ve been talking to him a little bit. Also, my boy Josh Wariboko, over in Oklahoma. Those are the three that come to mind right now.” Top Stories