Sunday, December 5, 2010
Rahim Moore, Akeem Ayers undecided on NFL
By Ramona Shelburne
PASADENA -- This was a big recruiting weekend for UCLA, but the Bruins two most important recruits are already on campus.
Keeping them is Rick Neuheisel's challenge now.
Junior linebacker Akeem Ayers and junior safety Rahim Moore both said they were undecided about whether they'll leave school a year early and enter the NFL draft after Saturday's 28-14 loss to USC at the Rose Bowl.
Ayers is currently rated as the 10th best prospect in the draft by Scouts Inc., Moore is rated 30th overall.
Neuheisel addressed both players in private conversations after the game.
"I just said, make sure you take your time because everybody is going to want you to say something right now," Neuheisel said of his conversations.
"We've had discussions before and they know how I feel. I want what's best for them. obviously I want to make sure they have all the information that's available to them so they can make informed decisions. I want to make sure they get it from a lot of different sources so they can weigh it all out and make the best decisions for them. But they know I support whatever decision they make.
"Obviously I'd love to have them back. It'd be a great way to start the team for next year."
Both players said they wanted to take their time to make a decision, and would have their draft stock evaluated by the NFL before doing so.
"I'm just going to do exactly as he said, just take my time," Ayers said. "I've got enough time to think things over and do the right thing. I haven't really been thinking about it. During the season it's not something I want to focus on. I wanted to focus on the team and helping us to win.
"But the season's over now and I have nothing but time now. So I'll talk to my family and my coaches, the people who have my best interests at heart."
Moore, who is regarded as the top safety prospect in this draft by Scouts Inc., also said he's "undecided."
"It's kind of tough because I've never been in this process before," he said. "I'm leaving everything up to God right now and taking things day by day.
"When the time is right and I feel led, I'll definitely let it off my chest and let the world know.
"Whatever decision I make, I'll know that I gave UCLA my 100 percent. I stayed late pretty much every day and put in my all for the team. I've always been a team person, I'm one of the most unselfish people in the world, and I love my teammates."