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Anthony Barr

Los Angeles Loyola's Anthony Barr, who is ranked by Scout.com as the #10 outside linebacker in the nation, said today that he has verbally committed to UCLA over Notre Dame...

Anthony Barr, the 6-4, 225-pound athlete from Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola, has verbally committed to UCLA.

"I called Coach Neu (Rick Neuheisel) to commit, and he's in Ohio and he said he was going to hang up and call me back. When he called me back, he said "Am I dreaming?" and I told him, no, I was committing to UCLA. He was pretty pumped."

Barr was the first player in the class of 2010 that UCLA offered, doing so on September 1st, 2008, the first day they could officially offer juniors.

"It's been a long process, been almost two years, and I was ready to get it over with. It feels great to be committed to UCLA. The recruiting process is a great process. It was something new, but it was long and I sort of got over it. I'm proud and happy with the decision I made to be a Bruin."

Barr said he's seen the resurgence from UCLA up close, and that's what tipped the scales to the Bruins.

"I am excited about the direction the team is headed in," said Barr. "They're bringing in some players, and in a couple of years, we're going to be really good."

Barr also cited his relationship with Neuheisel as a key factor in his decision.

"I have a really good relationship with Coach Neu," said Barr. "He'll develop me into the player I want to be. That's why I felt UCLA was the best choice for me."

Barr's family ties to Notre Dame have been well documented, but in the end, he chose to stay close to home. But the location didn't factor into his decision.

"My mom, she told me she would follow me wherever I went so i couldn't get away from her," Barr joked. "But it wasn't the biggest factor staying close to home. Playing in front of my family and being the hometown kid, all that stuff is secondary. I can't get caught up in being close to home. I needed to do what feels best and what suits your personal need. The weather in L.A. is all great, even though it's hailing right now, but at the end of the day, being close to home didn't play a part."

Barr said UCLA wants him as an athlete, and he's open to any position, even if his first choice is in the offensive backfield.

"I'd like to get a chance to play running back, that's where my heart is, that's where I've been producing so I wouldn't mind taking a shot there," said Barr. "My heart's at the running back spot and that's where I want to play. But I just want to help the team at whatever spot is best for them."

Barr visited UCLA last weekend and got to know the other two running backs in the class, Malcolm Jones and Jordon James.

"I'd known Malcolm from the Army Game and we hung out a bit there," said Barr. "I got to meet Jordon and he's really cool. We're going to have a good time at UCLA and we're going to have a real good squad."

Barr missed most of his senior year with an ankle injury but he said he'll be fine by fall.

"My ankle will be all healed up and I'll be ready to roll," said Barr. "You appreciate the game more, being away from it. I'm really looking forward to my time at UCLA, and getting out there and proving myself and winning some games for the Bruins."

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