Wade's Commitment Will Not Fade

Wade's Commitment Will Not Fade

SEP. 1 -- The Santa Margarita defensive end Rick Wade talks about his commitment to UCLA for the first time publicly...

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Santa Margarita defensive end Rick Wade made a big commitment to UCLA at the end of July and then shut down the recruiting process.

But while some solid commits shut down the process by not entertaining phone calls from college coaches, Wade shut down the process by not taking phones calls from anyone asking about recruiting.

“When I say something I mean it,” said Wade. “I’m a man of my word. So I’m a UCLA man right now.

“It just felt like UCLA was a great opportunity that I could not pass up. It was perfect. Everything just felt perfect. The coaching staff is perfect. I fell in love with the school. That’s pretty much it.

“I actually went there on an unofficial visit, and it was just unbelievable. I committed there on the spot. I had a thought in my mind I was going to pretty much go there, but making the visit just pushed it over.”

Wade was originally recruited by the Bruins' coaching staff as a potential outside linebacker prospect. However, at 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, Wade could be better classified as a jumbo athlete.

“We haven’t really talked much about where I will play, but we’ll see,” said Wade. “Wherever they need me, which may be tight end, but most likely defensive end. I’ll just give it my all. I’m really tight with Coach Angus (McClure), so we’ll see what happens.

“I do feel more comfortable with my hand on the ground, but it depends whatever I grow in to so we’ll see.”

Wade has no plans to take official visits to any other schools besides UCLA, and his latest trip to Westwood reinforced his feelings about the Bruin football program beyond his athletic career.

“Oh, well obviously the academics are unparalleled,” said Wade. “Their campus is just insane. All of the aid they have for student athletes is just incredible. They set up everything for you for life after football. It was a no-brainer.”

And now, Wade’s only interest in recruiting is as a recruiter for UCLA. With four-star junior quarterback K.J. Costello as a teammate, Wade has no problem selling a different shade of blue and gold in the Eagles’ locker room.

“Definitely, yeah,” said Costello. “I’m trying to get KJ. I’m trying to get all of the guys they feel interest in and they tell me about. But K.J. is the main guy right now.”

Although the Bruins got off to a sluggish start in their season opener against Virginia Saturday, Wade expects a big season from UCLA.

“Obviously a championship,” said Wade. “I think they can make a run. I want to see how they do. They have a very good defensive line right now, so we’ll see how it goes. They have a very good defensive line though.”

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