A Dream Comes True for Prince

Encino (Calif.) Crespi quarterback Kevin Prince changed his mind and his commitment from Washington to UCLA on Tuesday, and the former UCLA ball boy will fulfill his childhood dream of playing for the Bruins...

Since he was a kid running on the field at the Rose Bowl as a ball boy for UCLA, Encino (Calif.) Crespi quarterback Kevin Prince wanted to play for the Bruins.

But after a lack of contact from UCLA, who offered him during the spring, and then having a good rapport with the Washington staff, Prince instead committed to the Huskies in December.

Enter Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow into the picture. The new head coach and offensive coordinator in Westwood saw Prince's film last week, invited him for an unofficial visit to the UCLA campus and let him know they wanted him.

On Tuesday night, Prince made his decision.

"I have decided to go to UCLA," said Prince. "There were a couple reasons why. Number one was the opportunity to play for Coach Neuheisel and Coach Chow. And just the success that Coach Chow has had with quarterbacks. When I heard he was going to be a coach there, that was a big point for me. And number two, I thought if football was taken away from me, I wanted to be at UCLA. With the success UCLA will have in the near future, it's a good package."

Prince said he never thought much about UCLA after he committed to Washington, especially since contact was lost. But when Neuheisel was visiting Crespi last week, he saw some of Prince's film and got back in the mix.

"Before then, I didn't really think twice about my commitment," said Prince. "I thought it would be cool to play for Norm Chow and Rick Neuheisel, but didn't think much of it. Then they finally saw my tape last week and they expressed a lot of interest. They asked me to come to campus and I had a meeting with Coach Chow and Coach Neuheisel and got a good feel for them."

Prince spent the rest of the weekend chewing on his decision: stick with Washington or turn to the childhood favorite, UCLA.

"I had been thinking it over, which school was the best for me. I was a ball boy for UCLA, and I've been growing up with UCLA stuff in my room. I gave the Washington coaches a heads up on what was happening, and obviously it was tough, but they respected my decision. It was tough to do it. I had them over to my house and had a good relationship with them. But they understood my reasoning," said Prince.

Prince said he called Neuheisel to deliver the news.

"I called Coach Neuheisel first and he was with Coach Chow. It was pretty cool, and they were both pretty excited," said Prince.

In fact, the Prince family was more than excited, his father a UCLA alum and longtime fan of the program.

"My whole family is excited. My parents and a lot of my friends, they wanted me to go to UCLA. So now I see really how excited they are," said Prince.

The fulfillment of a childhood dream is just hours away for Prince, but he said he's not really been able to think much about it because of the whirlwind week.

"I really haven't thought about it," said Prince. "When I sit back tomorrow and sign, it will hit me. I'm just going to sign at a little reception at the school."

Prince said he let his Crespi teammate, and future Bruin teammate E.J. Woods know.

"I texted him a little bit ago and said "I'm a Bruin." And he said ‘finally!' He kids around every day, going back and forth, saying 'UCLA, UCLA.' It's kind of ironic how it worked out. We were both supposed to go to Washington together and now we're going to UCLA," Prince said.

Though he'll sign a NLI tomorrow, Prince said that Neuheisel and Chow talked with him about when he'll enroll.

Prince said: "I'm going to greyshirt, but they've left it up to me if I'll take my Mission or if I'll come in January. They're wiling to work with either one. They don't even have a timetable for me. I'll make the decision soon. It's either greyshirt or Mission though. I may also be the only quarterback in the class, but I may not. I'm not 100% sure. We'll see."

Because of his commitment to UCLA, Prince never got to take an official visit to UCLA, but it's not a big deal to him.

"It doesn't really matter," said Prince. "I talked to Coach Neuheisel. He's aware that I didn't take one. If I want to take one, if I greyshirt and if I really want to, he said I could take one next year. But I don't really feel that is necessary."

For Prince, the tiring process will come to an end tomorrow, at least at this point.

"I can't wait," said Prince. "To just get this whole thing done with and go on to college. And it's the last thing I have to worry about."


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