Wadood Commits to UCLA

Jaleel Wadood, the talented defensive back prospect from Bellflower St. John Bosco, committed to UCLA Tuesday morning...

Jaleel Wadood has been a UCLA lean for some time and there were reports that he may even commit on his official visit a few weeks back. The athlete decided to hold off and think things over but after a home visit Monday night from Bruin DB coach Demetrice Martin, Wadood said he was ready to seal the deal.

"I'm very excited about UCLA, it's a great fit for me," Wadood said. "I love everything about the school. I like the coaches a lot, Coach Mora and Coach Meat (Martin) are great guys and great coaches and they're going to push me to make me better.

"I fit in really well with the other guys on the team and felt that family bond when I took my trip. I know a lot of those guys already so it just felt like home. The football program is going in the right direction and I'm just very excited to be a part of that."

Wadood is one of the most versatile defensive backs in the region and has the ability to play corner or safety at the next level.

"I'm coming in as a safety," Wadood said. "That's where I've always played and that's where I'm comfortable. Coach Meat said I'll have a chance to come in and compete for playing time and that's what I'm looking forward to doing.

"I know they have some other DBs coming in too but I'm not worried about that all. There's going to be competition wherever you go so if I'm ready to play, I'll play, it's up to me. I'm just really excited to have this decision out of the way now. It's a weight off my back and I feel really good about. I just can't stop smiling, I'm happy to be a Bruin."

Wadood had earlier visited Oregon State and Utah and was planning to take visits in January to Washington and USC as well.

"No more visits, I'm done," Wadood said. "I told myself as soon as I committed, that would be it for me. I was visiting Washington because of Coach Heyward and he's at USC now. I have a lot of respect for USC and the program but for me, UCLA just felt right. Everything clicked for me and I know this is where I belong."

In Wadood, UCLA is getting a player with as good of football instincts as any player out West. He may lack the prototypical size of a safety, but in today's Pac 12 where more schools run a spread type offense, he fits in very well as a player who has cover skills but the toughness to play against the run. He has great range and ball skills and is one of those players that is always around the ball and seems to be 2-3 plays ahead of everyone else. It's definitely a huge pick up for UCLA.

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for almost 20 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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