Eddie Vanderdoes Officially Leaving Notre Dame for UCLA Bruins

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Eddie Vanderdoes Officially Leaving Notre Dame for UCLA Bruins
Via 247Sports

5-star defensive tackle recruit Eddie Vanderdoes has left Notre Dame's 2013 class and will instead sign with UCLA, according to a report.

Brandon Huffman and Tracy Pierson of Scout.com broke the news on Bruin Report Online:

Eddie Vanderdoes, the 5-star 2013 defensive line prospect, has signed with UCLA, whether he's eligible for the 2013 season or not.

Vanderdoes, in a statement, said:

"I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban and allowing me to sign an Athletic Scholarship with UCLA.

"Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family. For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and near those who are most important in my life.

"I am honored and humbled that the University of Notre Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship. They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family."

As Huffman and Pierson go on to explain, essentially what happened here is that Vanderdoes has signed what is called a "Grant-in Aid." He can go sign with UCLA, but he's only going to have three seasons of eligibility, missing out on the whole 2013 season.

Notre Dame could still choose to release him from his signed letter of intent, thus he would be allowed the full four seasons and five years of eligibility, but Huffman/Pierson report that Notre Dame has "consistently refused" that option. He also reports that the National Letter of Intent office recently turned down Vanderdoes' appeal.

 

Update: According to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune on Twitter, Notre Dame will not release Vanderdoes from his National Letter of Intent:

Brian Kelly released a statement on the situation, per Dan Murphy of BlueGoldIllustrated.com:

“Eddie Vanderdoes will not be attending the University of Notre Dame. We did not release him from his national letter of intent in order to protect the integrity of that very important program, but we have worked with the Vanderdoes family so that Eddie can continue his education this fall at a school closer to his home. We understand Eddie’s interest in remaining closer to his family and wish him well.” 

Vanderdoes was projected to be one of the star recruits from Notre Dame's 2013 class, and he was a marquee recruit for Brian Kelly and his program. 

He's the No. 1 defensive tackle and No. 6 recruit in the 2013 class, both according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Checking in at 6'2'', 310 pounds, Vanderdoes has elite size, but he also has great speed, strength and fundamentals.

Vanderdoes is going to be a game-changer at the college level.

He'll be changing games for UCLA now instead of Notre Dame.

 

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