Noah Sutherland, 6-5, 245, 4.7, Virginia Beach (Va.) Floyd E. Kellem, who took his official visit to UCLA on December 6th, called UCLA on Wednesday and became head coach Karl Dorrell's first verbal commitment since taking over the program.
When BRO last spoke to Sutherland just before New Year's, he had not heard from UCLA since he had taken his visit. "They called the next day," he said. "He (defensive line coach Don Johnson) did keep in contact after they weren't sure who was going to be the coach. I didn't get to talk to him personally. He called when I wasn't here and spoke to my mother and basically kept us informed. Then once they kept him, he made contact with us again."
Sutherland called UCLA Wednesday and spoke to both Johnson and Dorrell to tell them that he was coming. "They were all pretty excited. I was the first one to verbal to UCLA since Dorrell has been head coach." Sutherland will be heading out to Westwood to get settled in August.
UCLA will be making an in-home visit with the Sutherlands in about two weeks. "My parents are very excited for me. I know that early next week coach Johnson is supposed to come by the school, then he is supposed to bring coach Dorrell by the week after that to my house. We haven't set a date yet. I talked to coach Dorrell on the phone, but coach Johnson wasn't sure what coach Dorrell's schedule was like."
Sutherland said while he hasn't followed UCLA specifically he has always been aware of the school and the program. Don Johnson started recruiting Sutherland when he was a junior. "I think he saw me at our combine we had around here."
BRO asked Sutherland about the numbers he achieved at the Virginia Nike Camp in the 40-yard dash and shuttle. Sutherland has been clocked consistently at 4.7 in the 40, but he blew up to a 5.0 the day of the camp. "I really don't know what happened. To tell you the truth I just sucked there. I could say that the turf was long and slippery or it did seem that everyone I knew there was saying that they were running slower as well, but I can't tell you anything other than I just sucked that day. It was just a bad day for me."
When he toured UCLA on his official visit Sutherland was hosted by defensive tackle Rodney Leisle. Sutherland was happy to hear that Leisle was returning to UCLA for his senior season, but while visiting UCLA Sutherland was under the impression that Leisle was likely leaving. "Sounded like he was going to be gone just the way he was talking to me. Obviously, I am not like a close friend or anything, but he said he thought that the injury would likely be what prevents him from leaving."
Sutherland is now in an off-season strength and conditioning program. "I run about four days a week, and I am lifting six days a week." Sutherland said he intends to work out right up until his trip to school.