MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Santa Margarita defensive end Rick Wade made a big commitment to UCLA at the end of July and then shut down the recruiting process.
But while some solid commits shut down the process by not entertaining
phone calls from college coaches, Wade shut down the process by not
taking phones calls from anyone asking about recruiting.
“When I say something I mean it,” said Wade. “I’m a man of my word. So
I’m a UCLA man right now.
“It just felt like UCLA was a great opportunity that I could not pass
up. It was perfect. Everything just felt perfect. The coaching staff is
perfect. I fell in love with the school. That’s pretty much it.
“I actually went there on an unofficial visit, and it was just
unbelievable. I committed there on the spot. I had a thought in my mind
I was going to pretty much go there, but making the visit just pushed
Wade was originally recruited by the Bruins' coaching staff as a potential
outside linebacker prospect. However, at 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, Wade could
be better classified as a jumbo athlete.
“We haven’t really talked much about where I will play, but we’ll see,”
said Wade. “Wherever they need me, which may be tight end, but most
likely defensive end. I’ll just give it my all. I’m really tight with
Coach Angus (McClure), so we’ll see what happens.
“I do feel more comfortable with my hand on the ground, but it depends
whatever I grow in to so we’ll see.”
Wade has no plans to take official visits to any other schools besides
UCLA, and his latest trip to Westwood reinforced his feelings about the
Bruin football program beyond his athletic career.
“Oh, well obviously the academics are unparalleled,” said Wade. “Their
campus is just insane. All of the aid they have for student athletes is
just incredible. They set up everything for you for life after
football. It was a no-brainer.”
And now, Wade’s only interest in recruiting is as a recruiter for UCLA.
With four-star junior quarterback K.J. Costello as a teammate, Wade has
no problem selling a different shade of blue and gold in the Eagles’
“Definitely, yeah,” said Costello. “I’m trying to get KJ. I’m trying to
get all of the guys they feel interest in and they tell me about. But K.J.
is the main guy right now.”
Although the Bruins got off to a sluggish start in their season opener
against Virginia Saturday, Wade expects a big season from UCLA.
“Obviously a championship,” said Wade. “I think they can make a run. I
want to see how they do. They have a very good defensive line right
now, so we’ll see how it goes. They have a very good defensive line
Wade's commitment will not fade
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