Ankou On His UCLA Commitment

UCLA commit and Red Lion Christian Academy (Bear, Del.) defensive end Eli Ankou is adjusting to playing in the United States after beginning his career playing in Canada. After his Saturday game against No. 7 Our Lady of Good Counsel, he spoke with about his adjustment, and whether schools are leaving him alone after his summer commitment to the Bruins.

WILMINGTON, Del. – Not only is UCLA commit Eli Ankou learning a new way of playing football, he is learning it against some of the best teams the mid-Atlantic region offers.

The latest lessons came in Red Lion Christian Academy's (Bear, Del.) 34-14 loss to No. 7 Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) at the University of Delaware on Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Ankou, who plays defensive end for Red Lion, is making the transition after playing at St. Peter High, which is located in suburban Toronto.

"It's been different, but all in all, it still reminds me of home," Ankou said. "It's still North America, same movies, same media …pretty much everything is the same. As far as football, though, it is very different. It's taken way more seriously, and a lot more speed, physicality, size.

"I don't think it's hard to adapt because it's more of a mental adaptation that you have to make. As far as athletics, it's not that hard. It's just learning the game, and facing what's put in front of you."

Ankou said the biggest eye-opener since moving to the United States is how much effort is put into football, especially in preparation and offseason workouts.

Against Good Counsel, Ankou had three tackles.

"I think I'm doing fairly well," he said. "I'm really happy. I learned a lot since I moved here, so there's much more I can ask for."

Ankou was recruited to play to defensive end for UCLA, and he remains in regular contact with the Bruins' coaching staff. He talks to them on a weekly basis, and is in the process of scheduling an official visit for after his season.

"UCLA is definitely a school I want to keep my sights on," Ankou said. "It's a great school, a great program. I heard a lot of things. I don't know as far as that goes. I'm still committed to UCLA, and UCLA is the school I want to go to."

The "things" Ankou is hearing about revolves around the future of the UCLA coaching staff. Although he did not mention any school talking about a possible coaching change involving coach Rick Neuheisel, he added he was paying attention to the stability of the Bruins' coaching staff.

"Right now I'm talking to a couple of other schools; Rutgers, Arkansas, a lot of the eastern schools," Ankou said. "It's just catching up on recruiting and everything that is happening."

So, how does Ankou view his commitment to the Bruins?

"I am strongly committed," he said.

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