Brandon Breazell Finally Speaks

The wide receiver from Fresno (Calif.) Edison who signed a National Letter of Intent with UCLA, <b>Brandon Breazell</b>, went into hiding around Signing Day. Now he answers his phone and talks about his commitment, and his own recruiting for UCLA...

The recruiting process took its toll on Fresno (Calif.) Edison receiver Brandon Breazell, to the point where he wasn't even answering his phone. Finally, a few weeks after Signing Day, Breazell talked for an extended time about his decision to sign with UCLA.

"Man, it was very stressful," said Breazell. "I finally decided the weekend before Signing Day, but didn't say much. I was just able to relax and happy to decide."

One of the top receivers on the West Coast, Breazell had a strong senior year, with 54 catches for 1,020 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was labeled by some as the top offensive player in the central California, and was just as dangerous returning kicks or playing on the defensive side of the ball.

"One of the things UCLA told me was that I would have a chance to play on offense and on defense. I want to see if I can do both. I'll probably come in and play receiver first, then try corner my sophomore year. They also want me to return kicks with Maurice Drew next year, and I could also return punts," said Breazell.

Breazell comes from a program that consistently has sent top players on to college, Aaron Miller (Oklahoma), Clifton Smith (Fresno State) and Bernard Hicks (California), but easily the most memorable former Tiger is Carolina Panthers cornerback Ricky Manning, who spent four years at UCLA (1999-2002), and was one of the finest corners in UCLA history, being a three-time First Team All-Pac 10 selection.

"Ricky is a close friend of mine. I talked to him this week, as a matter of fact. He was real excited when I told him I was going to go to UCLA. He told me it was a great move and I was going to love going there. He said he calls his girlfriend to tell her to keep an eye out for me and treat me like a little brother when I get there," said Breazell.

Ironically, Breazell's coach is a former Trojan defensive back, Tim McDonald.

"Coach told me to go to UCLA, and he was a little upset the way USC treated me. Now, I am going to try and prove something to those schools who doubted me," said Breazell.

So what was the deal-sealer for Breazell and the Bruins? "I liked my trip to Washington State and it was between them and UCLA, but my mom got sick when I was gone, and was stressing a lot when I took my trip there. UCLA is close to home, so all my family can make the drive to watch me play, and it's a great school with a great education. The distance is closer, far enough way but close enough to home, that it will be good for me," said Breazell.

Breazell said he has taken some ribbing from the Fresno State fans in his area, as well as from his teammate Bernard Hicks.

"A lot of the Fresno State people gave me a hard time, saying they beat us. I said enjoy it, because it ain't ever happening again. Bernard keeps saying when he gets to Cal, he is going to light me up, trying to get into my head, but I told him he'll have to catch me first. But it's all in fun. He's my boy, and it's great we're both going to the Pac-10."

Breazell's next order of business is to convince his QB from Edison, Arkelon Hall, to follow him to Westwood. "I know that UCLA is his favorite school. He hasn't told me when he plans to commit wherever he goes, but I know UCLA is his top school. I'd love to catch some more balls from him in college though, that's for sure," said Breazell.

Now, Breazell plans to get ready for his freshman year at UCLA, and has no designs of sitting it out. "I want to come in and play right away, and the coaches told me I will have that chance. I want to help get the program to where it should be."

Bruin Report Online Top Stories