Vanderdoes Talks About Being Cleared

Freshman defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes had a long journey to UCLA. He talked about it with us after practice on Wednesday...

Eddie Vanderdoes on getting approved to play this year:

On his first practice:
It feels great to finally be a college athlete.  Be done with everything, move on with my career and playing college football

On how the last few steps of the appeal process went:
It went great.  I finally got to speak to them (the NCAA) on the phone by myself.  And explained myself.  And they felt it was four good reasons to release me.

On if he was surprised how quickly a decision came:
Yeah, I was real surprised.  They actually had called me an hour after and talked to me and told me that they'll have a full decision tomorrow.  They had a decision but they wanted to cover their bases.  A decision was basically made an hour after.

On if he could share the "four reasons":
No, I can't.

On how stressful the wait was:
It was horrible.  It was a stressful last three months.  It would have been nice if everything had gone smoothly and not worried about everything but things came up and everything happens for a reason.  And it happens and there was a reason why the last three months were like that, but I'm just happy to be here.  God led me here to UCLA and I'm happy.

On his grandma's health:
Her status is she has breast cancer now so it's not too good.  I'm just spending as much time with her as I can, when she comes down, or when I get up, I got to go home over the weekend.  That was just one of the reason. She can't travel.  She can't go 15 minutes from Sacramento, I think like an hour and a half flight to Phoenix, a four hour flight to Chicago and then like a 3.5 hour drive out to South Bend.

On if he felt he got his point across with his conversation with the NCAA:
Yes. Yeah.  When we had to write, I wrote first then they had to write.  That wasn't getting anything. The writing wasn't really going to help anything.  So when I talked, I talked myself a good hour and a half, just by myself.  Went over thing.  Nice, to get to open my mouth.  Finally.  You have to write out an appeal.  You write one and then the university writes on and they go over it.  It really doesn't help too much.  It's kind of nice to get to talk to them in person.

On how long after Signing Day he knew he didn't want to go to Notre Dame:
Everything kind of happened about a week after.  I still stuck with it.  I wanted to stay.  I didn't want to make an issue out of it.  Probably about a month into it, things still weren't working out like it was supposed to before Signing Day.  And still a few days after, I said I feel like we have to move, I have to move on.

On if Notre Dame accommodated him in helping him move on:
Helped me to leave? Everybody except for one coach.

On if it was the Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly:
No comment.

On the process of talking to the committee:
We didn't talk to the NLI committee. We talked to the NCAA.  I'd say about an hour and 25 minutes.

On if he felt right away like he was going to go to UCLA when he knew he wasn't going to Notre Dame:
No.  Because I didn't want to talk to anybody.  That's illegal.  It was one of those things, like "Oh before Signing Day, we knew they had a spot". I was eying UCLA, but I didn't know because I didn't know if I had a spot or anything.  Once I got released, I got a recruiting uplift, or whatever they call it, and as soon as I got that, the same schools from before, Alabama, Washington, Cal, UCLA, USC all called my coach, Utah and a few other schools.

On what he felt he was getting through to the NCAA:
I was confident in the points that I was making were very valid.  I just was confident in what I was telling them, finally, through my voice, that was going to work out.

On if he was confident then:
Yes.  I knew once I got to the point, where I got to talk to them over the phone, that it was going to be fine  That was the confidence I had..

On when he decided to leave Notre Dame, if he expected a smooth release or a battle:
At first, yes, 100% because the reasons were very valid. But they made that very difficult at first, but it got done.

On if he ever considered not signing an NLI:
I don't even remember, that was a long time ago.

On if he has any advice to recruits signing an NLI:
If you're still not, like I don't know how to say it. If you don't know 100%, regardless of who you are, you don't have to say it on February 6.  You can wait till like April.  I had no idea. I thought you had to sign on the dot on February 6.  And that's not the case.  My advice is, make sure you're 100% before you sign your life to a school away.  Just make sure.  Because you have time.  It's not like you have to on February 6.

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