Securing an all-important commitment from Isaac Savaiinaea has been in the works for quite some time now and the Bruins sealed the deal Wednesday when the 6-foot-3 and 230-pound senior linebacker from Honolulu (HI) Punahou signed with UCLA.
His presence figures to add some much-needed depth. Savaiinaea appears capable of contributing right away for the Bruins, in fact. He's one of the nation's premier prospects and the country's No. 3 player at his position in the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
The journey to UCLA was interesting. At one stage of the game, Texas A&M was thought have a legit threat at landing him. Then things fell apart. His recruiter Brian Polian took over the coaching job at Nevada about a month ago and the Aggies were out.
The Bruins entered the picture, assistant coach Angus McClure in particular. He built up a good rapport with Savaiinaea and the two remained in constant contact. Chances are a visit to UCLA in June and an official trip to Westwood in November helped him make the decision somewhat easier for Saiivanaea. It took his mind off Texas A&M, no doubt about that fact.
Arizona, Stanford and Notre Dame were in the mix.
Once the Bruins decided he was their guy, however, Savaiinaea was not getting away without a fight. He didn't, mind you. Not even close. UCLA made sure of that much when he put his name on the proverbial dotted line during Wednesday's National Signing Day.
Sean Ceglinsky has covered prep and college sports on the West Coast for the better part of the past 15-plus years. Follow him on twitter: @SeanCeglinsky