UCLA Freshman Eddie Vanderdoes Ruled Eligible to Play 2013 Season

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2013

The ongoing saga surrounding UCLA defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes' recruitment has finally come to an end. 

According to David Woods of Scout.com, the 6'4", 305-pound defensive lineman has been ruled eligible to play for the Bruins this season. 


UPDATE: Wednesday, July 31, at 11:30 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

South Bend Tribune's Eric Hansen has the latest from Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly regarding Vanderdoes:

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Vanderdoes, who was ranked as the top defensive tackle (and No. 6 player overall) in the nation, according to 247Sports' composite rankings, made waves in the offseason when he originally signed his letter of intent with Notre Dame in February, only to decide he wanted to attend UCLA in June, according to ESPN.

The Auburn, Calif., native cited family and personal reasons for the change of heart.

"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," Vanderdoes told ESPN.

As Woods reports, Notre Dame did not initially release Vanderdoes from his letter of intent, meaning that he would have to sit out the year and was only eligible to play three seasons. Vanderdoes went to the NCAA to appeal the decision and was denied. 

However, a second go at the appeals process appears to have yielded the result that he and the Bruins wanted. He'll be eligible to join the team's hunt for the Pac-12 title this season. 

There's a strong chance that he'll make an impact, too. 

The 5-star prospect has the frame to hold his own against the bigger linemen that he's sure to see at the highest level, and he'll certainly be tested with defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa having to sit out the season after offseason hip surgery, according to Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times

The opportunity is certainly there for Vanderdoes to make as many headlines for his play on the field as he has off of it with his decision this summer.