Hickman Talks About UCLA Signing

The defensive end from Glendale (Ariz.) Community College, <b>Justin Hickman</b>, talks about his signing with UCLA...

The JC ranks continue to add to UCLA's recruiting haul, with the Bruins getting a letter of intent earlier this week from Glendale (Ariz.) CC defensive end Justin Hickman, 6-1, 255.

"I sent my letter in on Sunday night. I just felt that UCLA is the best place for me. My trip there really confirmed it," said Hickman, who prepped at Phoenix St. Mary's High.

Hickman had narrowed his schools down to Arizona State, Oregon, Washington State and UCLA, and after his visit to UCLA the third weekend in January, eliminated Oregon and Arizona State. Ultimately, the Bruins won out over the Cougars.

"Junior Taylor was my host on my trip. He's from Arizona and he told me that coming out here wasn't much of an adjustment for him. It was close enough for his parents to come out and watch him play. L.A. is a lot like Phoenix, just not as exotic.

Hickman comes to UCLA with four years to play three, but fully expects to play next season, not sitting it out.

"I want to come in and play right away next year. I am a defensive end, but if they want me to play linebacker, I can do that. The depth played a big role in me deciding to go there."

After his high school career ended, Hickman didn't get any recruiting attention from D-I programs.

"I was only 6-0, 230. I grew an inch and 25 pounds at Glendale. When I went there, I knew in the back of my mind that I was only going to be there for a year. I just worked hard to get some other programs to look at me," said Hickman.

One program he grew up watching was USC.

"I wanted to go to USC, but I am happy to be at UCLA now. It was weird at first when I decided to go there, but its cool now."

On his visit, Hickman spent time with defensive line coach Don Johnson as well as head coach Karl Dorrell.

"I talked with Coach Johnson, Coach Bernardi (who was recruiting Hickman) and Coach Dorrell. I like Coach Dorrell a lot. He is like me, quiet but focused. He is going to make good things happen at UCLA."

As a postseason honors performer during his freshman season, Hickman had 60 tackles and 10 sacks. He also played against two other Bruin juco signees, tight end Matt Raney and linebacker Dan Nelson.

"I never went up against Dan Nelson, cause he was on defense, but I went up against Matt Raney when we played against them, so I am familiar with both of them," said Hickman.

Hickman will enroll at UCLA in January and practice during Spring Ball.

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