"I'm not de-committing from UCLA because I've got to sit on it and see what happens," Dean said. "But it is what it is. It's a soft verbal right now."
The uncertainty for Dean stems from the firing Monday of UCLA coach Karl Dorrell. Now, the 6'1, 204-pound Dean will sit back and watch who the Bruins next coach will be. In the meantime, Dean says he'll keep his options open and entertain offers from other programs.
One program already with their foot in the door is Louisville. Louisville assistant Tony Alford called Dean last Saturday to express the Cardinals interest. During the conversation, Alford convinced Dean to make an official visit to Louisville next month. Dean is set to visit Louisville January 11-12.
"They were recruiting me pretty hard earlier in the year before I committed to anybody and then they kind of stopped recruiting me once I committed to UCLA," said Dean, who had verbally committed to Texas A&M before switching to UCLA. "They told me that I was a guy that they really wanted back in the summer and they really want me to come up and visit and check things out."
Interestingly, Dean has developed a friendship with former Louisville great Amobi Okoye. Okoye, who plays for the Houston Texans, lives close to Dean in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston.
"I'm good friends with Amobi Okoye who went to Louisville and plays for the Texans," Dean said. "He's one of my real good friends and he's been putting the word in my ear about Louisville and telling me to check them out. I've done some research on them and I liked what I saw offensive-wise. They've got that down-hill running style that I like and a pro-style offense. So I think it would be a good place for me and a good fit."
Arizona State is also in the picture. The Sun Devils will make an in-home visit Tuesday night with Dean. "I'm probably going to set up an official visit to Arizona State, too," Dean said. "The two visits that I know I'm going to be taking are to Arizona State and Louisville."
With his team still in the midst of a playoff run, Dean said he's more focused on winning a state title than he is on the recruiting process.
"I'm not really worrying about recruiting right now because we're still playing and winning state is my main goal," Dean said. "But I'm open. If somebody calls and wants to offer me I'm just kind of open right now."
Dean, rated the No. 22 running back prospect in the nation according to Scout.com, rushed for over 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns last season as a junior.
"I'm just a down hill power runner and I've got a little bit of speed on me too," Dean said. "I can hit the holes inside and I can hit them outside. I just try to do it all but I've got a lot of stuff to work on too just like everybody else does."
Dean said he'll likely finalize his decision sometime in January.
"I've just got to be comfortable with my decision," Dean said. "It's a family deal. Whenever my family is ready to do it and I'm ready to do it we'll do it."