The coaching staff for UCLA might have had an inkling it was in the running for a commitment from Kylie Fitts of Redlands (CA) Redlands East Valley. Given the nature of the recruiting process, however, coach Jim Mora and his staff could not be completely sure about his intentions.
That is, of course, until Wednesday night when the high-profile prospect from the Class of 2013 made things official. Fitts committed to the Bruins, and chances are, Mora & Co. enjoyed a collective sight of relief after landing the 6-foot-4 and 241-pound strong-side defensive end.
The Bruins are getting a player who is the real deal in Fitts. According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, he is the nation's No. 8 player at his position and No. 91 overall.
Bruins had some competition for him, especially from their crosstown rival. A one-time USC commit, Fitts visited the Trojans toward the end of last year, then had a change of heart, and that eventually led to him opening up the whole recruiting process shortly thereafter, on Dec. 8.
Utah was in the running for after Fitts visited the Utes on Feb. 1. Notre Dame was another player and the Fighting Irish hosted him on Jan. 25. Washington had a chance to secure a commitment from him following his visit trip up North on Nov. 9. Each came up short, presumably after Fitts had the chance to check out the Bruins on Jan. 18.
His presence is a welcome addition on the defensive line, where Fitts will join fellow upperclassman Kenneth Clark from Rialto (CA) Carter in the trenches at UCLA.
The Bruins could end up with Eddie Vanderdoes of Auburn (CA) Placer, as well. He will announce on National Signing Day, Feb. 6. Whether the two play together at UCLA remains to be seen. One thing is fairly certain: The Bruins are relieved to finally have Fitts in the mix.
During a press conference afterward, Fitts had plenty to say about the whole recruiting process. Members of Bruin247, go ahead and click here for some the highlights.
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