Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive end Joseph Wicker (6-4, 265) has 10 sacks in his first two games for the Jackrabbits this fall.
The hot start has turned in to more offers and the four-star got two on Sunday, including a big one from a local school.
“UCLA just offered me,” said Wicker. “It’s kind of relieving to have the opportunity to play for a school that is close to home. And it’s UCLA. Who wouldn’t want one from them?”
Wicker was at the Bruins home opener on Saturday night and on Sunday, he spoke with defensive line coach Angus McClure and head coach Jim Mora when he got the news.
“Coach Mora was actually who offered me and it meant a lot to have it from the head coach,” said Wicker. “I was at the game on Saturday and it was cool. I hadn’t seen them play like that before, but it’s the beginning of the season and they’ll be better.
Wicker knew his fast start would attract more attention.
“I already kind of knew that UCLA was going to come in,” said Wicker. “I’m playing defensive tackle now and I know they’re looking for versatile players. They like me as a 3-tech but I can play anywhere on the line. Jayon Brown told me to be patient, that they were going to offer me, that they were just waiting.”
Wicker doesn’t anticipate making a commitment anywhere any time soon, having learned from the past, when he was committed to Washington and then opened it up after a coaching change.
“This time I’m going through the process,” said Wicker. “I made that mistake before. I will take all five of my visits before I commit anywhere. I’m doing it different this time.”
UCLA wasn’t the only school to offer Wicker, with Texas Tech also offering on Sunday.
“It was surprising that Texas Tech offered,” said Wicker. “Honestly, it’s kind of random because I never talked to them before. They randomly hit me up. Then from there, they said that they had watched the film and wanted to offer me.”
Wicker’s fast start to the 2014 season can be attributed to many things, but he said the fresh look at Poly, with new head coach Antonio Pierce, is a big reason for it.
“I had high expectations for this season because of my coach,” said Wicker. “He told me he wanted three sacks the first game and I had six. Our coaching staff is new, but they played in the league and everything is more fun. It’s more simple and they’ve been there and they tell us what to do and what not to do and it’s fun to be around.”