Mike Alves, the offensive line prospect from San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine, announced tonight on Twitter he committed to UCLA.
He then talked with Bruin Report Online about his commitment.
"UCLA felt right for me," Alves said. "When it came down to the decision it was UCLA."
The 6-5, 320-pound Alves said he was still considering UCLA, Oregon and Boston College. "Yeah, it was those three as my finalists. After I visited Oregon, it just didn't feel right. And Boston College was just too far away. In the end, it was between those three but I just felt it was UCLA."
Alves said that UCLA had so much going for it that were big factors for him: "It's close. So I'm still close to my family and they can see me play. I'm not ready to leave California yet. The coaching. It's (Offensive Line) Coach (Adrian) Klemm, and he's a cool guy. My dad loves him. And my dad also knows (UCLA running backs) coach (Kennedy) Polamalu. It's a great staff at UCLA. Then there is the academics. When I thought about it, I knew that if I applied myself and did well at UCLA I'd set myself up for life with that education. It's a place that I think will make me a better person and a better player."
Alves only officially visited Oregon, and that's why it seemed the Ducks might be the odds-on favorite for his commitment.
"When I visited Oregon it was good," Alves said. "But something just didn't click with me. The coaching staff there is great. Really cool guys. They gave me a great experience on my official visit. But I just wasn't a good fit for the school."
He didn't visit UCLA officially, but has been there unofficially a number of times. "I've seen UCLA enough," he said. "I took unofficial visits last summer and saw it again not too long ago, and I feel comfortable there."
Alves had his official visit to UCLA rescheduled, with UCLA telling him they weren't doing any more official visits during the season. He said, "It wasn't really that big a deal. It was just a bump in the road. I know Coach Klemm was concerned, but it didn't really matter to me. Now I'll take my visit after the season."
Alves plays both inside and outside on his high school team, and he says UCLA hasn't told him exactly where he'll play on the UCLA offensive line. "I'm comfortable at either guard or tackle," Alves said. "I'll play wherever they want me to play. Well, really, I don't like center. And Coach Klemm said I wouldn't have to play that, so that's good."
He talked a little about his goals when he gets to UCLA. He said, "I don't know about immediate playing time. I'm just going to do my best in the weight room and on the field. I want to get to know my teammates and build a brotherhood. My high school is an all-boys high school, so we have a brotherhood. I felt that at UCLA, and I'd really like that to carry on to college."