Meet Patrick Pierre-Louis

The JUCO linebacker who transferred into UCLA, Patrick Pierre-Louis, has earned frequent flyer miles to get to Westwood...

The JC transfer linebacker, Patrick Pierre-Louis, 6-0, 215, is probably the least known scholarship player on the UCLA squad.

Born in Montreal, the French-Canadian moved to Miami, Florida when he was 15. "Yeah it was a transition," Pierre-Louis said. "But when it came to football it was good. I played three years of varsity football at Miramar High School in Miramar, Florida."

Pierre-Louis said he was getting some strong recruiting looks as a high school senior, but ran into a snag. "The SAT," he said. "Let's just say that my SAT score didn't work out too well."

His high school coaches and some others close to him suggested he go to a JC in California, "because they said California had the best JC football programs." He enrolled at Citrus College for his freshman year and it was pretty much a disappointing year. "It was a terrible year," he said. "I was off and on with injuries and played in only about five games."

But then the head coach at Citrus was fired – and hired at Glendale City College as an assistant. Eight Citrus players then followed their coach to Glendale, Pierre-Louis being one of them. "I was then inspired. I worked hard in the off-season."

That lead to a very good sophomore year at Glendale City for Pierre-Louis. "I made first-team all-conference, first team this, first team that. And that got me here – UCLA."

Because he came from Canada, then Florida, and then had a bad freshman year at Citrus, he said that not many college knew about him early. But UCLA had gotten an early tip. "Yeah, they started showing me interest in September. Kentucky was like the only other school that knew about me then."

As the year went on, Pierre-Louis then started getting recruited by others – primarily Washington State and Fresno State. "But then UCLA offered me December 14th. It wasn't really a decision then. Not only do I think they have a better football program than the other schools I was considering, but there is an advantage here, academics-wise. A degree from UCLA definitely looks better."

Pierre-Louis recently had been out of practice in the last two weeks because of an ankle sprain, but even before he said that making the transition from the JC to spring ball is quite a bit to undertake. "Coming in as a transfer, it's hard," he said. "It's hard to come in and start right away. Some of these guys have been here for three to five years, so they really know the program. Coming in as a transfer, learning the new system, you just have to take advantage of every opportunity and perform. There's a big learning curve, because right now I'm learning the Will and Mike linebacker positions."

So how's he doing, in his opinion? "I'm doing really well. I'm trying to be the fourth-best linebacker they have. If I'm the fourth best linebacker, I can be on the traveling squad. If anybody gets tired in the game, I'll be the one coming in. When I've had the opportunity to perform, I think I've done well. It's been kind of tough learning it all, learning the two positions. But hey, when I get the system down, it will be great."

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