Pollard Gives Bruins An Early Commitment

Despite being nearly a year and a half away from signing his Letter of Intent, Valencia (Calif.) cornerback Marlon Pollard committed to the Bruins over the weekend, giving them their earliest public commitment under Karl Dorrell...

UCLA has long been successful at getting early commitments, but Valencia (Calif.) cornerback Marlon Pollard (6-1, 160) took it a step further, committing to the Bruins a month before he begins his junior year, the earliest commitment Karl Dorrell's staff has ever publicly received.

"I committed two days ago," said Pollard, who will enroll at UCLA in the fall of 2009. "I was just thankful that it could happen. They offered me about two months ago."

Pollard said that DeWayne Walker and Dorrell were the two coaches recruiting him, and Walker was the one who offered him.

"Coach Walker (and his coaching experience) was a big thing for my commitment," said Pollard. I wanted to go to a school that the coach knew something about my position."

Pollard is an excellent student, carrying a 3.5 GPA and said that the academic draw of UCLA made a big impact on his choice.

"I looked into their academics, and of course their athletic program, and it was the right fit for me and my family. I want to stay in the field of sports and I want to be a doctor. I want to be a doctor for sports-related injuries," said Pollard.

Pollard said that Walker likes him as a cornerback, where he picked off three passes last fall for Valencia playing opposite Cal-bound Shane Vereen.

"Shane was a great mentor to our team," said Pollard. "The difference between this year and last year (a 2-8 season after they advanced to the semifinals the year before) is we have a more solid base, and no weak spots."

Pollard said that UCLA was the lone school to offer him but he had been hearing from Oregon, Washington, Colorado and USC, and each school liked him as a corner.

He played primarily in the secondary last year and also contributed on special teams, where he had two blocked field goals. He was named Valencia's "Newcomer of the Year." This fall, he'll add in duties as a receiver.

A gifted jumper, Pollard does the long jump, high jump and triple jump for Valencia and said he'd like to do those in college.

"I do basketball and do track, and I'd like to do track in college. I have been playing sports since I was five, so I'd like to keep doing them."

It was in the jumping stations at the Los Angeles Scout.com Combine this past May that Pollard made his mark, recording the second best vertical (36.5) and second best broad jump (9-11) among all the 300 participants. His marks were also tops of anyone in the class of 2009 at the combine.

This fall, Pollard and his Viking teammates will try to bounce back from the 2006 season and they'll open with two teams that boast some future UCLA teammates: Palmdale in the opener and Connor Bradford then Birmingham and Milton Knox and Donovan Carter. They also face league foe Hart, and Patrick Larimore during Foothill League play.

With 18 months until Signing Day for his class, Pollard is still glad to have it done.

"It's a great burden to take off from me," said Pollard. "Now I just want to try and keep getting better."

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