UCLA Gets Verbal From JC QB

UCLA added some quarterback depth to the class of 2008, getting a five-star passer from the JC ranks in Mt. San Antonio College's Kevin Craft, who verballed to the Bruins on Monday night...

After an outstanding season at Mt. San Antonio College, Kevin Craft was ready to take his game, and his final two seasons of eligibility, to Hawaii.

But when June Jones left for SMU, Craft assumed that would be his next destination.

Enter UCLA. The Bruins new coach, Rick Neuheisel, who once plucked a quarterback from Mt. SAC, Mike Moschetti, when he was at Colorado, returned to Walnut and offered Craft a scholarship and an official visit.

Craft, 6-5, 215-pounds, visited UCLA this past weekend, and the five-star quarterback called Neuheisel late Monday evening and gave him some news.

"I just committed tonight to UCLA," said Craft. "I actually just got off the phone with Coach Neuheisel to let him know. He's going to have me call Coach (Norm) Chow tomorrow. But I'm so excited to be working with them. I'm really ecstatic."

Its been a long road for Craft, who originally signed with San Diego State as a senior, where his dad, Tom, was the head coach for the Aztecs. He spent a couple of years on Montezuma Mesa before he joined his father at Mt. SAC, where he was the offensive coordinator.

"The opportunity to play for my dad at Mt. SAC, and now getting a chance to play at UCLA, I couldn't have had a better experience up to this point," said Craft.

On his visit to UCLA this weekend, Craft was hosted by Pat Cowan, himself a quarterback for the Bruins.

"Patrick is a great guy and I really enjoyed having him as a host," said Craft. "He's a great person. I also met Nick Crissman up there. There's a lot of camaraderie there and I'm excited to be a part of the team."

Craft said he was all set to choose between SMU, where Jones was taking over, and Hawaii.

"The Hawaii coaches came and Coach McMackin did a really good job of explaining things to me. And between the two, I liked SMU. But then UCLA entered the picture. It's always been a dream of mine to play at a school like UCLA. And I get to stay local," said Craft.

Craft has already earned his AA from Mt. SAC, but because he left San Diego State when he did, he has to abide by an NCAA rule that requires him to attend a JC for a full year.

"I have to sit out a full academic year, so I wont be able to enroll until this summer. But I'll be able to go to practices because it's local and sit in on meetings," said Craft.

When asked if he was ready to join in what could be an open tryout for the quarterback position, Craft was diplomatic.

"I can only worry about myself," said Craft. "And honestly, that's not what's on my mind right now. I'm just excited to be a part of the team. That's all."

During the 2007 season at Mt. SAC, Craft led the Mounties to a 10-2 record while throwing for over 3,700 yards and 41 touchdowns.

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