Recruit Update: Jeff Baca

Jeff Baca fulfilled a lifelong dream when he committed to UCLA in June. So does the Mission Viejo offensive lineman still remain committed to the Bruins despite the firing of coach Karl Dorrell? Baca talks to BRO...

Mission Viejo (Calif.) offensive lineman Jeff Baca had wanted to go to UCLA his whole life, so when he committed to the Bruins in June, it was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream. That was before Karl Dorrell was let go though, so where does Baca stand now?

"I'm solid and I'm fully committed to UCLA," said Baca. "It's my dream school, and has been seen ever since I was six or seven. I'm trying to contact all the recruits and all the commits and remind them it's all about the school. You commit to a school, you don't commit to a coach. That's how I thought about it. I go for the school, and the coach, in this business, there could always be coaching changes."

Baca did admit he's hoping some of the coaches that have been instrumental in recruiting him remained on staff.

"Coach (Chuck) Bullough was my recruiter and he said they don't really know too much with what's going on. Coach (Bob) Connelly, he was the one who offered me. He was in the same room with Coach Bullough and I talked to him that same night. I hope to play for him next year, he recruited me, and he had the final say, he's the coach I had to go to camp for. He boosted my confidence, he wants to coach. I want to see him stay and play for him. I hope they stay."

Baca attended a handful of UCLA games this fall and he'll be in Westwood this weekend when the rest of the commits take their official visit, but in the meantime, he's been communicating with other verbals in the class.

"Nick Crissman and I have grown a little closer so far," said Baca. "He's pretty solid on UCLA, and we're both trying to get a hold of all the other offensive commits, and the defensive commits. This is a championship class especially if we can keep everyone together during this time."

Baca is also anticipating his visit to UCLA this weekend. "I'm really excited about it, I have been looking forward to it for a long time."

He did say that a couple of in-state schools have poked around to see how solid he was.

"San Diego State was wondering how solid I was and a coach came to the school. Pete Carroll, I talked to him a little bit, he wanted to know how solid I was. They both found out I was fully committed," said Baca.

Baca said that the news of Dorrell's firing wasn't a surprise.

"I wasn't expecting it when I committed, but I started bracing for it and expecting it when the season went on. It was a matter of when and it wasn't too shocking. It was all over the newspaper and the news, so I kind of expected it to happen," said Baca.

Baca said that he's interested in seeing what kind of offense UCLA will run when he starts out this fall.

"I'm really excited about what this offense could be like," said Baca. "It looks like I'm being brought in as an offensive tackle. I've been working with center, just in case. I don't think I'm much of a guard, so it will be either tackle or center. I like how they have an offensive based coach that they're targeting."

Baca said a recent growth spurt has him at 6-5, 282.

This spring, he'll do track for the Diablos, and he's hoping to compete for a CIF title in the shotput. Could track be in his future at UCLA?

"It depends on this year, because right now, I'm not at the college level. But if I got up there a couple of more feet, I could maybe do it. If they let me," said Baca.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories