Bateman Talks Official Visit

The Orange Coast (Calif.) College tackle, Zach Bateman, talks about his official visit to UCLA over the weekend...

Orange Coast (Calif.) College offensive tackle Zach Bateman (6-7.5, 315) took his second official visit in as many weeks over the weekend, when he visited UCLA.

A Southern California native, it was the first time Bateman had been on the UCLA campus.

"It was my first time to visit UCLA," said Bateman. "I thought it was gorgeous."

Bateman had seen the Rose Bowl one time in person, when he was much younger, but was blown away by the time in the stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"I had been to a game there prior when I was a kid, but it's been many years," said Bateman. "It's a phenomenal stadium. You take it all in. I guess that's when it hits you and it's so surreal, that all that hard work has paid off."

Bateman was hosted by a fellow Orange County native, Carl Hulick, who played at Esperanza High School.

"Carl was my host and one of the things I did on my Oklahoma State visit that I wanted to do on the UCLA visit was talk to the linemen," said Bateman. "A coach can sit there and tell you how good they are or not, but when you talk to a fellow player, when you get that understanding from them there, player to player, that's when you're really going to know."

But Bateman still said the conversation with UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm was reassuring and real.

"Coach Klemm is a straight forward dude," said Bateman. "There are no facades there, he's got your back. He was a hell of a player in the NFL and his reputation is now is that he's a hell of a coach. I really liked him. He's not trying to be something he's not. He's real."

Bateman also had a chance to talk with head coach Jim Mora on the visit.

"Coach Mora is a firecracker," said Bateman. "He's one of those guys, when you're just talking to him one on one, he's an intelligent guy and very concerned with you and about having you a part of the group, but when he's in a group, he really knows how to pump up the guys."

Bateman said he'll visit Ohio State for sure and either Arizona or Florida, but those dates haven't been set.

Being a JC transfer, Bateman is looking closely at the schools who will need to replace their left tackle.

"The only schools I'm really considering, especially being a JC guy, is a school in dire need of a left tackle. I'm not afraid of competition, I let my prestige on the field speak for itself. But I don't have a long time to wait," said Bateman.

Bateman said he's not ready to name a leader.
"I'm really keeping it to myself," said Bateman. "I'm not rushing in to any decisions. Knowing the significance of what is ahead of me in my life, when I feel it after the rest of my trips and I feel the right match, I'll know. On the visit, it really hit, that I can play at UCLA or in the Big 12 or the SEC or Big Ten. I'm a national recruit now. And now I have to figure out where I want to go."

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