Eddie Vanderdoes, the five-star 2013 defensive line propect, has signed with UCLA, whether he's eligible for the 2013 season or not.
Vanderdoes, in a statement, said:
"I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban and allowing me to sign an Athletic Scholarship with UCLA.
"Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family. For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and near those who are most important in my life.
"I am honored and humbled that the University of Notre Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship. They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family."
When he refers to an "athletic scholarship," Vanderdoes means he has signed a Grant-in-Aid. Once Notre Dame lifted the recruiting ban, Vanderdoes was able to be contacted by other programs, sign the Grant-in-Aid, and enroll at another school, which he has done with UCLA.
By enrolling at UCLA, Vanderdoes has taken the first step to nullifying the National Letter of Intent he signed with Notre Dame in February.
Vanderdoes attempted to get released from the NLI, but Notre Dame has consistently refused to allow it. Vanderdoes appealed to the NLI office, but the appeal was very recently turned down.
Vanderdoes, under the rules governing the NLI, would have to enroll at another school and sit out the football season to be eligible in 2014. He would then have four years to play three. Vanderdoes took the first step in this process by signing with UCLA.
There is still a chance that Notre Dame will indeed release him from the NLI. In fact, once Notre Dame recognizes for certain that Vanderdoes is enrolled at UCLA, and not USC (or any other school on Notre Dame's schedule), there is a possibility that Notre Dame could release him from his NLI.
If that happens, Vanderdoes would then be eligible to play the 2013 season, and have five years to play four.
Vanderdoes is a 6-4, 305-pounder, the #9-ranked overall prospect nationally in the class of 2013. The addition of Vanderdoes to the 2013 recruiting class will more than likely boost UCLA to the #3 recruiting class in the country. Vanderdoes also significantly bolsters a pretty strong UCLA defensive line that, however, has recently been hurt by injury. He is expected to compete to start immediately whenever he is eligible.
Tracy Pierson of BruinReportOnline.com contributed to this report