With five former CU coaches on the Bruin coaching staff, that angle produced a commitment from one of the top players in Colorado when Denver (Colo) Mullen, offensive lineman Jesse White, 6-3, 288 committed to UCLA on Tuesday.
"I grew up in Boulder, where my dad played for CU. I knew Coach (Karl) Dorrell, Coach (Jon) Embree, Coach (Tom) Cable, Coach (Eric) Bieniemy and Coach (Doc) Kreis," said White. "Knowing all of them definitely made my decision to commit to UCLA easy."
It wasn't just that connection that sealed the deal for White, but it did play a huge role for him.
"My father grew up in Los Angeles before coming to play for CU. He went from the ocean to the mountains, and liked the exchange. Now, I am doing it the other way, and going from the mountains to the ocean."
His father, Leon, was an All-American linemen for the Buffaloes and frequent visitor to the Colorado practice fields the past several seasons.
"Ever since I was little, I would go with my father to CU practices, and see the coaches. I knew Coach Cable when he was the line coach here, and my father said I wouldn't play for anyone better than him. Coach Cable is such a technical line coach. In order to be a successful linemen under him, you have to do about 20-30 different little things each time you are blocking, and he really emphasizes that. When we had heard that he was going to be coaching the offensive line at UCLA, we knew they had a strong chance. The only schools I really though of were Colorado and UCLA, and I am just lucky to be able to go there," said White.
White is considered by some to be the one of the best offensive linemen in the junior class, and was rated by many as the second best center in Colorado last season, behind only National Player of the Year Jeff Byers.
"I believe that speed and explosiveness are what make a great offensive linemen," said White, who has been clocked at a 4.7 forty. "I spend a lot of time in the weight room, working on my strength, trying to get stronger. I also have had a trampoline in my back yard that I have used to work on my lower legs. I'm looking forward to going to UCLA and working out under Coach Kreis," said White.
At 288, White moves pretty well for his weight. "Coach Cable said if I can move well at the weight, all the better. If not, then lose some of it, but he wants me to maintain my explosiveness and speed at that weight."
While White's father emphasized the coaching that he would get from the Bruin staff, academics was also something that both his father and mother keyed on.
"My mother and father both emphasize academics to me. My mother was very excited to know that I would be getting a quality education at UCLA, and it was the perfect fit for me," said White, who wants to study structural engineering or business.
With his commitment already made, White can now focus on enjoying the summer before his senior year, and then his final season of high school football.
"I can concentrate on my grades and on football for next year. I plan to go to one Nike Camp this year and maybe go out to the UCLA camp this summer," said White.
White is fully qualified.