Price Takes Step Toward Dream

Sheldon Price had a dream come true Saturday night. The 6-1 junior defensive back from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat talks about the feeling of getting a UCLA scholarship offer from Rick Neuheisel on the very same field where his father used to play for the Bruins...

Since he first realized what football was, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat cornerback Sheldon Price rooted for UCLA.

His grandfather was a Bruin, so were both his parents. His dad, Dennis, was a starter in the Bruins secondary for four years before embarking on an NFL career.

As Price began to play football, he dreamed of wearing the blue and gold that his father wore in the Rose Bowl on Saturdays.

Last Saturday night, fittingly at the Rose Bowl, that dream became a reality for Price.

Bruin coach Rick Neuheisel pulled Price to the side and told him that UCLA was offering him a scholarship. Price said he didn't need much time to accept.

"Coach Neuheisel took me off to the side and said that UCLA was offering me," Price said. "It took me a split second to answer him. They've always been the school where if they offered me I'd take it right away. I told Coach Neuheisel I was committing. It just felt amazing. I've been growing up and watching this school all my life. It's just crazy," said Price.

Price, who will be a third generation Bruin, has attended his fair share of UCLA games at the Rose Bowl with his family, but as he walked on the field prior to the Spring Game on Saturday night, knowing his dream was coming true, he said it wasn't like anything he'd experience.

"It had a little eerie feeling that, in a year, I'll be out there playing on the same field with these same guys, where my dad played," said Price.

Price attended the Spring Game with his father, and when he shared the news with his dad that he was offered, and took Neuheisel up on the offer, his dad was thrilled.

"He was just like, ‘Son, I'm very proud of you. I'm very glad to see you're a Bruin'. He used to talk about his memories all the time and he said this just brought up more memories," said Price. "And my mom, she was really happy for me."

Price's commitment gives the Bruins their second prospect in the class of 2009 from Bishop Amat, with Isaiah Bowens, a linebacker for the Lancers, committing to UCLA two weeks ago.

"Isaiah was congratulating me and he was just excited that we get to play together for another 4-5 years," said Price.

Price was getting somewhat antsy as he waited for his first offer, but tried to not let it show. "I just tried to stay patient and mine just happened to come (Saturday)," said Price. "I think how I did at the camp last weekend (Nike Camp where he earned DB MVP honors) contributed to it."

Price said he spoke with defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker after the game and received positive words from him. "Coach Walker said that if you can play you can be on the field as a true freshman. By the time I get to UCLA, I want to be at least 170. I'm just going to be eating a lot and working out. It feels good to know that now, all I have to do is focus on playing football," said Price.

Price has developed a good relationship with Neuheisel and Walker, and was excited to hear what they had to say about the Bruin program. "Coach Neuheisel is a really cool guy who wants to bring UCLA back to where they were, winning Rose Bowls and beating USC," said Price. "Coach Walker is really friendly and really easy to get to know."

Price also met some of the other UCLA commits, and talked with Todd Golper as well as signees Milton Knox and Aaron Hester. E.J. Woods, another UCLA signee, is a Serra League rival and Price said Woods had good things to say.

"E.J., whenever I see him, always talks about that win against us," said Price. "But he said he's excited to have me as a teammate."

With the weight of recruiting off his shoulders, Price said his spring will consist of camps and combines. He'll be at the UnderArmour/Scout.com Combine next month and then UCLA's 1-Day and 3-Day camps in June.

In 2007, Price was a First Team all-Serra League pick, a Second Team all-San Gabriel Valley selection and was named Team Back of the Year. He had 32 tackles, 19 breakups and three interceptions in 2007


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