Bunte Is A Bruin

The Santa Margarita (Calif.) four-star offensive tackle, Erik Bunte, committed to UCLA on Tuesday...

Santa Margarita (Calif.) four-star offensive tackle Erik Bunte had said that he wanted to wait throughout the recruiting process before he made the decision.

That changed on Tuesday evening.

"I know I had said I wanted to wait and go through the whole process, but really today I just thought there is nothing that compared to the Bruin family and nothing that measured up to UCLA," said Bunte. "I believe in the team and I believe in Coach (Jim) Mora and Coach (Adrian) Klemm so I called them up and committed to UCLA. I'm so excited."

Bunte got his first offer from the Bruins back in January, which went a long way with him.

"They really believed in me and Coach Klemm and I have a great relationship," said Bunte.

The last time UCLA got a big offensive tackle from Santa Margarita, Kris Farris became an All-American and won the 1998 Outland Trophy for the Bruins.

And that's exactly the player that Bunte looks up to and admires.

"He's my role model and who I play my game after," said Bunte. "When I was at UCLA, I took a picture of his plaque and the Outland Trophy. Knowing he went from Santa Margarita to UCLA is amazing. That means a lot to me. I got a chance to meet him when he came to our school last year to talk with us. So it's really cool I'm following in his footsteps."

The proximity to Bunte's home in Orange County also played a role.

"I'm not going to be going far from home, and my mom was really happy because she'll be attending all my games and now I'm close to my brother who lives in L.A.," said Bunte.

Bunte helped the Eagles to the CIF-SS Pac-5 and CIF State Division I title as a 2011 junior and said the early decision will allow him to focus on a repeat attempt.

"With the decision out of the way, I'll be able to have the team on my back and I wanted to get it off my chest," said Bunte. "Now I can pay more attention to my senior year."

Bunte also said he plans to help the Bruins recruiting efforts.

"I would love to help out and be there for anyone else and help others through their recruitment and help out UCLA," said Bunte.

Bunte said he's planning on being in Westwood next week to meet with the coaches.

"I'm going to take an unofficial visit up there during my spring break to meet with the coaches and then I plan to go to a lot of spring practices and watch Coach Klemm and the offensive line," said Bunte.

Bunte's good friend and teammate Max Tuerk, signed with USC last month, so he's looking forward to their future in the Pac-12.

"Max will find out pretty soon I'm going there and we're pretty good buds so it should be fun," said Bunte.

Brandon is in his eighth year with Scout.com and FOXSportsNext, currently as a 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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