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Iese could be close to committing

1/17/2012

Nate Iese (Sacramento, Calif./Sheldon) took an official visit to UCLA over the weekend and it seems like only a matter of time before the talented athlete pulls the trigger for the Bruins.

Iese is one of the most versatile athletes in the region and is being recruited at three different positions. He has offers as a defensive end and tight end and the Bruins actually like him as an outside linebacker.

“Nate loved his visit, our whole family did,” Nate’s father Okesene Iese said. “My other son and four of my daughters came down and UCLA treated us all great. We have so much respect for UCLA and Coach [Jim] Mora. I asked Nate what his favorite part of the visit was and he said sitting down and talking with Coach Mora and getting to know him better.

“It really meant a lot to us that on his third day on the job, Coach Mora came out to watch one of Nate’s basketball practices. He stayed for over an hour and that really meant a lot to us. I think originally they liked Nate as a defensive end but Coach Mora said after looking at his frame and watching him play basketball, they now want him as an outside ‘backer in their 3-4 scheme. He’ll be able to rush the passer but still play standing up so that sounds great.

Okesene said Nate spent a lot of time with new linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich and the two hit it off.

“Nate loved him,” Okesene said. “He’s a passionate guy and when he was talking with Nate about how excited he is to be at UCLA, you could just see the gleam in his eye. He said he loved being in the NFL but having the chance to really teach the game at the college level is what he wanted to do.

“UCLA is really standing out right now and my older son said he thought Nate was going to commit to UCLA last night. I guess he decided not to do it but I think he’s really close. UCLA has been on him hard from the beginning and that really separated them. Cal came in with a late offer and nothing against Cal, we love them a lot but UCLA has been on him a lot longer and they seem to want him more than anyone. At this point, I’m not even sure if Nate will take a visit to Cal, I think he could decide this week.”

Nebraska has a home visit planned for Wednesday and UCLA will be back in the home later in the week, assuming things go that far.

“Nebraska has been great as well,” Okesene said. “They have been recruiting Nate as hard as UCLA and they came by to watch his basketball game last Friday. They like Nate as a tight end and Nate really enjoyed his visit there. I do think UCLA is on top right now though and Nate really loved that visit.

“He’s excited about the new staff and the direction the program is going. We asked about who the new DC might be and coach Mora said he has a guy already picked out who is going to be able to run his 3-4 scheme but is just waiting to announce it. I don’t know if it’s an NFL guy or not but sounds like it could be.”