UCLA Lands 1st Commitment Of The Year

It took a little longer than we expected but Long Beach Poly (Calif.) defensive back <b>Rodney Van</b> committed to UCLA at the Bruins Junior Day earlier this afternoon...

Since last February, Van had said he wanted to commit early and not have to go through the same long, drawn out process as his teammates Kevin Brown, Junior Lemau'u and Josh Tauanu'u. UCLA had been his childhood favorite and with his Brown and Lemau'u in the fold, he said he could commit as soon as he was offered.

Van was one of the first players to be offered by the Bruins but he decided to hold off saying he wanted to take his trips. That all changed today at Junior Day.

"It was a pretty magical day," Van said. "Me and my dad were walking out and then I just stopped and said I wanted to do this. So I walked back inside, shook Coach Dorrell's hand and told him I wanted to commit and I wanted to be a Bruin. He was really excited and hugged me and then all the rest of the coaches came and did the same.

"I knew it was where I wanted to be and I figured I would be wasting everyone's time by going through the process. It would have been like a formality to go and take trips when I knew I wanted to be at UCLA. I'm really excited right now and I'm real comfortable with the new staff and the direction of the program."

Van was just offered by LSU late last week to go along with earlier offers from Washington and Utah. He played both corner and safety for Poly last year but was recruited strictly as a corner by the Bruins.

Van will also run track at UCLA and qualified for the state finals in four different events, the 400m, long jump and both relays.

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