A week after receiving an offer from UCLA, Birmingham (Ala.) Carver defensive end Reginald Stokes (6-3, 230) decided to put an end to his recruitment and gave UCLA a verbal commitment.
"I talked with both Coach (Karl) Dorrell and Coach (Eric) Bieniemy and told them I wanted to commit to UCLA," said Stokes. "They were both very happy for me and were glad I want to be a Bruin."
The UCLA offer stood out over Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, hometown UAB and West Virginia, which offered him earlier this week, and the chance to play out West was enough to convince him to pull the trigger.
"It's a great school with excellent academics and it's in Los Angeles. And the football program is on its way up. That was a big reason for me," said Stokes.
Stokes said the commitment was "solid" and that even if LSU or Alabama, two of his longtime favorites, offered, it likely wouldn't affect his decision.
"My family thinks it will be good for me to go to UCLA and go to school. I think it is the best place for me to go," said Stokes.
During his junior year, Stokes had 137 tackles and 9.5 sacks and was was All-State Honorable Mention. He said he could possibly play linebacker in college, but is most likely going to be at defensive end.
"The coaches said that they want me to be a pass rusher and play up front," said Stokes.
Stokes has kept himself busy with camps this summer, going to Alabama and LSU and still planning to go to Auburn and Mississippi State. He also attended the Nike Camp at Georgia, where the UCLA staff was, and the Scout.com Combine in Auburn.
He plans to take an unofficial visit to UCLA either at the end of Summer, or wait to take his official during the fall.
Academically, Stokes has a 3.1 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT.