Van Ackeren Will Camp at UCLA

The 6-1, 190-pound safety prospect from Washington, Kendrick Van Ackeren, talks about his three favorite programs, and how he's going to be trying to get scholarship offers from them this spring and summer...

Kendrick Van Ackeren, the 6-foot-1, 189-pound three-star safety from Bellevue, Wash., still has one scholarship offer and that's from in-state Washington State. Wazzu is about five hours from Van Ackeren's house and he admits that distance will be a factor.

"Distance is big," Van Ackeren said. "I want to be able to come back and not be too far away. I'd definitely like to stay on the West Coast. UCLA is a little far, but I still like them a lot. That's just a short flight away."

Van Ackeren will be heading to Los Angeles on June 6 to participate in the Bruins camp.

"I really like the environment there," he said. "My aunt lives down there so I've been there before. I also really like the coaches."

He says he has a good relationship with Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel. "Coach Neuheisel lived up here when he was coaching "U-Dub" and I actually knew his son a bit. I've gotten to know him pretty well and we have a good relationship."

Van Ackeren hopes that a solid performance at their camp will yield a scholarship. In fact, he'll also be attending camps at Boise State (June 12-13) and Oregon (June 20) as well.

"Oregon is the only one that has specifically talked to me about an offer," he said. "They said they really like my film and that they're going to come by my school to see me practice and that they want to get to know me better before they offer."

Van Ackeren has already attended the Ducks Junior Day. "The Junior Day was a lot of fun," he said. "Talking with all the coaches and players was real cool. They seem to have a good player/coach relationship and all the players get along well too.

"The facilities were amazing," he said. "I love the workout room and the stadium is real nice. I really liked Oregon a lot."

In fact, Van Ackeren admits that he'd consider committing to the Ducks if they offered him. "I'd probably seriously consider Oregon, UCLA and Boise State," he said. "Those three are the main ones right now."

Van Ackeren says he'd ideally like to commit before the start of his senior season. "I'd like to focus just on my season," he said. "So hopefully I can commit before then. But if it doesn't feel right, I'll wait. I just don't want to wait too long. I definitely wouldn't wait until after the season to do it."

Although he's been to Boise State before, he says that was a few years ago. "My grandparents live in Idaho and we stopped by Boise State when we were visiting them," he said. "I was really impressed with them…Boise is a nice town and it's a very relaxed environment, but it's a city and there's a lot to do there."

Growing up, Van Ackeren says he followed Michigan. "I lived there for a while when I was younger," he said. "Really as a kid I always liked Michigan, Miami and Washington."

None of those programs are recruiting him.

His parents both attended Washington State and his mom played soccer for the Cougars. "I like the environment there," he said. "The area is nice and it's not too hectic there."

The most recent school to start showing interest in Van Ackeren is Arizona State. "They came to my school about two weeks ago," he said. "I sent them my tape and info and they're evaluating all that now."

Van Ackeren has never visited the Sun Devils campus.

He finished his junior season with 90 tackles, four fumbles caused and three interceptions.

"I break on the ball well," he said. "I can tackle too. I don't miss a lot of tackles. I have great overall awareness and I can read the quarterback very well."

He says he can bench 265-pounds and has a 33-inch vertical jump.

"I want to get faster and get my 40-time down to a 4.5 (runs a 4.6)," he said. "I want to improve my footwork and movement."

Van Ackeren plans to major in business and reports a 3.2 core GPA and a 1730 SAT.

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