Lakalaka Starts Bruins' 2012 Class

Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou running back Steven Lakalaka committed to UCLA, giving the Bruins their first verbal in the 2012 class...

Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou has two big defensive lineman on its squad in the 2012 recruiting class, but it was a running back that beat both of them to the punch in making his college choice.

Steven Lakalaka, a 5-10, 205-pounder, was offered by UCLA and committed to the Bruins over the weekend.

"I committed on Saturday to UCLA," said Lakalaka. "They're a good school and they're very similar to Punahou but a lot bigger. Coach Inoke (Breckterfield) was talking to me and I was very comfortable with him. I felt UCLA was the best school."

Lakalaka was also receiving interest from Colorado, Arizona, Harvard, Penn State and Washington State, but said that UCLA was his top choice.

"Coach Inoke was real excited that I committed," said Lakalaka. "I know Dalton Hilliard and I texted Dalton when I committed and he was very excited too."

Lakalaka said he'll play running back for the Bruins.

"Coach Inoke said they have two types of running backs, the shifty back and the power back, and I'll come in and play the power back," said Lakalaka.

Lakalaka said he models his game after former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.

"We run a lot a like, with power," said Lakalaka.

Lakalaka said that he's talked with Breckterfield and recruiting coordinator Angus McClure and Breckterfield told him that head coach Rick Neuheisel would be calling him this week.

He's glad to have the decision over with.

"I feel relieved that I don't have to worry about college camps and recruiting and know where I'm going," said Lakalaka. "Another reason I picked UCLA is because it's closer for my family. They're pretty stoked and pretty happy for me."

Academically, Lakalaka has a 3.2 and will take the SAT in June.

Lakalaka ran for 771 yards on 152 carries and scored four touchdowns and caught 16 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in 2010.

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