Velega Getting Closer To Decision

The cornerback from Long Beach Poly wants to take one more trip before deciding on where he intends to spend his collegiate career, and the Bruins are still in the mix.

A week after his trip to UCLA changed everything on the recruiting landscape for him, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback Byron Velega, 5-10, 180, still hasn't made a decision on where he is heading, but has the date picked when he will announce his decision.

"January 12th, I'll decide," said Velega.

The decision will come following Velega's trip to Oregon, a trip Velega said will be his last one.

"I have a trip scheduled to Washington State, but I'm probably not going to take it. After Oregon, I'll decide.

Velega had said the Ducks and Bears were his leader just a few weeks before his trips, with Washington State right there, and UCLA a distant fourth.

That all changed with his visit to UCLA.

"Oh man, it was awesome. Eric McNeal was my host and Rodney (Van) the whole time was showing me what I could miss out on if I don't go there. He's doing his best to persuade me. I know the guys there. Marcedes (Lewis) used to always play jokes on me when I was a sophomore, and Kevin (Brown) and Junior (Lemau'u), those are my boys. I know I'd be comfortable there."

Velega had UCLA on the backburner for a while, the Bruins had been recruiting him, but an offer was never imminent.

"Coach (Jon) Embree said they would offer me, and so when I went on my visit, Coach Dorrell offered me. I like what Coach Dorrell is all about. He isn't content with the way things are. He wants to turn that program around. He's got a plan. They were rebuilding this year, and Coach Dorrell, he feels confident he can get that thing going. He is going to do some real good things at UCLA."

Velega watched Cal in the Insight Bowl, and will watch his other two finalists in their respective games, UCLA in the Silicon Valley Bowl and Oregon in the Sun Bowl.

"The Cal game was great. I'm looking forward to the UCLA game too."

While Velega has set the day after his Oregon trip as his decision date, he is pretty sure about where he will end up.

"I know for the most part where I am going to go. I just want to trip to Oregon before I decide. But I'm pretty sure I know where I am going."

Velega is fully qualified.

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