Chris Bleich, a one-time Penn State commit who was going to play for his in-state school, instead will head to college on the other side of the country.
The 6-foot-6, 313-pound offensive tackle from Plymouth (Pa.) Wyoming Valley West just announced his commitment to UCLA, and having a lot of family near the campus was a big part of his decision.
"The opportunities out in L.A. for a young kid to have, and I have a lot of family out there, were (big factors)," Bleich said. "I am close with them through social media, but we never get to see each other because they're on the other side of the country. I think that is something that was (interesting) to me so I can see them more often."
"I like how they're all from the east coast," Bleich said. "They all played in the NFL or coached in the NFL, and that is one of my things, to get there. I think they give me my best chance to get to where I want to be, and develop me to where I need to be."
Bruins offensive line coach Hank Fraley also played a huge role.
"He's someone cool, he's a younger dude," Bleich said. "He is someone I can relate to. He played in the NFL for something like 13 years, so he has been somewhere I want to be and he knows how to coach me to get where I want to be."
During his visit to campus earlier this month, Bleich stayed with family who lives off Sunset Blvd.. He also has relatives in Burbank.
"My grandma's cousin was a fighter pilot in World War II and he lives out there," Bleich said. "It's not like I'm coming into a school with no family members. It's just like I am going to see other family members for a period of time."