Bryant Talks on Being a Bruin

The 6-4, 230-pound defensive end prospecte from Columbus (Ohio) Brookhaven, Derrick Bryant, took his official visit to UCLA this weekend and gave Head Coach Rick Neuheisel a verbal commitment...

Before Derrick Bryant left his hometown of Columbus (Ohio) for his visit to UCLA, the Brookhaven HS defensive end had a feeling he could end up committing to the Bruins.

After spending the weekend in Westwood, Bryant made that feeling become a reality.

"I committed yesterday in Coach (Rick) Neuheisel's office at the end of my trip and told him I wanted to be a Bruin," said Bryant.

Bryant had never been to California before, but even he was surprised by his experience.

"I was blown away by the visit," said Bryant. "Being the Midwest, I'd only seen California on TV. I have family on the East Coast, so I'd been out there, but never to the West Coast, so it was a new experience for me. Seeing the beach, the palm trees, Beverly Hills, it just blew me away. And of all the campuses I've been to, UCLA was the best of all of them. It's the most beautiful campus I've ever seen. It's a perfect setting. You've got Hollywood nearby and everything around it. You have Sunset going by the school. I couldn't have imagined all that."

And when he got to spend time with the coaching staff, he knew he could see himself spending the next four to five years in Westwood.

"Seeing their meetings, and getting to talk with all of the coaches, especially Coach Neuheisel, was really important to me. I mean, everything about the visit blew me away, and the coaches were real cool. Coach Neuheisel is a great man and a top notch coach. UCLA presented me with an excellent opportunity and I'm all on board."

Bryant was hosted by Reggie Stokes, the two having something in common, both being from different time zones than UCLA.

"Reggie and I talked about the adjustment to leaving home but he said it was good for him and he talked about how nice it was to come to UCLA for him," said Bryant.

Primarily recruiting Bryant has been defensive line coach Todd Howard, but Bryant also got to talk with defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough.

"Coach Howard has been recruiting me since the spring," said Bryant. "He came to one of our track meets and he's always been real cool. I got to talk with Coach Bullough and he's a real motivated coach and I like the way he calls the defense. He really likes to attack and that is right up my alley."

Bryant also got to talk with several of the current Bruins.

"I talked with most of the defensive linemen and I talked with Kevin Craft a lot and Datone Jones too," said Bryant.

Bryant had taken unofficial visits to Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame, but his visit to UCLA was his first official visit.

It also will be his only official visit.

"I made my decision and so I'm done with recruiting," said Bryant. "There won't be any more visits for me."

So far this season, Brookhaven is 2-2, with Bryant playing defensive end and tight end.

"I had a good game last game. I had eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and blocked a punt," said Bryant.

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