Ainge Talks Highly of UCLA

The quarterback prospect from Oregon, <b>Erik Ainge</b>, had a good official visit last weekend to UCLA and talks very positively about the Bruins. It was his first official visit, though...

Hillsboro (Ore.) Glencoe quarterback prospect Erik Ainge (6-5, 200) got his final offer from his top five, and turned that into his first official visit when he tripped to UCLA this past weekend.

"I liked it down there. It went pretty well for me," said Ainge. "The campus was pretty amazing. It was big, but not overwhelming. I liked it a lot."

Ainge was one of three quarterbacks taking their official trips to UCLA this weekend, along with Matt Tuiasosopo and Chase Patton. "It was a good experience to have those other guys there. I got to meet them, and we were able to size up the competition there pretty well," said Ainge.

Ainge hadn't visited the UCLA campus, nor the Rose Bowl before this trip, though he had been to Southern California. The Rose Bowl was a highlight for him. "The Rose Bowl was amazing. I didn't know what to expect there. It was different than what I have seen on TV. The locker room is a little different from a high school locker room. They let us wear jerseys with our names on it, and that was cool."

Ainge was hosted by sophomore fullback J.D. Groves, an Oregon native. "J.D. is a real good guy. I watched him play when I was a freshman and sophomore and he told me how much he definitely enjoys being at UCLA. It was good having a guy from Oregon with the same experience," said Ainge.

While the game and the offense didn't look great, Ainge did see some encouraging signs. "They have a lot of potential on the offense. I got to meet Drew (Olson) and Matt (Moore) and talk with them about the offense. It's real similar to what we use here at my high school."

Ainge was able to meet with academic advisor Ed Kezerian and talk over academic matters, while also eating breakfast with Coach Karl Dorrell.

While Ainge wouldn't mention a leader, he gave UCLA a slight lead.

"I've only been to UCLA (for an official) but I really like them right now. I could go to Tennessee (where he is tripping this weekend) and really like it there too."

In fact, Ainge will also visit Arizona State next weekend, then Oregon and Oregon State in December. "I've already been to Oregon and Oregon State a bunch of times on unofficials. After those trips are done, I will probably make my oral commitment. I want to make it by Christmas."

Ainge, the nephew of former NBA star Danny Ainge, is also a highly touted baseball player and a possible top draft pick as a pitcher. His uncle played both Major League Baseball and in the NBA, and would know a thing or two about dual sports.

"I'm playing basketball right now, but I know some scouts are going to watch me pitch this year. If I am fortunate enough to play professional baseball, I still want to play college football, and I would do both. I haven't really asked my uncle how he balanced two sports, because things are a little different these days, but I know I could if I had to."

UCLA hasn't really spent a lot of time recruiting quarterbacks from Oregon, but the last UCLA quarterback to come from there was Cade McNown.

"Yeah, the last guy from here turned out okay for them," said Ainge.


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