July 21, 2014

English settles on UCLA

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DESOTO, Tex. - The word "family" kicks around commitment announcements. These days. it's as much a recruiting clich as "the right fit." But when DeSoto (Tex.) High School defensive tackle Bryce English announced his commitment to UCLA on Monday night, he walked the walk.

Surrounded by his parents, siblings and friends, English held the ceremony in the downstairs office of his family home. The sheer number of loved ones combined with the television cameras made it a tight squeeze, but it certainly did the job.

There were a few on-air bumps for the local news followed by a televised hat ceremony. And just like that, English was a Bruin.

"UCLA is UCLA, and it's a great fit," English said moments after selecting the UCLA hat that sat on the desk in front of him. "The visit there is what did it, though. I got to talk to one of the players that got drafted in the first round, Datone Jones. He took me under his wing out there. Even before I committed, I let him know that I was gonna pick UCLA."

English, who was committed to Texas as a sophomore before breaking his commitment following the Longhorns' coaching change, chose UCLA over fellow finalists Arizona State, Arkansas and TCU.

But as important as the decision itself was the fashion in which he made it. He knew he wanted to announce his decision from home. In his mind, there was never another option.

"I just really wanted to be here and be comfortable," English said. "I wanted to have all my family and friends and everybody here and supporting me."

The official announcement came down on Monday night, but the UCLA staff had known days before hand. And English? Well, he knew he'd pick the Bruins well before he notified his future coaches.

A snap decision this was not.

"I've known for about a month," English said. "Maybe longer, actually. But when they first offered me, I didn't know much about UCLA. Then I went out there and did my research. I saw all the commits and all the tradition. UCLA is on the come up to be national champions."

A three-star prospect, the 318-pound English is ranked as the No. 22 defensive tackle in the country and the No. 55 overall prospect in the state of Texas.

Rob Cassidy is a Midlands/Southwest Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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