Hunter Echols Talks UCLA Decommitment

July 22 -- Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral defensive end Hunter Echols committed to UCLA last February but decided minutes ago to open up the process and backed off his commitment to the Bruins...

Hunter Echols has been a long time commitment to the UCLA Bruins but it always seemed to be on the soft side with other schools coming after him heavily. We thought there was a chance Echols could open up the process at some point and he decided to open up the process minutes ago.

"It just felt like the right thing to do," Echols said. "When I first committed, I felt like I rushed in to it a little because UCLA was my dream school and it is where I always wanted to go. I still wanted to take my official visits and UCLA was always good with that but I think it's best for me to take a step back here and make sure I'm doing the right thing.

"I'm still going to consider UCLA and I have a good relationship with Angus McClure, we talk all the time. I'm still planning to come up and visit the school and they're still high on my list but in order for me to make sure they're the best school for me, I feel it's best to start over and re-evaluate all my options here."

Echols plans to take all of his official visits and mentioned the Alabama Crimson TideNebraska Cornhuskers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish as three schools he knows he'll visit. Closer to home, the Arizona WildcatsUSC Trojans and Washington Huskies are pushing very hard as well.

"I could decide at the Army AA Game," Echols said. "There's also a chance I could decide late in the summer, right before school starts so I can focus on my season without worrying so much about recruiting.

"I'm really getting tired of the recruiting process right now and it would be nice to shut things down if I feel really good about a school. I'm going to go up to UCLA and USC a bunch of times and I've already seen a lot of the other schools on my list. So I'm just going to play things out and see where things are at."

The Trojans have made a big push recently with multiple coaches reaching out to him.

"With USC, it's not just the DL coach, Kenechi Udeze, I talk with Coach Nansen and Coach Helton a lot too," Echols said. "Coach Helton is one of the few head coaches who has reached out and we don't even talk about football all the time, he asks me about my grades and how I'm doing in school as well as asking about my family and that means a lot.

"I'm not the kind of kid that needs a lot of attention or wants a lot of love from the coaches, I don't want people to think that's why I'm doing this. I just want to be sure of what I'm doing and I think the most fair way to do that is to de-commit and then see if UCLA is still the best spot for me. I talked with my family a lot about this and we all felt this was the best thing for me to do and the timing was right to do it now as well."

The loss of Echols is a tough blow for the Bruins as he's the 5th player in the '17 class to de-commit from them. He's one of the top pass rushers in the class and rated No. 162 in the Scout 300. 

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