Ude Earns The Offer

2015 three-star Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster defensive end Russell Ude earned a UCLA offer on Thursday, and it could shake up his list of favorites...

2015 Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster defensive end Russell Ude has been quoted several times as saying he really wanted a UCLA offer, with the Bruins standing out as one of his main favorites who hadn't yet offered.

On Thursday, he got his wish, as the Bruins extended the offer through his high school coach.

"It's a really big offer for me," the three-star said. "It's a school I've been interested in from the get go. They're definitely going to be firmly in the mix in the coming months."

Linebackers/Special Teams Coach Mike Tuiasosopo extended the offer to Ude, but his UCLA recruitment has really been a team effort.

"I have been speaking with Coach Angus McClure, Coach Noel Mazzone, Coach Tuiasosopo, and Coach Ulbrich," Ude said. "Coach Tui made the call to my coach today and said they decided to go ahead and pull the trigger because they had all gotten together and met and decided it was time. They're going to get in the office on Monday and finalize everything, but they decided they wanted to go ahead and get it done."

Ude, who was planning on trimming his list next week, says that UCLA is now definitely one of the favorites, and that they'll be in his top seven, which he plans on releasing next Tuesday or Wednesday. There are several other schools that may factor into the mix as well.

"There are a couple of schools that have been recruiting me hard," Ude said. "Boston College has been recruiting me from the get go. Penn State, I've had a good relationship with the coaching staff for a while. North Carolina State, they've been recruiting me really hard. That's a school that'll maybe be on there, I'm not sure. Oregon, they've been on me. California too. TCU was in there early."

Russell Ude.
Whichever school he ends up choosing, Ude knows one thing: he wants to get this process over as soon as possible.

"The recruiting process is horrible," Ude said. "There is so much crap associated with the recruiting process, lies, and false statements, and half-truths. I'm so excited to get this thing over with. I'm committing as soon as possible."

He's so eager to get the process done that he's not even sure if he'll take any more visits before making his commitment.

"I've been thinking bout taking some visits, but at the same time, an unofficial in the summer doesn't really tell you the whole tale of the school," Ude said. "Everyone can put their best foot forward in the summer because school's not in session. You can't get the whole vibe of the school. I've done a lot of research on every school I'm interested in, even before I got recruited. I've thought about it, and talked about it with a lot of people, because this is a huge part of my life. If I feel the need to go ahead and commit in the next few weeks and get this over with, I'll probably go ahead and shut this down, depending on how the coaches I commit to feel about it. And if I don't decide to commit very soon, I'll probably take a few unofficial visits, and commit sometime in the coming months, hopefully before Senior year."

Ude is clearly taking the process seriously, and he says that much of that comes from his family, which has emphasized the scholastic side of the process.

"Academics come first and foremost in my family," Ude said. "My parents don't play when it comes to that. That's going to be huge, looking at schools' overall academic profile.

"The system and the coaches are obviously important. I feel like I can produce in any system, though, because all of the different positions I've played in high school. That being said, I want to be in an attacking defense, not a gap control defense. I've just got to have a good relationship with the staff, and I want to be in a place where I feel I can be for four years. I can't be in the middle of nowhere for four years, because I'm a city kid, an Atlanta kid."

Given his versatility, the Bruins are recruiting him to a fairly non-specific rush end position, and have likened him to several players that have come through the program in the last few years.

"They like my versatility," Ude said. "I can do either end or outside linebacker in their scheme. If I stay the size I am now, or hover around here, or become more athletic, I could play a variety of roles, from what they tell me. They compare me to guys like Anthony Barr, Kenny Orjioke, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, and Cassius Marsh. I could play numerous positions, and I'm fine wherever. They'll have me at some sort of rush end position."

Ude currently reports a 3.4 GPA and a 1920 on his most recent SAT.

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