Status of UCLA Verbal Craig Lee

Despite not being able to sign with UCLA, the talented running back prospect Craig Lee is doing everything he can to be a Bruin...

Craig Lee, the 6-0, 190-pound running back prospect from Redlands (Calif.), will have a good chance of qualifying for admissions into UCLA and could do it in time to enroll for summer, according to sources.

Verbally committed to UCLA, Lee didn't sign a National Letter of Intent on February 6th because he was not admitted into school. UCLA is one of three schools in the FBS (Stanford and Northwestern being the other two) that will not allow a prospect to sign an NLI unless he's admitted.

Lee, the #26-ranked running back in the nation, was expected to come in and immediately impact the running back depth, especially after the loss of senior All-American Johnathan Franklin.

From what we've heard, it was quite demoralizing for Lee not to be able to sign an NLI, especially when other recruits who are in worse academic standing than he did sign NLIs with other schools. He was the object of scorn, on the Internet and elsewhere, even getting sent harassing Instagram photos as a result.

Lee, however, has always wanted to be a Bruin, is determined to still be, and is indicating to those close him that he'll do whatever it takes to get it done. He is putting in a great deal of academic work, both in his high school classes to improve his GPA and in preparing for the ACT/SAT. He is currently taking some ACT/SAT prep courses, which should significantly boost his test scores, since he hadn't taken a prep course previously. He plans to take the SAT in March and the ACT in April.

From what we've heard, given where he is currently academically, combined with a conservative improvement in his GPA and test scores, he'll have a decent chance to qualify by the end of the school year. If he does that, Lee is getting indications from UCLA that he'll be admitted in time to participate in the summer session with the rest of the incoming freshmen.

We've been told that Lee is in regular contact with UCLA and is submitted grade reports to UCLA assistant coach Demetrice Martin.

However, a source is telling us that, if he doesn't qualify by the end of his senior year, he fully intends to take post-graduate courses and study to re-take the ACT/SAT this summer, similar to Jeremy Castro. He could then still attain a qualifying test score, given his GPA, on the ACT/SAT when it's offered in fall, in time to qualify for fall enrollment.

UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora has told Lee he will hold a scholarship for him, no matter how long it takes.

Despite his discouragement, Lee is completely focused on going to UCLA, and isn't interested in other programs.

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