Bruins get Eddie Vanderdoes for 2013

July, 31, 2013
7/31/13
12:30
PM ET
The UCLA Bruins got some good news this morning with the report that highly-touted defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes has been cleared to play in 2013.

The news puts his soap opera exit from Notre Dame to rest and comes at a time when the Bruins are looking to shore up their defensive front.

The Bruins begin practice on Aug. 5 and the 6-3, 310-pound defensive tackle -- considered one of the top defensive linemen of the 2013 recruiting class -- will likely make an immediate impact on the depth chart.

Jack Wang, beat writer for the Los Angeles News Group, offers up a good summation of UCLA's defensive line status:
All-Pac-12 selection Datone Jones graduated from the spot and became UCLA’s first first-round draft pick since 2006. Jones’ likely successor, rising senior Owamagbe Odighizuwa, underwent hip surgery in the offseason and is questionable to return. If Vanderdoes can impress enough early on, the UCLA staff could even elect to redshirt Odighizuwa -- a former five-star recruit himself -- to save him for a full season.

Defensive line depth also wasn’t helped when backup nose tackle Brandon Tuliaupupu tore his ACL near the end of spring camp.

Wang goes on to mention that the unit is still anchored by Cassius Marsh, an honorable mention pick last season. And while linebacker Anthony Barr gets much of the hype, Marsh is considered the fiery leader of the defense.

The Bruins were one of the top pressure defenses in the country in 2012 -- ranking eighth nationally in sacks per game and 22nd in tackles for a loss. They ranked 58th nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 27.5 points per game.

Perhaps the most important element of all this is that Vanderdoes has four years of eligibility.

"While I disagree with yesterday's decision by the NCAA National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee to reverse its original ruling and grant Eddie Vanderdoes a complete release from his NLI, I understand and respect the entire appeal process," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a statement released through the school. "However, this result does not change my opinion concerning the importance of protecting the integrity of the NLI program, nor will it change our approach to the process going forward."

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