Carpenter didn't want to call it an official verbal commitment since he was told that UCLA was still in the process of admitting him academically. He said he has a 2.6 core GPA and a 900 SAT and didn't feel there'd be a problem. "But they still need to make it official. I'm supposed to hear back from Coach (Karl) Dorrell tomorrow."
Carpenter said that Dorrell called him on Monday and offered him over the phone. "It was great. I was pretty excited," Carpenter said.
The plan was for Carpenter to come to UCLA on Friday and verbally commit to Coach Dorrell in person. However, Carpenter will play in his high school's basketball game on Friday and, per NCAA rules, cannot visit a member institution's campus on the same day he competes. He wanted to come today, Thursday, but it's a dead period and by NCAA rules is not allowed to visit campus. He has a plan to visit Arizona State this weekend, leaving on Saturday.
"Coach Dorrell wanted me to verbally commit in person, but because of how it worked out, I couldn't. So, I called him today and told him I wanted to go to UCLA." Carpenter said he'd still take his Arizona State trip, that Dorrell encouraged him to, since he wasn't academically accepted to UCLA yet or officially verbally committed.
How did this happen so quickly with Carpenter? "UCLA called me after the Hart game," he said. "Then they called me after we won the CIF championship in December. I could see they were then serious. Last week Coach Dorrell said he was going to offer and then did on Monday."
Carpenter said there were some good reasons why he prefers UCLA. "First, it's UCLA. Then, also, I've been to a few other schools, like Oregon, Arizona, Nebraska. I go there and when I'm there I like it. But when I come home I realize that I want to stay close to home so my family can see me play."
The quarterback who threw for over 2,700 yards this season said that Dorrell also explained how he saw Carpenter fitting in at UCLA. "He told me he expected me to redshirt my first year. Then play some as a redshirt freshman. And then by my sophomore year, I'd have a real chance to start since they really don't have anyone else. I like how he told me he watched my films and saw a lot of the intangibles it takes to win. A lot of other quarterbacks might be bigger, but he said he liked how I was mobile and could make decisions on the run. He said he thought that's where the college game was now."
He said he hasn't made plans yet but expects he'll take his official visit to UCLA later this month.