Brandon Bennett, the 6-4, 335-pound offensive lineman from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat, decided to get it over with and commit to UCLA today.
“I just committed today,” Bennett said. “It was just time. I was ready to settle down.”
When asked why it was “time,” he said. “Well, UCLA had been telling me that they were going to give out five scholarships to offensive linemen. And they just got their fourth commitment. So I told them to contact me when they were down to one left. That’s what’s been going on. It was a decision to either wait and go through the process, or miss out on an opportunity to play at UCLA. I wanted to go through the process, but on the other hand, it’s UCLA, and that’s where I want to be. With five spots open, and they had given out four, I just thought I needed to go ahead and commit.”
UCLA was Bennett’s only scholarship offer, but he said he’d been getting serious attention from Colorado, Colorado State and Kansas.
He elaborated on why UCLA was his first choice. “The coaches there were a big influence. I like the way they coach. I like the team, and I think they’re moving forward and progressing, and I wanted to be a part of it. I think we’re going to have a winning team. I just really like the Bruin family.”
He said a few UCLA coaches were big factors. “Coach (Tom) Cable, the offensive line coach, he was a big influence on me wanting to commit. He’s just not interested in me as a football player, but as a person. I like that. (Head) coach (Karl) Dorrell is a good guy and I really like him. Coach (Eric) Bieniemy is from Bishop Amat and that played into this. I know he’s going to take care of me there. He’ll make sure I’m doing what I need to be doing. He’ll watch out for me.”
With Bennett sounding like he wanted to go through the recruiting process some more, he indicated he could take some official visits elsewhere. “I’m probably going to take other trips. But it will just probably make me know UCLA is where I want to be. Right now I’m 100% certain UCLA is the place for me.”
He’ll go to a few camps this summer – the Adidas Camp at UCLA at the end of April, the Scout.com combine in mid-May, the UCLA camp in June and the USC camp.
“I don’t think going to the USC camp will cause that much controversy,” Bennett said. “I’m just trying to go out there and have some fun.”
Bennett said he carries a 2.5 GPA and is taking the SAT in June.