Drayton Makes Commitment Official

The aggressive safety prospect from Hacienda Heights (Calif.) Los Altos, <b>Daniel Drayton</b>, confirms it: He's a Bruin. And he's excited about his commitment, talking about how he's been a Bruin fan and the elite teammate he'll be recruiting to Westwood...

It took a little longer than expected, but in the end, the commitment was real, and Daniel Drayton is going to be a Bruin.

"They offered me on Saturday at Junior Day, and I committed then," said safety prospect Drayton, 5-9, 190, Hacienda Heights (Calif.) Los Altos.

While there was a minor confusion in the commitment (his parents not knowing they could announce his decision publicly), it worked out and Drayton solidified his commitment to UCLA. "Coach Bieniemy offered me, but Coach Dorrell handed it to me, and that was an honor for me to have the head coach offer me a scholarship," said Drayton.

Somewhat of a sleeper, Drayton nevertheless has plenty of potential and is excited about playing for UCLA. "It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid to play at UCLA. Anyone who knew me knew I wanted to go there. When they offered me, it was a no-brainer to take it."

Drayton had primarily been recruited by Coach Bieniemy, a fellow San Gabriel Valley product, and is a big fan of the coach. "Coach Bieniemy is real down to earth. Some coaches are up there in their own world, but Coach Bieniemy knows what he is talking about and is just a real good coach. Coach Dorrell, he is just a great guy and great coach. He has a real purpose that he has brought to UCLA and will do great."

Drayton had been watching the Bruins for most of his childhood and rattled off several names of players he watched. "DeShaun Foster, Cade McNown, Skip Hicks, J.J. Stokes, Jermaine Lewis, Freddie Mitchell, Danny Farmer, Troy Aikman...I watched all of them. And to play for UCLA and wear the same uniform they did is exciting for me," said Drayton.

The lure of playing close to home was too good to pass up too. "My mom and dad have been to every one of my games since I was playing Pop Warner at six years old, so I am excited they can watch me play for another four years. They were both pretty excited for me and somewhat shocked I made my decision already, but that's where I dreamed of going."

Drayton was one of the top players in CIF Division VI, last season. As a safety/linebacker, he racked up 90 tackles, six forced fumbles and two interceptions. At running back he rushed for 1,055 yards and 16 touchdowns, while getting four more scores on punt returns. He was named the Miramonte League Player of the Year, San Gabriel Valley Player of the Year, 1st team All-CIF Southern Section and 2nd team All-State. He also led his team to a CIF title last season, and has designs on winning a second title this year. "With my commitment, I can focus on playing my senior year, getting back to the championship game, and winning another title."

While he has some versatility in the secondary, Drayton prefers to play safety, but would have no problem playing cornerbck. "I would rather play safety, but if they want me to play cornerback, I will do whatever I can to get on the field."

Drayton also had a handful of other offers, but the UCLA was the one who wanted, and was glad it came early, for ulterior reasons. "One reason I wanted to commit early was so I can spend the rest of the time recruiting other guys to come to play at UCLA. I'm pretty excited to be a Bruin. I've been going to the Rose Bowl for a long time. Now I'm ready to have my own experiences playing in the Rose Bowl."

In fact, his teammate, UCLA defensive end target Brigham Harwell, is now a recruiting target for Drayton. "Of course, I am going to encourage Brigham to come to UCLA. I respect that it will be his decision but, yeah, I am going to try to recruit him. It would be great to have one of my buddies there."

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