Recruiting, when it comes to the sport of college football, can be one of the most exciting, yet frustrating experiences as a fan of any sport. With all of the outlets today, you watch these young men dominate their respective high school ranks and you hope that they eventually choose your favorite program to further their football career. In some cases, they verbally make it known that they will oblige your request and don your school colors. And then, as if ripping your heart out and stepping on it right in front of you, they change their mind just as a normal 18-year old person does and pledges their allegiance elsewhere before eventually officially signing with that program in the first week of February.
Whatever the case may be, once that Letter of Intent is signed, there’s virtually no way out, unless that player wants to sit on the sidelines for an entire year before being once again eligible to play the sport they love.
And then, you have a rare case like former Notre Dame signee, Eddie Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes signed that letter back in February to play football for the Fighting Irish. But, in June, reports started to surface back in June that the highly-coveted defensive lineman from California had changed his mind and wanted to remain home to play for the UCLA Bruins. Initially, the backlash began against Vanderdoes as many just assumed that this was a wrongly-timed, selfish decision–until we found out the reason as to why he wished to return home.
Being as close as possible to an ailing family member was the reason Vanderdoes wanted this so badly. On Tuesday, that request was rightfully granted.
After waiting through the appeals process with the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee, it was finally decided that UCLA would add themselves one of the most heralded DL recruits in the country right as the season is about to start. This was certainly great news to head coach Jim Mora and crew as they do have some depth concerns on the defensive front. Vanderdoes has the chance to see immediate playing time.
The important thing here though is that the people in suits got it right. For as much of a rarity as it is to see anyone affiliated with the NCAA to provide a ruling that the general public agrees with, that blind squirrel found the nut this time.
This young man had no intentions of maliciously spurning Notre Dame with only his personal interests at heart. Vanderdoes wanted to give this ailing family member the chance to see him play college football on the biggest stage possible. Now, they will get that opportunity.
In another rarity, my hat is off to the NCAA on this one. You guys got it right.
Jack is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS