Tight End Commits

UCLA got commitment No. 10 for the 2006 recruiting season when a tight end from Hawaii called the Bruin staff this morning and committed. He caught only two passes last season -- so how does UCLA know he's worthy?

Dylan Rush, a 6-3, 230-pound tight end from Kealakekua (Haw.) Konawaena, has verbally committed to UCLA.

"UCLA offered me yesterday and I accepted their offer today," Rush said. "I wasn't sure until this morning. My two schools were Stanford and UCLA and I wanted to talk to the staff at Stanford before I made my decision. So after I did that, I called UCLA and committed."

Rush said that UCLA was his first scholarship offer, but he had begun to receive a great deal of interest from across the country. He said, "UCLA and Stanford were my top two choices, but Stanford hadn't offered, while they said would. Air Force had been very involved. They had let me know I could go there if I wanted. Harvard was setting something up for me. And just this morning, Duke requested an address to send me a written offer. Colorado, Oregon State and a couple others have come to my high school to watch practice and were showing interest."

Rush indicated, though, that up until very recently Stanford was his top choice. "Stanford was really my first choice for a while," he said. "But when I called them to gauge their interest, they weren't as excited as UCLA was, and they were more focused on me playing defensive end. UCLA was very upbeat, and they were excited about me playing tight end, and I really want to play tight end."

Was UCLA a childhood favorite at all? "No, not really. It's weird. I hadn't really even thought about UCLA. But my high school coach is a major UCLA fan. I got a lot of information from him, and a lot of positive feelings about them."

Even more interesting, Rush only caught two passes as a tight end last season. "I only had five balls thrown to me, and only two were catchable, and I caught two for a total of 54 yards, and one was a 35-yard touchdown. Our offensive line is really tall and our starting quarterback is only 5-6, so I don't get many balls thrown to me."

So, how did UCLA recognize Rush as a tight end prospect they'd want to offer? Rush said: "The coach at UCLA who is recruiting me, Dino Babers, came to watch a practice. I ran about 30 pass routes, dropped one, and two were overthrown, and I caught everything else. They liked the way I looked from that. They showed that film to their head coach, coach (Karl) Dorrell, and the tight ends coach, coach (Jon) Embree, and from that film they offered me."

Rush said he runs a consistent 4.7 in the 40 yard dash, while also registering 73 tackles and eight sacks last season on defense. He said his best asset is easily his toughness. "I'll never come out of the game. Nothing will keep me off the field. I broke a bone in my hand and I still never came off. And I love to block."

Rush is so tough he's the two-time defending state wrestling champ for the 215-pound division. He'll be going for three state titles next year when he moves up to the heavyweight division.

The athlete said he won't feel like he's going too far away to school when he comes to UCLA since he has a good deal of family and friends in California to keep him company. "My brother lives in Indio, and I have my grandparents and aunts and uncles in Northern California, so I'll be fine," he said.

He's an exceptional student, with a 3.7 GPA and a 1310 SAT.

Rush will attend the Stanford Nike Camp on Saturday, and BRO will be there to report on it.

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