UCLA claimed a recruiting victory over longtime regional rival USC on Tuesday when prized southern California prospect Jaleel Wadood committed to the Bruins. The 4-star safety announced his intentions on Twitter, ending an apparent two-team race between conference foes.
Wadood, a 5'11", 170-pound playmaker from St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), initially committed to California in July. He backed off his pledge to the Golden Bears last month to focus on other options.
UCLA and USC quickly rose to the forefront as possible destinations for the standout defensive back. His other offers include Oregon, Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Utah and Nebraska.
He was slated to spend official visits at Washington and USC next month. However, Wadood quickly made it clear on Twitter that his recruitment process has reached its conclusion.
The decision provides Bruins coach Jim Mora with a significant recruiting boost. UCLA lands its sixth 4-star recruit and a player capable of contributing early. The team now holds 14 commits in its 2014 recruiting class, which is currently rated 34th nationally and fifth in the Pac-12 by 247Sports.
Meanwhile, USC's new coaching regime suffers an early recruiting blow. Steve Sarkisian, named Trojans head coach last week, also recruited Wadood at Washington.
USC is stuck at 10 commits in a class that ranks 51st nationally. The Trojans must now focus efforts elsewhere at the safety position.
Wadood, a two-way standout on St. John Bosco, helped lead the team to a Pac-5 division title last Saturday. He scored two receiving touchdowns in a decisive 34-7 victory over Mater Dei, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The Braves are now 14-0. Wadood has caught 71 passes for 1,149 yards and 20 total touchdown this season, per MaxPreps.
His defensive prowess is evident throughout the stat sheet. Wadood has tallied 122 tackles and two sacks as a senior.
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