Derrick Williams, 5-11, 200, 4.5, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, said he had a whirlwind day on Monday that started at noon with a visit from a Pac-10 head coach and ended with a late night verbal commitment to UCLA.
Williams said that he felt very comfortable with the UCLA coaches during his official visit last weekend. But was he sure UCLA was the place for him after getting home on Sunday? "I was slightly sure, but I was still thinking about Cal and Arizona. Actually Monday Cal coach (Jeff) Tedford came around at , and it was a hard decision after speaking to coach Tedford. I gained more interest in Cal football when I talked to him. I really didn't know which school to pick."
That is when his teammate and fellow UCLA commit, Joe Cowan, entered the picture. "But after talking to Joe Cowan it just clicked in my head for UCLA. I knew without a doubt after that we should go there and be a part of the new program there. Both Joe and I got that feeling when you know something is right. When you know it is best for you. When he came back from visiting Colorado State he said it was a nice school, but he wants to play in the Pac-10. Joe said we should go to UCLA, and I was thinking the same thing. It was really strange. We were talking about it late into the night."
So when the Bosco tandem decided, they also thought there was no reason why they shouldn't inform UCLA coach Mark Weber, regardless of the time. "It was late. At 11 o'clock we called coach Weber and told him that we wanted to commit. He was sleeping when we called, but it woke him up pretty good."
While Williams went on his official visit to UCLA this past weekend, Cowan will make his official visit this coming weekend. Cowan has met coach Eric Bieniemy when he visited both players at Bosco. But he has yet to meet coach Dorrell.
Williams wasted no time in sharing the news with his family. "It's close to home, so my parents really loved my decision. I have talked to all my uncles and cousins who are fans of USC and Notre Dame, but they were all happy for me."
His sister is a USC graduate, but she apparently did not try to put too much pressure on Williams to consider the Trojans. "I called her and left her a message, but she hasn't called me back yet. We always joked around about me becoming a Bruin, and she never really pushed me to look at USC. She is now considering going to law school at UCLA. She just wants me to follow in her footsteps in terms of getting a degree. That's what I want to do to."
Williams said he intends to hang out at UCLA during spring practice to get a feel for the coaches and what they want from the players.