Dowling Proud to be a Bruin

Fallbrook (Calif.) offensive lineman Sean Dowling, a long-time UCLA commit, enjoyed his Saturday at the Rose Bowl...

Months before 9-2, when the thought of the Bruins playing for the Pac-12 Championship was just a nice idea, Fallbrook (Calif.) offensive lineman Sean Dowling gave his verbal commitment to play college ball at UCLA.

On Saturday, Dowling was on hand at the Rose Bowl to witness his future team defeat rival USC 38-28 while also clinching the title of Pac-12 South Champions.

"It was really special for me because I committed before anyone had seen the new UCLA play. I had watched four practices and I knew that Coach [Jim] Mora was doing something really, really special. Then on Saturday, to be there to watch them beat the preseason number one team, the team everyone said would beat UCLA 50-0 again...well, it was pretty nice to be there and to watch the changing of powers in Los Angeles," he said.

Dowling, who has been to a number of Bruin home games this season, also had the opportunity to spend some time with his future teammates, as well as a few UCLA targets.

"I was sitting with all of the offensive linemen commits, Joe Mathis, and I think Sean Covington, the kicker commit, was there, too. It was pretty cool for me. I had never met Christian Morris before. I didn't get the chance to talk to him much, but I got the chance to get to know the guys a little bit and know that they are great guys and great football players. I'm really excited to be their teammate," he said.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound lineman has continued to maintain his relationships with a few future Bruins.

"I try to talk to them as much as I can just because they are going to be my teammates for the next four or five years, so I want to maintain a good relationship. The offensive line is one of those positions that the guys all end up hanging out together. I live pretty close to Scott Quessenberry; his season just ended so I'm sure we'll hang out soon," he said.

Dowling, the only offensive line commit who will graduate early and join the Bruins in January, is already preparing to achieve his goal of playing as a true freshman.

"Anything can happen. I would love to be a freshman that plays and I know with three freshmen now, including two at tackle, it might not happen, but I can still work really hard and see what happens. I'm graduating early to help my chances, so you never know," he said.

He's also open to the possibility of finding a new spot on the line.

"I think that could definitely happen. With Kenny Lacy and Simon Goines at right tackle, I might end up at right guard. Or I could be a tackle; I might even end up at center. I don't know; I don't care where I am, I just like playing football. As long as I'm playing, I couldn't be happier. No one has really told me I have a specific spot, it's just how hard I work and the name I make for myself once I get up there," he said.

For now, he's still celebrating the both the Bruins big win on Saturday as well as the overall success the team has had under first year head coach Jim Mora.

"No one really expected this. I think I kind of knew it would happen within the next three years, but for it to happen in Coach Mora's first year with three starting freshman offensive linemen, it's a pretty big deal.

"Honestly, I had no clue they would be this good. I knew Coach Mora would have an amazing first season and a great second season. I knew they would be a Rose Bowl contender somewhere along the line, I just had no clue it would be this early. I'm really excited that it's happening," he said.

For those who managed to get a glimpse of him sitting at the Rose Bowl, donning UCLA colors in the pouring rain, one thing was crystal clear.

"I was fired up. The eight-clap gets me every time," he said.

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