Prized football recruit Vanderdoes won't enroll at Notre Dame, headed to UCLA

Eddie Vanderdoes is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound 5-star defensive lineman that signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Notre Dame in February.

Vanderdoes was scheduled to enroll at Notre Dame in the next two weeks, would have seen significant playing time in the fall and likely would have been a starter in 2014 with the expected departure of Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt to the NFL.

None of that will happen now.

Vanderdoes has signed with UCLA and will enroll there instead, the Bruins confirmed Tuesday.

Notre Dame says it will not release Vanderdoes from his National Letter of Intent. That means Vanderdoes can not play this fall and he will lose a year of eligibility. He will have three years to play college football starting in 2014.

"We did not release him from his national letter of intent in order to protect the integrity of that very important program," Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said in a statement. "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 told the Sacramento Bee that Notre Dame lifted the recruiting ban to allow him to speak to UCLA about joining their program. Had Notre Dame not lifted that ban, UCLA would be in violation of tampering by talking to Vanderdoes.

So what caused the change of heart?

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

Vanderdoes did not specify exactly what circumstances have changed.

"I am honored and humbled that Note Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship," Vanderdoes said. "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 my family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family."

The Family had hoped that once Eddie signed with UCLA and enrolled there, Notre Dame would release him from the letter of intent thus allowing him to play four years at UCLA starting in the fall.

That will not happen.


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