And the No. 2 prospect in the West in his class said the recent departure of defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich to the NFL wouldn’t have any affect on his commitment to the Bruins.
“It doesn’t affect me at all,” said Brandt. “I know coaches can always leave so I wasn’t too surprised that Coach Brick left. I know he was an NFL guy so I was prepared for it. I am excited for him and he was a great guy. And I hope one day to play for him at the next level.”
Brandt said that’s why when he committed to UCLA in October, he looked at the bigger picture.
“It happens with coaches leaving,” said Brandt. “That’s why I committed to the university and to the school. Coaches can always leave but the school doesn’t. I committed to UCLA.”
Brandt said the two coaches recruiting him to UCLA have been Ulbrich and Mike Tuiasosopo but that he also talks with head coach Jim Mora often.
“My dad actually talked to Coach Mora after the news (about Ulbrich) and he just said they’re going to make a great hire,” said Brandt. “I’m excited to see who it is, build a relationship with him and see what he does.”
In the meantime, Brandt said he’s already turned in to a recruiter for the Bruins in the 2016 class.
“Lokeni (Toailoa) and Caleb (Kelly) are my two main guys,” said Brandt. “I know Lokeni from Ground Zero (they’ll play on the same 7v7 team), and we talk with Caleb all the time about playing together. I’m working on them both to commit.”
Brandt said he was watching UCLA’s class on Signing Day add some key names.
“It was sweet watching all those guys commit,” said Brandt. “Cordell (Broadus), the running back (Soso Jamabo), you can tell Coach Mora is building something special. The next few years will be crazy for us. We’ll be taking that title away from the SEC and show that the Pac-12 is something special now.“
Schools are still trying to get Brandt to pay attention to them and reaching out to him.
“Alabama is still coming after me pretty hard,” said Brandt. “And Ohio State, Florida State and LSU, those are the main schools trying to get in contact with me and want me to come out and visit,” said Brandt. “I may go check them out for the experience but I’m 100% solid to UCLA.”
Brandt said there will be no Signing Day drama for him next February. That’s because he plans to already be on campus in Westwood.
“I’m planning on going in to UCLA in January,” said Brandt. “I’m on track to do that.”
Brandt is in the middle of basketball for Windward, but said he’s hanging up the sneakers after the season, and focusing on football.
“I want to get up to 225 or 230, and that should be easy especially when I’m not playing basketball,” said Brandt. “I’ve lost a lot of weight for basketball, but I’ll be closer to 225-230 when the spring is done.”
This offseason, Brandt will play with Ground Zero and hit a number of 7v7 tournaments as well as the Nike The Opening Regionals with hopes of making it to The Opening in Beaverton.
“I’m thinking about going to play some tight end for 7v7 but I may just stick with linebacker,” said Brandt. “I’m still behind the curve a little bit and trying to learn more about the game.”
Brandt had never had an offseason of just football; in fact, he’s only been playing the game since his sophomore year, so he knows he’s just scratching the surface.
“Basketball was my only sport when I got to high school,” said Brandt. “My sophomore year, my parents finally let me play football. I haven’t hit my peak yet so that’s pretty exciting. And surprising to be honest. I just didn’t think I’d get any of this attention so early. I just thought I was staying in shape for basketball by playing football. Now I’m staying in shape for football by playing for basketball. As I learn more about the game, I think it will be really fun.”
Brandt said that the plan is to play outside linebacker in college, but that he could play any position the coaches ask him too.
“I can adjust, no matter what it is they want me to play,” said Brandt. “Going in there to UCLA, my focus is that I’ll practice and work hard and do whatever the coaches ask me to.”