NCF On The Trail: Eddie Vanderdoes

ESPN 300 DT commits to UCLA

December, 8, 2013
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It took UCLA until the beginning of December to land its first defensive line commit in the 2014 class, but the Bruins got a special one on Sunday, as ESPN 300 defensive tackle Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc) made his commitment.

The 6-foot, 293-pound tackle is the nation's No. 216 prospect and No. 20 player in California. He held offers from a number of Pac-12 programs, but the Bruins were always going to be difficult to beat.

This past weekend, Taua took an official visit to UCLA -- his fourth visit, after trips to Washington State, Oklahoma and Mississippi -- and made his commitment. Taua is the third ESPN 300 prospect to commit to UCLA in this class, joining wide receiver Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) and cornerback Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito).

It's an intriguing pick up in two ways, as Taua has the ability to form a terrific team with 2013 defensive line signees Eddie Vanderdoes, Kylie Fitts and Kenneth Clark, adding to a dynamic group up front, but he is also part of a good group of big-man friends in Southern California, which includes USC commit Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), uncommitted ESPN 300 guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and uncommitted guard Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch). Delp doesn't hold a USC offer and looks to be a fairly solid UCLA lean, but Mama is one of the bigger Trojans-Bruins battles left on the board. Talamaivao's commitment to USC gives Steve Sarkisian's program plenty of pull with Mama, but Taua heading to UCLA swings some momentum toward Westwood.

As a senior, Taua recorded seven sacks and 36 total tackles, almost matching his junior year output, when he posted seven sacks, 49 stops and an interception.

UCLA now has verbal commitments from 13 prospects in the 2014 class, including four four-star recruits.

USC recruiting mailbag 

September, 20, 2013
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Recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every week. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it via Twitter @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

Mike Reed, via @_micahsdaddy_: With rumors of linebacker commit D.J. Calhoun’s status, how long would fans have to wait before recruits decide on USC or look elsewhere?

WeAreSC: Another loss on the field could be the final straw. Still, if there were to be a coaching change, many recruits have indicated they would look at USC differently moving forward. A great hire would instill hope and perhaps provide a recruiting boost. A great season would do the trick as well. The good news for fans is that there is still plenty of time for both scenarios.

Tales From the Road: USC 

June, 5, 2013
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Every Wednesday, the WeAreSC staff will take a quick-hit look at some of the top recruits and storylines facing USC recruiting for the week.

This week’s targets: A bevy of recruits will be on the USC campus this weekend for the school’s linemen and skill position camps. And though the Rising Stars Camp is the headliner this month, this weekend’s events generally draw some good talent as well. Anaheim (Calif.) Magnolia safety Jamal Scott, who has seen his stock skyrocket the last week, said he hoped to take an unofficial visit to USC soon, perhaps this week.


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Notre Dame looks to make an impact in California every year in recruiting. In the 2013 class, the Fighting Irish were extremely successful, pulling the nation's No. 2 athlete and No. 1 defensive tackle out of the Golden State in Max Redfield and Eddie Vanderdoes.

Notre Dame is again very active on the West Coast in the 2014 class, as offers have gone out to some of California's top players, including running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly).


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Oregon: 2014 prospects to watch 

February, 7, 2013
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With signing day 2013 having come and gone, it's time to turn our attention to 2014 recruits. Here are five players that the Ducks will be targeting for next year's class:

DL Nifae Lealao
Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian

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Lupoi takes lead as Washington recruiter 

February, 7, 2013
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Take a closer look at Washington’s 2013 recruiting class and one thing starts to stand out.

This group has Tosh Lupoi’s fingerprints all over it.

The Huskies’ ace recruiter made an impact with the program from the moment he was hired less than a month before signing day in 2012.

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ESPN 300 DE Jason Hatcher makes call 

February, 5, 2013
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After weeks of speculation involving USC, Louisville and Kentucky, ESPN 300 defensive end Jason Hatcher has made up his mind heading into signing day.


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The One Who Got Away: RB Thomas 

January, 31, 2013
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In a topsy-turvy recruiting season that has had Trojans fans teetering on the brink of insanity with the decommitments of one-time USC verbals Eddie Vanderdoes, Max Redfield, Eldridge Massington, Sebastian LaRue and Kylie Fitts -- not to mention the uncertain status of others such as Jalen Ramsey and Torrodney Prevot -- it’s worth taking a quick look back to signing day 2011. While the saga of the Class of 2013 has been filled with plenty of drama, nothing compares to the way Lane Kiffin and his staff were rocked by the last-second defection of De’Anthony Thomas.


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ESPN 150 DE enjoys Notre Dame trip 

January, 27, 2013
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The bitter cold of the Midwest struck ESPN 150 defensive end Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) as soon as he deplaned on Friday for his official visit to Notre Dame.

The former USC commit managed to pull out his phone to inform his Twitter followers what he was -- or, in this case -- wasn’t feeling.


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Signing day primer: Alabama 

January, 23, 2013
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A little behind on the recruiting trail? Worry not -- TideNation has you covered. To catch you up on where the Alabama recruiting class of 2013 stands, we'll take you through the high points, including how the coaching staff has addressed certain needs and set the team up for seasons to come.

Team needs: With three of five starting offensive linemen and two of three defensive lineman starters off to the NFL draft, Alabama was forced to focus on finding help in the trenches. Nick Saban and the rest of the UA coaching staff had success filling those needs with the 2013 class, particularly along the offensive line. The Crimson Tide secured the commitments of four offensive linemen, one coming by way of a junior college in New York. Leon Brown, who was ranked in the top 20 of all junior college prospects by ESPN, could find himself competing for the starting right tackle job vacated by D.J. Fluker.

Derrick Henry
Derek Tyson/ESPN.comDerrick Henry is the only five-star commitment Alabama has and can fit at a variety of position.
Help is on the way: Outside of the lines, Alabama was once again in search of talented athletes to continue bringing potency to an offense that's been on a steady rise the past few years. Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon were difference makers in 2012 and there could be one or two who do the same this year. Derrick Henry, the No. 1 athlete in the country and Alabama's lone five-star commitment, could be the biggest wild card of the class. At 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, he's an option at tailback, H-back and possibly linebacker. He'll begin at running back, where he set a national career rushing yards record at Yulee High in Florida.

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Signing day primer: Washington 

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: For the 2013 recruiting class, the Huskies tried to add talent throughout their roster. They had specific needs but wanted to bolster strengths as well.

Some of the key areas the Huskies identified as positions to pursue included receiver, running back, linebacker and defensive line. With six defensive linemen committed and three receivers heading to Seattle next season, Washington has stockpiled prospects at each position.

Help is on the way: Washington is pursuing a pass rush. The Huskies have a star in Danny Shelton, but ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi made it a point to bring in top-tier talent along the program’s defensive line.

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Signing day primer: USC 

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: With all-conference cornerback Nickell Robey declaring for the NFL draft and the graduation of safeties T.J. McDonald, Jawanza Starling and Drew McAllister, adding depth in the secondary is a pressing need for the Trojans. Given Matt Barkley’s departure, it was imperative that USC sign another quarterback to pair with Max Wittek and Cody Kessler.

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Five-star DT talks USC visit 

January, 20, 2013
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The rumors have been swirling, but five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) has brushed them aside just as he did so many opposing offensive lineman throughout his high school career.

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Big weekend ahead for Trojans 

January, 17, 2013
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LOS ANGELES -- The big one has arrived.


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Max Browne's goal: Get Vanderdoes 

January, 7, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO -- As a high-profile quarterback, Max Browne's every word is gold. So when Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) said USC needs to focus on one player in particular, many listened and agreed.

Brown, an ESPN 150 quarterback and the nation’s No. 2 quarterback (No. 18 player overall), said regaining ESPN 150 defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) is a priority for the Trojans’ recruiting class, and he’s doing what he can to make sure the No. 33 player in the country and recent USC decommit signs his letter of intent with the Trojans in February.

Browne and Vanderdoes were teammates at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl over the weekend. Browne wants the two to wear USC apparel next year.

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