Paco Perez Previews Signing Day Decision Between UCLA and Cal

Feb. 2 -- Offensive guard Francisco Perez, who is committed to California but is being recruited heavily by UCLA, will make his final decision tomorrow morning at his high school...

Three-star offensive guard Francisco Perez committed to California last summer, but late in the fall, UCLA started to recruit him hard and he has since officially visited Westwood. He's now down to the two schools, and even though he's committed to California, UCLA is right there with a real chance to flip his commitment.

Perez has a few main factors that will play into that decision on Signing Day.

"My decision will be basically, will I fit into the system?" Perez said. "Both schools have or will have new offensive coordinators, and I've talked to both head coaches about it. I talked to Coach Sonny Dykes about it and he said they're going to be an offense that runs the ball as well as passes it, they're going to even it out. Basically, I want to fit into a good system. What makes me feel more comfortable -- do I fit in with the team and coaches? And the staff -- will the staff be there for a while? I know Coach Dykes got an extension, and I know Coach Mora got a few offers that he declined. So he's told me that he's going to be there for quite a while. So those are probably the three main factors that will go into my decision."

Playing time isn't a major priority for the three-star guard, who's open to redshirting or playing early depending on the situation, and he's heard two entirely different pitches from the respective staffs about his possibility for early playing time.

"UCLA, they told me that for the bowl game they had a walk-on starting and a defensive tackle starting," Perez said. "They both did good. I saw them play, and I thought Cristian Garcia did amazing. I think he's underrated. But Coach Klemm and Coach Mora said that if I come in, I'll be competing for a starting spot. They said it's up for grabs. They said with new recruits every year, it's just a situation where everyone has to win their spot every year.

"With Cal, Coach (Brandon) Jones said that he wants me to redshirt automatically, and to go against the ones just to see if I'm prepared for the next level. So, looking into it, I think that both schools are correct. It would be great to redshirt, but it would also be great to compete to start, and potentially earn a spot, early on."

Perez said he'll make his announcement Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., likely with a hats on table ceremony at his high school. He said, though, that he'd likely have an idea of where he was going before that.

"I'll probably let the coaches for each school know beforehand," Perez said. "It's a tough decision, so my parents and I are going to sit down, talk it over, and hopefully come to a decision that's great for me and my future."

As for family pressure, Perez said he isn't really feeling a whole lot to stay local, and that the difference between being a few miles away from home or a few hundred in the case of Cal won't be significant to his family.

"They mainly tell me that it's my decision and wherever I go they're still going to support me no matter what," Perez said. "That's what I appreciate about my family. They don't peer pressure me to go anywhere. They said if I go someplace 2500 miles away, they'd be fine with that and still support me, and still rock the jersey."

Perez will be a June enrollee at whichever school he picks on Wednesday.

"I'm excited to get the whole process over with," Perez said. "It's going to be great to be able to look forward to college and get ready for my college career."


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