Hunt Makes An Early Decision

Westlake (Calif.) 2013 cornerback Dashon Hunt makes his college choice 18 months before he can sign a letter of intent, and gets on the Bruins' recruiting board early...

Fresh off his sophomore year at Westlake (Calif.), when he would be a Sophomore All-American and All-SuperSoph California selection, 2013 cornerback Dashon Hunt got his first offer, from UCLA.

Now, as he begins his junior season with the Warriors, Hunt decided there was no reason to drag out the recruiting process for 18 more months, and committed to the Bruins on Thursday.

"I just see UCLA as such a good fit for me," said Hunt. "Their academic program is stupendous. And their athletic program is really good too. I can stay close to home and I'm already use to the Southern California weather."

Hunt said the offer from the Bruins came as a surprise.

"I'd always prayed and hoped that I would be recruited, and by the grace of God, they offered me maybe three weeks, or a month after my season ended," said Hunt. "I was really excited because UCLA is a bigtime school."

During the spring, Washington offered Hunt and Colorado, where two teammates, Nelson Spruce and Justin Solis have signed and committed respectively, was close. Oregon and other Pac-12 schools were showing serious interest too.

But they couldn't beat the hometown school.

"I got to talk a lot with Coach (Clark) Lea and Coach (Rick) Neuheisel a lot and they are great guys and great coaches," said Hunt. "I committed to Coach Neuheisel and he was really excited. UCLA just feels like home to me." At 5-9, 175, Hunt acknowledges that he doesn't have optimal height for a cornerback. But that doesn't faze him.

"I do see that I'm undersized to the corners that are 6-1, 6-2, but what I make up for in height is I out-physical most receivers. And I just judge the ball really goods. I just play my game on the football field."

With numerous teammates having been recruited, and getting to go against Spruce and Nevada commit Cody Tuttle in practice, has helped Hunt in the recruiting process.

"They encourage you in the recruiting process, and they told me UCLA is close to home, you'll have a lot of support, and my coaches told me how good the academic programs are," said Hunt. "Playing with those guys prepared me a lot. Every day going against a great receiver in Nelson Spruce, it prepared me."

With UCLA's two starting corners both juniors, like Hunt, they'll have graduated by the time Hunt gets there, something he was aware of.

"The depth chart caught my eyes," said Hunt. "I'm looking at the future as well as the present." Hunt had 60 tackles, seven interceptions, five pass deflections and a fumble recovery (for a 97 yard touchdown) and had 11 touchdowns as a 2010 sophomore at Westlake, who were co-champs in the Marmonte League and finalists in the CIF-SS Northern Division.

They open the 2011 season against Loomis (Calif.) Del Oro.

Brandon is in his seventh year with Scout.com, currently as the National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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