West's Top DE Pulls Trigger

Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado defensive end Keenan Graham, the West's top pass rusher, made his college decision over the weekend, and he'll be playing in the Pac-10...

Despite taking three official visits, Las Vegas (Nev.) Silverado defensive end Keenan Graham (6-4, 220), the top-ranked prospect in Nevada and the top defensive end in the West, had a feeling where he wanted to go.

With two official visits remaining, and plans to take those to USC and Virginia Tech, Graham decided this past weekend that it was time to end his recruitment, and UCLA, one of the first schools to offer him, ended up with his commitment.

"I'd liked UCLA from the beginning and I think everyone knows that," said Graham. "I took those three trips because I wanted to see what else was out there but also to see what it meant for UCLA. I got to meet a lot of coaches and a lot of cool players. But in the end, I just had that feeling for UCLA. I've been talking about it with Coach (Rick) Neuheisel and I've been talking about it with my coaches and my coach said when it felt right, pull the trigger and end the process. So I did."

In Graham, UCLA lands the #5-ranked defensive end in the country, and one of the elite pass-rushers in the country.

"I talked to Coach Neuheisel over the weekend and I actually talked to Coach (Tim) Hauck first. I told them I was ready to commit and they were saying they were really excited and a lot of people were going to be pumped when I came up there. So I set up my visit for this Friday and they were telling me the schedule and just how excited they were for me. I don't even know if Coach (Todd) Howard knows, I think he might just know that I'm coming to visit, but Coach Neuheisel said they were all pretty pumped."

Graham had been planning to take all five visits, and maximize his chances of seeing schools around the country, but his earlier-than-expected decision left him with no regrets.

"Really, it feels great to commit," said Graham. "I've experienced the full recruiting process. I probably won't be taking anymore official visits. Taking those three visits, what I wanted to do was see what it was like around the country and it definitely helped me. I was impressed with all three of them. But at the end of the day, I had to sit down and decide what was best for me and UCLA, there was nothing better, so I had to make it official."

Graham will also get to stay relatively close to home, which his family was happy with.

"That definitely played a role and my mom is excited," said Graham. "She wants to try and get up there with me this weekend. She wants to get up there with me to watch me play too and it's within driving distance and it's not too far for me. I'm glad I have the opportunity to play major college football and get a great education while being close to my family and friends."

And Graham's decision was also celebrated by his high school coach.

"My coach was excited. He knew all along how I felt about UCLA," said Graham. "We're both excited with how this process played out."

The Bruins commitment from Graham is their 13th overall and sixth defensively. Graham joins Todd Golper as top five players at their position nationally by Scout.com.


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