Irish offer Ulloa on visit
Ulloa, a 6-foot, 190-pounder from Centennial High School in Corona, hoped the visit would boost his recruiting stock with the Irish.
Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bryan VanGorder and defensive backs coach Todd Lyght hinted that an offer could be in the works. Later that day, Irish head coach Brian Kelly presented it to Ulloa.
“I went and talked to coach VanGorder and coach Lyght and they said they wanted to offer me but they had to go through coach Kelly to give them the green light,” Ulloa said. “They talked for a little bit and then I went to coach Kelly and he extended an offer to me. I was speechless. I didn’t think I would get offered by a prolific school such as Notre Dame.”
The Irish joined a group of more than a dozen programs vying for Ulloa’s signature and instantly moved into the short list. Other offers on the table include Arizona State, Michigan State, Stanford, Utah and Wisconsin.
“It definitely changes a couple things,” Ulloa said. “They’re kind of toward the top of the list but I’m still keeping everything wide open for the next couple months until I can visit some more schools.”
Kelly made it clear that Ulloa would be a comfortable match with Notre Dame.
“He said he loves the type of player I am and how I play and that I would fit perfect in their scheme and the school and that’s why they wanted to offer me,” he said.
During the trip Ulloa met most of the Irish coaching staff. He also toured the campus and football facilities.
As impressed as he was with the University as a whole, Ulloa was equally impressed with Lyght, Notre Dame’s new defensive backs coach.
“He had a lot of energy and he has knowledge of the game,” Ulloa said. “He seemed like a really good guy and a real good coach.”
“He liked it and everything but I asked him one-on-one and he said he’s still 100-percent to Oregon,” Ulloa said of Warner.
Next month Ulloa will visit two more schools on his short list and he hopes to see several more this summer before trimming his list to a more manageable number.
“I’m going up to Cal and Stanford in May when I’m up there for the Nike Combine,” he said. “Then I’m going to try and make an East Coast swing and go up north in the summer. Cal and Stanford are the only two visits that are coming up next.”
As a junior, Ulloa recorded 57 tackles. He’s forced 19 turnovers in his last two seasons.
“The ball just finds me,” he said. “I’ve been stripping footballs since I was seven years old. Being at safety you’re bound to have balls thrown at you and you can go in and get the balls. Half of the time I’d win the battle. Our coaches set up a great scheme every week and they let me be able to make plays and go to the ball. I’ve got to give it up to my coaches but I also work very hard in the off-season just to prepare myself to be able to make all those plays and make the right angles and everything. “