Oluwole Betiku Talks UCLA Commitment

Aug. 7 -- UCLA scored big on Thursday when the nation's #14-ranked prospect, Gardena (Calif.) Serra defensive end Oluwole Betiku, ended his recruitment early and committed to the Bruins...

Oluwole Betiku made a surprise decision on Thursday when he committed to UCLA. The surprise wasn’t who he picked, as the Bruins have been leading since the early spring. The surprise was the timing, as Betiku told us just the day before that he planned to take all of his visits and make a decision late in the process.

“The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to commit early and get it over with,” Betiku said. “Wednesday night, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I knew UCLA was the best spot for me, it’s where I fit in best.

“For me, it was about choosing substance over style. Other schools may have more tradition or swag but I don’t care about that stuff. I was looking for a school with a coaching staff I can trust and where I knew I would be comfortable. That was clearly UCLA for me so I decided to go ahead and commit and I’m not taking any other visits. The only trip I’ll be taking is one to UCLA.”

Betiku went up to UCLA on Thursday and spent the whole day on campus.

“That was big for me because I got to spend a long time with Tom Bradley and see how they planned to use me,” Betiku said. “Coach Bradley got on the board and showed me exactly how I would fit and I really like their scheme. They see me as a bigger Deon Hollins type, kind of a designated pass rusher but they also want to use me how they used Owa (Odighizuwa).

“They moved Owa all over the line to take advantage of mismatches and they feel I can come in and have an immediate impact. I’m on track to graduate early so I’ll be able to enroll in time for spring practice next year. They said I would be able to contribute on their team this year so they have really big plans for me when I get there next year.”

Betiku said spending time with Jim Mora played a big role in his decision as well.

“I haven’t talked to Coach Mora in a long time so it was really good to catch up,” Betiku said. “A lot of people have been telling me that Coach Mora won’t be around long but he told me he was committed to UCLA and isn’t planning to go anywhere. Other schools have already come after him and he turned them down so that was big for me to hear him say that because I really like him a lot as a coach.

“I’m also excited to play for Coach Angus (McClure). He has been recruiting me for a long time and there is no coach I trust more. He has been my guy from the beginning and I know I’ll learn a lot from him. They have a great defensive line at UCLA and Eddie Vanderdoes and Kenny Clark are two guys I know really well and both are great players.

“It feels great to have my decision out of the way now. I never really liked the recruiting process that much and I was already tired of talking to all the coaches and having them try and sell me on their schools. That’s why I don’t want to do any more visits, I want to just focus on my last year at Serra and helping our team win a championship. I have big goals, I want to get 30 sacks this season and I’m working very hard all off-season to become the best player I can be.”

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