Three-star offensive tackle Kanan Ray announced his commitment to UCLA on Friday, just a day after having a very good unofficial visit to Westwood.
"I've been wanting to commit ever since I got my offer from UCLA," Ray said. "My coach and my parents told me to hold off and wait a bit, see how things go, just let the excitement die off. And the excitement hasn't died down at all. Everything about UCLA is great."
Ray actually committed on the visit yesterday, but held off announcing until today.
"I knew going into it I was going to commit, if it didn't go horribly," Ray said. "I looked at my dad, and I nodded kind of, and I told the coaches that I was going to be committing there."
The talented offensive tackle from Sierra Canyon met with basically all of the UCLA coaches on Thursday.
"I was with Adrian Klemm for most of the time," Ray said. "I was also with Coach Polamalu, Coach Mora, almost all of their staff. The receivers coach and the defensive backs coach. It was a really welcoming atmosphere."
Ray was one of the top offensive tackles on UCLA's board, and is likely going to rise in the rankings as the cycle continues. Ray is a very good run blocker at this stage, and has the feet and lateral mobility to develop into a very good pass blocker as well.
For UCLA's purposes, he doesn't yet have a set position.
"We talked about that," Ray said. "I can play anything on the line. Coach Klemm is big on teaching everyone every position on the line. For me, I'm going to go in there knowing tackle, but I'm going to come out knowing how to play guard, center, and all that as well. I'll try to be as versatile as possible so if someone goes down early in my career, I'll be ready to fill in."
Ray actually attended UCLA's camp last year when he was an unknown, and he reflected on the way things have changed in a short period of time.
"I went to their camp last summer, but no one really knew me," Ray said. "It's kind of crazy how it all happens. Under a year ago I went to their camp and no one really knew me, I wasn't talked to by anybody, and now nine months later, I'm committed there."
He was offered by UCLA last month, and told us at the time that he was very high on the Bruins. He did say he was a Tennessee fan growing up, and the Volunteers recently offered, but that wasn't enough to sway him away from Southern California.
"It was kind of hard to tell the coaches today that I wasn't going to be going there," Ray said. "They were a huge factor. It's kind of crazy because my uncle had the same thing, it was UCLA and Tennessee, and he ended up going to Tennessee. It was a tough decision but UCLA is my home. Tennessee is my parents' home and all of my family's home, but Los Angeles is my home, so UCLA is the place for me."
And something that will warm the hearts of all UCLA fans and coaches -- Ray is shutting it down.
"I'm shutting my whole recruitment down," Ray said. "Unless knock on wood something happens, yeah, I'm shutting it down. I'm someone's committed to me...If I'm going out with a girl, I don't want to see her with other guys, you know what I mean? Why commit if I'm still going to be talking to other people?"