For the five-star U.S. Army All-American, it also was an opportunity to see how other schools stack up with USC, where he committed in July.
And Vanderdoes was impressed by what he saw in Westwood and Pasadena.
"I couldn't have asked for a better visit," said Vanderdoes. "UCLA has a great family feeling, from the coaching staff to the players. I got all my questions answered by the staff, they were really up front and honest. And obviously the campus was beautiful and weather was beautiful. They're building a new program there, a winning era, and there is a lot more confidence than previous years and a lot more swagger."
Vanderdoes was hosted by Nate Iese, also from the Sacramento area, and a friend of Vanderdoes.
"I hung a lot with Nate and we hung out a lot with Simon Goines too," said Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes also got to spent a lot of time with the UCLA coaches, namely defensive line coach Angus McClure, who's recruiting him, defensive coordinator Lou Spanos and head coach Jim Mora. "I talked to pretty much the whole coaching staff but more so the defensive coaches," said Vanderdoes. "I talked a lot with Coach Angus, Coach Mora and Coach Spanos and a lot of time we spent with all three of them together. They broke things down on their defense and their high need for me, and the role they like me for, playing where Datone Jones plays, and showing me how I fit in their defense. In their 3-4 scheme, they'd use me as a 5-tech and as a one and I'd move around some."
Being the first trip, Vanderdoes said he's glad he's planning to take all five of his trips. And Vanderdoes said that regardless of what happened at USC this season, he would have scheduled five official visits.
"If USC had gone 12-0, I would have taken visits," said Vanderdoes. "As much as I love USC, I wanted to be able to have this opportunity to talk with other coaches and just see every opportunity and experience through. I want to be able to get some questions answered. So I'm most definitely going to get out there and visit other schools and we'll see how they go. Especially after my UCLA visit. I really liked it there and definitely want to compare the other schools."
"USC is scheduled for January 18th and Washington is sometime in December, LSU will be during their bowl practice and I'll go to Cal on December 7th," said Vanderdoes.
This week, coaches from Washington and USC will be visiting him for their first in-homes.
"Coach (Tosh) Lupoi from Washington is coming in on Wednesday and Coach (Clay) Helton from USC is coming in on Thursday," said Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes said that USC coaches have no problem with him taking official visits.
"They like kids to take their visits and experience this and they're not concerned at all," said Vanderdoes. "They know I'm 100% to USC."
Vanderdoes said that the in-homes will be a big deal for him and his family.
"With the in-homes, we as a family are going to take them very seriously, and we have a bunch of questions, and we'll gauge if they're trust worthy answers from all the coaches," said Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes' season came to an end two weekends ago, and his next action will be at the U.S. Army Bowl in San Antonio in January.
"I can't wait for that, it's going to be an awesome experience," said Vanderdoes.