UCLA's First Commit: P.J. Irvin

The offensive lineman from Agoura Hills, P.J. Irvin, starts off the recruiting season as UCLA's first verbal commitment. After telling us yesterday at the scrimmage he was close to committing, he went home and did it...

P.J. Irvin, 6-4 ½, 280, Agoura Hills (Calif.) Agoura, verbally committed to UCLA Saturday night.

Irvin attended UCLA's scrimmage Saturday, went home, talked it over with his parents and then called the UCLA coaches last night and committed.

"It's just a great school," Irvin said. "It's where I wanted to go from the start. It's a great education, they have great coaches and you have to love the atmosphere."

Irvin, who said he maintains a 3.0 GPA and will take the SAT next Saturday, said that when he went to UCLA's Junior Day back in February and UCLA, he was starting to get the feeling UCLA would offer him. That offer, which came last week, was like a dream come true. "It really was," he said. "I follow UCLA. I went to a couple of home games last year. So I was hoping they'd offer and they did. I was really excited."

P.J.'s dad, Dan Irvin, reiterated how it all seemed like a perfect fit. "It was always his first choice. We had our fingers crossed from the very beginning, not wanting to influence him, though. It was our choice, out of selfishness, wanting him to stay close to home, and have an opportunity to see him and see him play. We went to Junior Day and were very impressed."

After getting offered last week, attending practice last week and then the scrimmage yesterday, P.J. came home and was very excited and told his parents he wanted to commit. Dan said, "So we had a long discussion. We asked him if that's what was in his heart, if that was what he wanted to do. And he said it was. He wanted to commit. So, he called Coach Weber, the offensive line coach, and Coach Caragher, who recruits in our area for UCLA. They said they wanted to make sure they called Coach Toledo so he found out before reading it on the Internet."

Mr. Irvin said that UCLA was P.J.'s first offer, but the recruiting attention had really picked up recently, with their family mailbox getting flooded with hand-written letters from many schools. "Most of the Pac-10 has been writing," Dan said. "Oregon quite a bit. And Notre Dame."

P.J. said that, since UCLA started recruiting him, he wasn't really considering other schools too seriously. "It's where I wanted to go. So, even though I was getting interest, there really wasn't anyone else."

Mr. Irvin summed it up: "If your number one choice makes an offer, what's point of waiting?"

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