Just over 18 months after he committed to USC, Carson (Calif.) tight end Morrell Presley has switched his commitment to UCLA.
The nation's top-ranked tight end committed to UCLA on Wednesday, letting Rick
Neuheisel know of his decision.
"I called Coach Neuheisel up and let him know I was ready to become a Bruin,"
said Presley. "I just felt more comfortable with the players and the
coaches at UCLA. I grew up with a couple of the players and I felt
like Coach Neuheisel would make me into not only a better football player but
into a better man."
The commitment of Presley immediately upgrades the Bruins' offensive recruiting class, and gives UCLA its first top-rated offensive player since another tight end, Marcedes Lewis.
"I'm guessing it's real big and I'm sure some people are going to come and talk
to me and say things but I had to do what was best for me. The next 3-4 years of
my life, I'm going to be at a place where they're making me a better person and
I know this is a huge decision but I had to make it."
Presley committed to USC in June of 2007, but the Bruin staff had been recruiting him heavily since Neuheisel's hiring, having him at Junior Day, some fall practices and a few games this fall. He officially visited UCLA the weekend they played USC.
"I called Coach (Pete) Carroll and thanked him for everything for the last two
years, but that I was sorry I had to turn them down," said Presley.
Defensive line coach Todd Howard, who'd been recruiting Presley, was in the home
on Wednesday night and they set up Thursday for Presley to come up to Westwood.
"Coach Howard came by and we just touched up on everything. I'm going up
there (Thursday) to meet with the coaches, with my mom and get another tour of
the campus," said Presley.
Presley finished his high school days on Wednesday, graduating from Carson, and
will enroll in the spring.
"I leave for Orlando on the 29th (for the UnderArmour Game) then I get back on
the 5th of January then go up there for orientation. I'm going to get my
housing set up tomorrow when I'm up there," said Presley.
In Presley, the Bruins land the MVP of the UnderArmour Scout.com Combine from Los Angeles, and a selection to the UnderArmour All-America Game.
He'll join fellow UCLA commits Richard Brehaut and Stan Hasiak in the UA Game.
"I'm looking forward to that, I'll be out there with a couple of my boys,
like Brehaut and Russell Shepard. I'm going to be making a lot of friends
and guys going to different colleges all over the country. It's a big part
of the experience," said Presley.
With the decision finalized, and the enrollment at UCLA coming soon, Presley
said he was relieved through it all.
"It's a lot of weight off my shoulders and I feel more comfortable," said
Presley. "Im just going to go out there and play and get ready for college