The four-star prospect, though, hadn't taken an official visit to Notre Dame, so his official visit to UCLA this past weekend was his first chance to soak in the experience as well as his first time in Westwood since he committed to the Bruins.
"I loved it," said Dickerson. "It was my first official visit and I got to spend a lot of time with the players. I have to give a shout out to Eddie Vanderdoes, Kenny Clark and Taylor Lagace because they were the guys who took care of me and made more excited for UCLA. They initiated me in with them."
Dickerson said that when he picked Notre Dame, UCLA was second behind the Irish.
As his father battled cancer, Dickerson felt the need to be closer to home and he kept coming back to UCLA.
Ultimately he switched to the Bruins and he said it was a relief to make the switch. More importantly, he said his father continues to recover well.
"He got to go on the visit with me and he was walking so he's definitely doing better," said Dickerson. "He has surgery in February and the doctors are confident that, after that, he should be good."
Dickerson said he's eager to get pen to paper, even though that won't be how UCLA recruits sign this year.
"UCLA is one of three schools with an electronic signing system, so I'll get up on Signing Day and sign from my laptop," said Dickerson. "Then I'll go to my school (Serra) and they have a little ceremony for us, and we'll be signing papers there, but it's more ceremonial than anything, but it's a big deal for our school. This whole process, making my decision was definitely a big weight off my chest. I just can't wait until Signing Day."
Dickerson also can't wait to get back on the field, after he was forced to miss his senior season with a back injury.
"I go back to the doctor soon but I feel great and I'm just trying to get cleared so I can get my conditioning up. I'm lifting and working on my core just to get my back 100%. Ever since the seasons when I found out about it, I've been working to get back," said Dickerson. "It was hard watching my senior year go by. I expected to play football and basketball. But with our team making it to the point they did (CIF-CCS champs and a spot in the CIF NorCal D-I Regional), I'm glad with what they did and I couldn't ask for anything better.
Dickerson spent a lot of time with UCLA head coach Jim Mora, defensive line coach Angus McClure and linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich on the visit.
"I spent time really with all the coaches," said Dickerson. "It was nice because we had time with the coaches and I got to know them a little better. I got to talk with Coach Mora, Coach Angus and Coach Ulbrich a lot and that was real cool."
McClure never stopped recruiting Dickerson, even after his commitment to the Irish and Dickerson said the weekend at UCLA, talking with the coaches and spending time with the players further confirmed to him he made the right move in committing to the Bruins.
"When it came down to it, UCLA was always No. 2 for me," said Dickerson. "I was solid to Notre Dame, but I switched because of my dad. I had a great relationship with Coach Angus and I'm just really happy with my decision. This weekend made me more satisfied about my decision."
Dickerson said that he only knows he'll be a defensive lineman when he gets to UCLA.
"The coaches said they'll see when I get there which spot I'll play, but it sounds like right now it's the spot where Cassius Marsh was," said Dickerson.
He'll join a young but talented defensive line and several of the younger players took him under their win on the visit.
"Eddie, Kenny, Taylor and Kenny Lacy, they all looked after me," said Dickerson. "When I saw them in the spring game, I just got to see a few of them in the locker room. But this weekend I got a chance to go out with them and talk for a long time. They're just like me and were a real tight knit family and I just loved to be a part of it."
Vanderdoes was hosted by Dickerson, and despite both being Notre Dame commits at one point, and now a part of UCLA, that didn't even really come up.
"I talked to him a little bit about it, but it wasn't the first thing that came to mind," said Dickerson.
Currently 6-5, 275-pounds, Dickerson said that the coaches will determine the weight they want him at by summers end.
"They said that I'll probably lose a little weight during the summer, because of conditioning but then they want to see what weight I can play at, whether it's 275 or 310," said Dickerson.
Dickerson said that he only knows a few of the commits, but one of them, Ainuu Taua, predicted that the two might play together.
"I met Ainuu at the Washington camp," said Dickerson. "He was actually one of my roommates at their camp. After the camp, we were chilling and he said ‘I wish I could go to school with one of you.' And we talked about it happening. It all came through, and now I'll be going with him to UCLA."
Dickerson said he also spent some time recruiting Budda Baker, the only other visitor on the trip.
"We were just telling him about UCLA being where the future is," said Dickerson.
Dickerson said that Mora and McClure have already been in for an in-home visit and McClure may be back one more time before Signing Day.
In the meantime, he's eager to start his time in Westwood.
"I'll move down in June and I'm just trying to get stronger, working on my speed and getting ready to come in," said Dickerson.
|Matt Dickerson on his visit to the Rose Bowl.|