Saturday, January 4, 2014
UCLA flips ESPN 300 ILB Whitley
By Erik McKinney
UCLA coach Jim Mora didn't take the Texas head coaching job, but that didn't stop him from making an impact in the Lone Star State, as the Bruins gained a commitment from ESPN 300 linebacker Zach Whitley Jr. (Houston/North Shore) on Friday night.
Whitley had been committed to Alabama since early May, but the Bruins -- led by assistant coach Adrian Klemm -- had been pushing hard for the nation's No. 189 overall prospect and No. 8 inside linebacker. Momentum truly began building for the Bruins when the four-star defender took an official visit to Westwood in early December.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker -- in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl -- made the decision to switch Friday, which could spark a big weekend for the Bruins. ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and ESPN 300 tight end Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) are both expected to announce their decisions during the game Saturday, and neither would surprise many people if they selected UCLA.