Eddie Vanderdoes is planning on making an appeal that will restore the year of eligibility he lost by breaking his national letter of intent with Notre Dame. If he wins said appeal, it would pay huge dividends for UCLA on the field in 2013.
Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com reports that Vanderdoes will try to argue that "extenuating family health circumstances" were the reason he had to break his NLI with Notre Dame:
Earlier this winter, a close relative of the 6-foot-2, 310-pound defensive lineman was diagnosed with a severe illness, the source said. That spurred Vanderdoes, rated the No. 1 defensive tackle from the class of 2013 by 247Sports, to want to remain in California for college.
Vanderdoes is hoping these circumstances, along with the fact that he would be close to more family in the Los Angeles area, will greenlight his appeal.
To be clear, Vanderdoes will have a massive impact for UCLA, whether he has three years of eligibility or four.
If he was able to play in 2013 though, he would make an impact as a freshman.
In UCLA's 3-4 scheme, Vanderdoes is big and strong enough (6'2'', 310 lbs) to dominate as a nose-tackle, but he's also fast and technical enough to move outside and play on the edge as a 5-technique defensive end.
Senior nose tackle Seali'i Epenesa will get the starting snaps right off the bat, but if Mora and Co. want Vanderdoes to eventually start as a nose tackle, expect him to see reps there, along with redshirt sophomore Brandon Tuliaupupu.
Even as a backup, it should be expected that Vanderdoes would see a ton of playing time in big spots, so that once Espenesa moves on, he'll be ready to be "the guy" for UCLA.
Vanderdoes could also see reps at defensive end though, and in fact, that would make the most sense, especially now that Datone Jones has moved on to the NFL.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa looked to be Jones' replacement, but an injury reportedly could cost him the 2013 season. Ellis McCarthy could step up there, and eventually so could 4-star 2013 strong-side defensive end Kylie Fitts.
The impact needs to be right away though, in order for UCLA to compete and challenge to win the Pac-12 in 2013, so it makes most sense to rep Vanderdoes at defensive end if he's eligible. He could step in and play right away, and he has the potential to be able to replace Jones admirably.
Consider, as well, that he can be listed at one position but slide over situationally in different packages.
Either way, Jim Mora and his staff will find ways to get him on the field.
Whether or not that happens in 2013 remains to be seen, but if it does, Vanderdoes will have an impact right away.