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Five-star Vanderdoes officially drops Irish for UCLA

Eddie Vanderdoes

And thus ends the months-long saga of five-star recruit Eddie Vanderdoes.  We think.

A five-star member of Notre Dame’s 2013 recruiting class, questions regarding the defensive lineman’s actual commitment to the Irish surfaced shortly after National Signing Day.  UCLA was widely viewed as the frontrunner for the Auburn, Cal., player’s services until an official visit to South Bend a week before signing day prompted a flip.

That’s now become a double-back reverse flip, however, as Vanderdoes confirmed in a statement to the Sacramento Bee that Notre Dame has rescinded its initial recruiting ban and allowed the tackle to sign with the Bruins.  Vanderdoes said in the statement that he had “very personal reasons” for wanting to “remain close to home.”

“I am honored and humbled that Note Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship,” a portion of Vanderdoes’ statement read. “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.”

UCLA head coach Jim Mora subsequently made it officially official by welcoming Vanderdoes “to the Bruin Family” via Twitter.

According to ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad, however, the Irish did not release Vanderdoes from his National Letter of Intent, which would mean the player would be forced to sit out the 2013 season.  Vanderdoes will still be on scholarship and permitted to practice with his new teammates, although he would give up a year of eligibility for breaking his Notre Dame NLI.  Such a scenario would leave him four years to use three seasons of eligibility.

One of Notre Dame’s concerns, the Bee reported, was that Vanderdoes would sign with UCLA’s cross-town rival USC.  The Irish and the Trojans, obviously, have an annual rivalry game of their own and led in part to the initial recruiting ban.

Regardless of the whys and hows of the situation, it’s yet another personnel blow for the Irish and a huge pickup for the Bruins.

Vanderdoes was rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 21 player at any position.  In talent-rich California, the 6-3, 310-pound lineman was ranked as the No. 3 player in the state.

(Photo credit: U.A. Army All-American Bowl)

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22 Responses to “Five-star Vanderdoes officially drops Irish for UCLA”
  1. pdcooper08 says: Jun 4, 2013 1:31 PM

    What a piece of work these guy is. He commits to SC last summer, then waffles. Gets the kings treatment during trip time. Visits Bama then ND, then signs there. Fine, your there. So stay there. Now this BS. And all because he wants to stay closer to home. What a crock. This kid doesn’t no what he wants. A pampered spoiled baby. You could have saved a year of playing time if you had any type of integrity regarding keeping your word. But I’m sure you are working under the belief, your father has told you you’ll be gone to the pros in two years anyways. So who cares

  2. seamus0317 says: Jun 4, 2013 1:32 PM

    The recruiters are not the only sleaze bags! Good riddance to this kid!

  3. mrlaloosh says: Jun 4, 2013 1:37 PM

    He fat

  4. irishdodger says: Jun 4, 2013 2:21 PM

    This is the equivalent of a transfer and should be treated as such meaning he should have to lose a year. It’s one thing when talking about backing out of a VERBAL commitment, but when you SIGN an LOI, that is binding & should be treated that way. I don’t care if they’re only 18, they’re legally adults and need to learn sooner or later that there are consequences to decisions made out of haste or not. I guarantee you that other BCS schools around the nation are behind ND in holding EV to his LOI less Pandora’s Box be opened. Save the crap about how coaches leave all the time & it’s not fair to kids. That’s beside the point as I believe 100% that UCLA NEVER stopped recruiting this kid even after he signed an LOI…which is illegal if proven true. BTW, if proximity to home is his lone reason, it’s not like SoCal is around the corner. It’s approx the same distance from South Bend, IN to Knoxville, TN.

  5. tampabayirish says: Jun 4, 2013 2:44 PM

    I am a “Subway Alum” of the Irish…Accepted but enrolled elsewhere (Wake Forest). I think Notre Dame should take the high road and release Eddie Vanderdoes “free and clear and without restriction.” Why make the kid burn a year of eligibility? I think if Notre Dame did what is best for the player that they would be rewarded 10 times over for their good deed. (coaches would notice!) 10 years from now people wont remember who Eddie V was…but they may remember that Notre Dame enforced a legal contract with an 18 year old kid when they could have just ripped up the contract and wished the kid well. Notre Dame holds itself to a high standard and rightfully claims they are not a “football factory.” (Just ask Everett Golson). Here is a chance to show that you are different. Release the kid completely. High school coaches across the country will notice that, to a certain extent, Notre Dame “stuck it” to an 18 year old boy when they didn’t have to. Go Irish!

  6. normtide says: Jun 4, 2013 2:50 PM

    I agree dodger. I agreed when FSU when they did the same thing. The truth is, he doesn’t have sit out a year, just walk on. See the UT kicker for example. Any player can leave any school for ant other school at any time. They just can’t do it for free. No one has their rights taken away. An 18 year old has to be held to their word, just like any other adult. If anything, these kids are pampered, not abused.

  7. soundsofsuccess7 says: Jun 4, 2013 3:18 PM

    Yeah this kid has been a total D-Bag about the process. I don’t typically support criticizing decisions made by kids, but this kid has been pathetic.

    First, commits to SC. They pamper the hell out of him, he sounds 100% SC, he decommits. Whatever, it’s happened before. So now he’s a free agent, right? He plays games on twitter and in interviews pretending one day he’s going to Bama, one day he’s going to Notre Dame. Hell, rivals reporters were under the impression he recommitted to SC. So he waits until Signing Day to make his big decision in front of everyone and get all the attention.. Not the first time it’s happened. He tweets a photo of a USC hat hours before announcing his commitment to Notre Dame, and gets butthurt at Notre Dame for them accidentally letting it known he was a Domer.

    So now, after all this toying with people and attention getting, he doesn’t even step on Notre Dame’s field once before he decides he’s out and UCLA bound, who wasn’t a visibly large contender for him until late.

    Kid loves attention, and he got it. He is a major example of the BS way these recruits are being treated and living up their 1 second of fame.

    Teams will be much better off when they realize the kids that commit a year before signing day and keep their word are the true prized prospects.

  8. lew24 says: Jun 4, 2013 3:21 PM

    If people knew why he decided not to enroll at ND I think they would be more understandable. ND should also take responsibility for this situation.

  9. letafan4ever says: Jun 4, 2013 3:26 PM

    No surprise.

    ND didn’t release him from the contract. Father confirmed that.

    I can see why schools don’t release players from the contract. It would open the floodgates for other commits to do the same.

    Several other coaches begged ND not to because of the precedent and headaches it would cause across the board.

    Disappointed but would rather not have someone that doesn’t want to be here.

    Another blow, but not the end of the world.

  10. pdcooper08 says: Jun 4, 2013 3:51 PM

    If people knew why he decided not to enroll at ND I think they would be more understandable. ND should also take responsibility for this situation.

    Well how the hell are other people too know why when it’s been proven big eddie doesn’t even know why. He’s a clown looking for attention.

    And the comment about ucla continuing to recruit him, I wouldn’t doubt that for a second.

    In fact if I was Cal or Stanford, I’d be getting excited as well. Your next on the list. If eddie really wants to get close to home, you’ll be the next two schools he will be looking at.

  11. mediocrebob says: Jun 4, 2013 3:56 PM

    Not sure how this works? ND did or did NOT release him? If they did, it’s ridiculous. What does LOI even mean? Now even if they sign, it means nothing? I don’t really care that much BC he’s just one player, but for the future commits what does this mean?

    “Oh I’ll just commit there and then back out later when I know what I really want?”

    Kids 18 years old. I didn’t necessarily know what I wanted when I was that age but I know when I committed to something I stuck to it. My parents instilled that in me from a young age.

    Good luck EV. Hope the Irish meet you down the road.

  12. rawgator06 says: Jun 4, 2013 7:06 PM

    I guess all of you were able to make extremely calculated decisions when you guys were teenagers. Some of you are comparing his choices of schools to “free agency.” He just left high school!

  13. normtide says: Jun 4, 2013 7:11 PM

    I joined the Army when I was 18. That was a very calculated decision. I was also expected to fulfill my obligation. Can we please start expecting these young men to act like young men. If not, your going to have a generation of adults that can’t cope with society. On Jun 4, 2013 6:06 PM, “CollegeFootballTalk” wrote:

    > ** > rawgator06 commented: “I guess all of you were able to make extremely > calculated decisions when you guys were teenagers. Some of you are > comparing his choices of schools to “free agency.” He just left high > school!”

  14. hotlantalaw says: Jun 4, 2013 10:04 PM

    Break a leg eddie

  15. getsome99 says: Jun 5, 2013 1:15 AM

    It’s not about doing a good deed for a high school recruit. It’s about not allowing scumbag coaches to recruit players that are already signed. What part of this is so confusing?

  16. metalhead65 says: Jun 5, 2013 1:46 AM

    so it’s ok for the dame coach to think about going to the NFL then change his mind and stay, but a high school kid can’t change his mind without being penalized? stay classy south bend.

  17. fatcamper says: Jun 5, 2013 7:33 AM

    NLI seems like an unconscionable adhesion contract to me. I can’t imagine why these things have been allowed to exist for so long.

    ND seems petty for enforcing such an instrument.

  18. irishdodger says: Jun 5, 2013 10:28 AM

    People who equate a coach voluntarily leaving a school for a better gig to a kid getting cold feet upon signing his LOI after a 2+ yr recruiting process are comparing apples to oranges. Now a professional player leaving their team for more money is a fair comparison. The key? Theses guys are paid professionals out in the workforce. Hate on ND all u want but odds are your favorite team’s HC supports or even contacted ND to urge them to stand their ground on a signed LOI. If not, recruiting would NEVER end and all the petty Irish haters will join the chorus when their team has a similar situation.

  19. desal2ds says: Jun 5, 2013 1:20 PM

    If coaches leave all of sudden why can’t players? I don’t begrudge him for leaving its his choice. Plus I love that he left Notre Lame!! Go Blue

  20. normtide says: Jun 5, 2013 1:55 PM

    Coaches are doing a job. They have already gone to college, paid their dues. This kid can go anywhere, why can’t he? He just can’t get a scholarship anywhere. So, your upset because he can’t get a free education anywhere. One minute, athletes aren’t expected to be students. The next, they should be free agent athletes. In my day, being 18 meant you were a man.

    In the end, he still gets his free education, with hundreds of thousands of dollars, not including increase earning potential. He also gets to engage in the NFL minor league system. All for free. So, tell me again how he is being abused by the system?

  21. thegamecocker says: Jun 6, 2013 7:28 PM

    This kid is a piece of garbage and doesn’t deserve to wear a ND uniform. He and his family are banking on him turning pro and living big with an entourage and nice cars….until it all ends and hello bankruptcy. Family is probably trailer trash waiting for no-character son to get drafted. Don’t cry Irish Dodger….you guys gained by this pc of garbage leaving.

  22. patpatriot7 says: Jun 9, 2013 12:08 PM

    Why isn’t the fact that UCLA continued to recruit an athlete who had already signed a LOI an NCAA violation?

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