Things have come full circle for Cassius Peat.
The former UCLA commit who flipped his decision to Michigan State on National Signing Day in 2015 is Westwood bound once more, announcing Sunday he would be continuing his career next season with the Bruins. Peat left the Spartans this past summer and is enrolled at Tucson (Ariz.) Pima Community College, where he said he'll finish up his associate degree in March.
The redshirt freshman would have three years to play three and intends to be at UCLA in time for spring practice next year.
"Honestly, UCLA has been trying to get me in since summer and they've been staying loyal," Peat told Bruin Report Online. "I have a lot of trust with those coaches. There was no drop off since we began talking again. If anything, they were trying to get me in and fighting hard to get me."
Assistant coach Angus McClure, who recruited Peat earlier at Tucson (Ariz.) Corona del Sol, got Peat to take in UCLA's game against Stanford on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. That experience essentially sealed the deal.
"I could see I'll be able to fit in pretty well," Peat said. "The Pac-12 is different than the Big Ten, so I don't think physicality will be a problem. In talking with coach McClure, I would be able to slide around all four positions across the line and that doesn't bother me at all. I'm comfortable anywhere."
Peat left Michigan State as he sorted through his academics. And while he enjoyed his time in East Lansing, he said he wondered what life would have been like if he had followed through with his commitment to the Bruins.
"I did think about UCLA a lot, actually," Peat said. "It was nothing against Michigan State, but I feel that I would [have thought about UCLA] no matter what school I would have chosen. Michigan State has great people and great coaches, but I'm glad to have the opportunity to be closer to home.
"My mom's side of the family lives out in L.A., and I used to come out at least six times a year when I was younger. I would come out and just really enjoy everything. There are a lot of opportunities in L.A. and if you get a degree from UCLA, you're able to do almost anything."
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Peat was rated No. 16 among defensive ends in the 2015 recruiting class and No. 166 overall in the Scout 300 that cycle. He becomes the second defensive line commit for the Bruins in the 2017 group, joining five-star defensive end Jaelan Phillips.
"I committed this early because I didn't want to deal with the recruiting process at all again," Peat said. "I know how stressful it can be.
"UCLA is close to my family and it's a no brainer for me, especially since they've been trying to hard to get me again since August. I'm really excited."