Hattis, who hails from New Mexico, was in town for the UnderArmour camp in May and he and his dad decided to drop by UCLA while they were in the area. To that point, the Bruins had not been recruiting him, but Hattis' dad thought it'd be a good idea for them to drop by the Morgan Center and introduce themselves to the coaching staff.
"We just had a free day before the camp started and my dad said it might be a good idea to check out the UCLA campus," Hattis said. "So we were wandering around and we wandered our way to the athletic office, and my dad asked for some of the coaches so we could just kind of introduce ourselves. They actually told us that I was on their board, and they were looking at my film. they said that they would be recruiting me, and then they followed me on Twitter, and that's kind of how the process got started. And a couple of weeks later, earlier today, they offered, so I guess it was a good decision to stop by."
Hattis has been communicating with both offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and assistant coach Blake Bentz. Mazzone was the one who actually extended the offer after Hattis got in touch with him on Tuesday.
As for the visit itself a few weeks ago, Hattis said he came away impressed with the beauty of the campus.
"Oh yeah, it was a beautiful campus," Hattis said. "The L.A. area was great, I loved the area when I went out there. I definitely loved it and they also showed us the facilities and those are great. So I was very excited and impressed with the campus there."
Obviously, UCLA's offensive line coaching situation is still in a little bit of flux, with Adrian Klemm still suspended. Hattis didn't seem too concerned about the situation when we spoke with him yesterday, but he did say it will be a factor as he gets deeper into the recruiting process.
"I know when we were there they didn't have much information on the suspension or they just didn't tell me very much," Hattis said. "And I didn't ask very many questions when I just talked to the coaches, I was just pretty excited about the news of the offer. The more I get into a relationship with the coaches, I'll try to get more details there. I mean, I would like to get to know the coaches who will be working with me throughout my college career so that'll definitely be a factor when I'm looking at UCLA."
Hattis is being universally recruited as a tackle, though there's some variance as to which tackle spot he might fit best.
"Most schools have been telling me left tackle," Hattis said. "I have heard from some coaches that maybe right tackle would be a possibility. But it's mostly been more of a true left tackle, that's what they've been telling me they would like to see me play."
Hattis had a huge performance at the The Opening Regional in Oakland last month, and he thinks that definitely played a role in some of the increased attention he's seeing.
"I have gotten a little more attention personally, through Twitter and letters and things like that, but my coach has told me his phone has just been ringing off the hook from coaches," Hattis said. "I think that's kind of where the new attention has come through. I've gotten two new offers since then, with Arizona and now UCLA, so I'd say it definitely helped my recruiting process and I'm glad I went out there."
There are a few schools who haven't offered that Hattis would be particularly interested in.
"My uncle was a big Oklahoma fan growing up and used to get me some gear, so Oklahoma may be a school for me," Hattis said. "Stanford has been coming in pretty heavily lately, and that'd be big."
As for what factors he'll look at when making his college choice, Hattis had some general thoughts.
"I would definitely like to know the proximity to home," Hattis said. "It's not a dealbreaker, but I'd like my parents to be able to come out and see my games. Also, the academics of the school, that's very important to me. Also, how powerful the program is. I've wanted to win a national championship since I was a little kid so going to a school where that would be a possibility would definitely be a factor for me."
In terms of a decision timeline, Hattis is still mulling it over, but it sounds as if late summer would be the earliest possible time.
"I'm not trying to make a decision very soon," Hattis said. "Depending on colleges and what they put on me pressure-wise, I might have to make a decision earlier. I don't have a set date or time when I want to make a decision -- maybe toward the end of the summer. Or I may have to wait until fall, I'm not sure. I've talked to some other ex-players, and they've said that they've made their decisions before the season so they could focus on their senior season. So I'm kind of taking that into consideration, but I'm not sure at this point."
Academically, Hattis is in fine shape for most schools, but might have a little bit of work to do for some of the elite institutions in the country.
"I'm not positive, but I believe my cumulative GPA is around a 3.4 or a 3.5 and I just took the ACT and got a 25 on that," Hattis said. "I might have to retake that and get a couple more points to get a Stanford offer."