Yates Makes it Tiger Trifecta

Fresno (Calif.) Edison defensive end Rykeem Yates joins two teammates in committing to UCLA, when he verballed on his official visit...

Fresno (Calif.) Edison defensive end Rykeem Yates waited patiently to get an offer from UCLA.

With two of his Tiger teammates, Tevin McDonald and Wesley Flowers, committed to the Bruins since the summer, Yates pushed himself all season to land an offer from UCLA so he could join them.

"They offered me on my visit and I committed," said Yates.

For Yates, he had a feeling when UCLA offered a visit, a scholarship offer could come from it.

"I had a feeling something was going to happen," said Yates. "I knew I wanted to stay in California and I have two teammates going there, so it all worked out."

Yates was offered on Saturday and took a night to think about it, but already knew what his plan was.

On Sunday, he told Coach Todd Howard and Coach Rick Neuheisel he wanted to be a Bruin. Then he told his two teammates.

"I committed to them today, after thinking about it," said Yates. "I didn't even tell Wesley or Tevin that I got offered. I kind of surprised them and told them I had committed. They were like "What?" They were surprised."

Overall, Yates loved his visit to Westwood.

"It went really well," said Yates. "I enjoyed viewing the campus and meeting all the football players. They are really like a family and that's what I'm used to at my high school."

Yates was hosted by freshman defensive end Keenan Graham. He also saw fellow Edison alum Courtney Viney.

"Courtney showed us around and we sat with him at the basketball game," said Yates.

Yates played on the offensive line and at defensive end for the Tigers this year, but said his position, for now, is undefined.

"They like me as an athlete," said Yates. "I could play fullback, linebacker, or defensive line. It doesn't really matter to me where I play, I'm a football player."

Yates is being recruited by Howard, but also spoke with Neuheisel extensively. Howard has been in for an in-home and Neuheisel will be in later this month.

"I talked with Coach Neuheisel a lot but really, I talked with Coach Howard. He's been recruiting me and he visited my house. Coach Neuheisel is coming later."

Yates said he's happy to be done with recruiting.

"I'm relieved to get the process over with and knowing I'll be playing in the Pac-10," said Yates.

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