Villafuerte Talks About Commitment

The JC line prospect from Santa Ana College, <b>Marc Villafuerte</b>, verbally committed to UCLA last night, and the 6-4, 300-pounder talks about his commitment, recruitment and his eligibility...

With his commitment on Monday night, Santa Ana (Calif.) JC offensive lineman Marc Villafuerte (6-4, 300) is getting a second chance on his college future, after a slow recruiting process in high school and a knee injury last season.

While he is in his second year of classes, Villafuerte is considered a true freshman athletically, which will give him four years to play three when he gets to UCLA.

"I tore my ACL at the beginning of the year (2002), so I didn't go to school full time. But I'll be able to transfer at the semester to be ready for spring ball. We haven't discussed whether I'll play right away or redshirt. But I'll be there for spring practice," said Villafuerte.

As a senior at Anaheim (Calif.) Canyon High, Villafuerte earned all-league and all-CIF mention, but because of major weight loss between his junior and senior years, most schools dropped him from their recruiting lists.

"I wasn't as big my senior year as I am now. I dropped down to 240. I really only had two schools after me. Oregon and Colorado State were the two recruiting me the most when I was a senior," said Villafuerte. "If one of them had offered me, I probably would be there right now."

This time through the recruiting process, Villafuerte was hearing from a host of schools on the West Coast, with Arizona State and San Diego State his other offers. In fact, he had a trip to Arizona State set up later in the season, but that trip is going into the cancellation file.

Sunday night, UCLA called with an offer, and though his mom wanted him to commit then, Villafuerte took a day to think it over. Finally, Monday night he knew what his decision would be, and after several hours of trying to get in touch with the UCLA staff, he finally got through and committed.

"Coach (Karl) Dorrell called me with the offer. Coach (Steve) Axman and Coach (Mark) Weber were the ones recruiting me. I really like them. Coach Weber is a tough coach, but that's what we need on the line," said Villafuerte.

Villafuerte attended UCLA's Spring Game and practices at CS Fullerton, and liked what he saw. He also liked the UCLA campus and education package.

"My mom really liked the school, and I know it's a good school. I want to major in something in health care, and I know UCLA will be good for that."

A preseason JC Gridwire All-American "One To Watch," Villafuerte is glad things worked out the way they did. "We've got a good staff here at Santa Ana with Coach Jones and Coach Biel. Coach Biel coached (current UCLA offensive lineman) Robert Chai and talks a lot about him, and now he's starting. They were pretty excited when I committed. I could have been at Colorado State or Oregon, but things happen for a reason, and now I get to go to UCLA."

With his JC games on Saturday's, the chance of going to a home game at the Rose Bowl is a bit tough, but he is determined to get to one. "We have a bye this weekend, but UCLA is on the road. But I am going to keep trying to get to a game," said Villafuerte. "It will be cool watching them now and seeing guys I'll be playing with."

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