"I knew UCLA was where I wanted to go, but I wanted to spend some time with Coach Dorrell and Coach Johnson before making my decision. Things didn't work out last month, but I had planned to go this weekend and let them know I wanted to come to UCLA," said Harwell.
The senior pass-rusher is the top defensive end in Southern California, and will join Los Altos teammate Daniel Drayton in the Class of 2004.
"I called Daniel to let him know and he was really excited, and we are already talking about rooming together," said Harwell.
After spending the morning with Coach Dorrell and Coach Bieniemy, Harwell then sat down and talked with Coach Johnson, which was the final step before he committed.
"I had talked to Coach Johnson a lot, and met with him at Junior Day, but this time we sat and talked about my role, about the defense. He has a great philosophy, and is a great coach, and the players love playing for him. I felt the most comfortable with him over other coaches, and that sealed it. He was able to answer all of my questions," said Harwell.
Harwell then spent time touring the campus, the new weight room and meeting with academic counselors before letting the staff know of his decision. When the day was done, he told the staff he was ready to be a Bruin.
"I knew I wanted to commit, but I wanted to wait until the end of the day, and when I told them, they were pretty excited. My brother was real excited. He has met with Coach Dorrell and really liked him too. Coach Dorrell is a very intelligent coach, and I am excited to be able to play for him. He is going to do a great job."
The highlight of the trip for Harwell was when he got a freshly new UCLA football jersey with #84 and Harwell emblazoned on the back.
"Oh, man, that was awesome. I was real excited when they gave it to me. I can't wait to start wearing it. It looks pretty good."
Now, Harwell will focus on his senior year, one in which he has high expectations for himself.
"I need 33 sacks to break Shaun Cody's single season record, and I need 23 to set the school record. I had 25 last year, and we won CIF, and I had 22 my sophomore year, and we lost in the finals. This year, I want to break the record and go back-to-back. The pressure of committing is off and now I can just play football and me and Daniel talked about going out on top."
At the same time, Harwell plans to join with the other Bruin commits in doing some recruiting of their own.
"I talked with Shannon Tevaga and he is pretty excited that we are going there, so we are going to go to games and recruit other players. I can't wait to start playing there."