Priest Willis commits to UCLA over LSU, Arizona State

USA TODAY Sports

One of the top defensive backs in the 2013 class has made his decision, and he is staying out West.

Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos de Niza defensive back Priest Willis announced his decision to play his college football for Jim Mora and the UCLA Bruins on Wednesday. Willis was coveted by almost every major program in the country, choosing UCLA over offers from LSU, Florida, Oregon, USC, and in-state schools Arizona and Arizona State.

Willis is pegged as a cornerback by Scout, but a safety by Rivals and ESPN. Scout rates him as a five-star recruit, No. 4 at his position, and No. 41 overall in the 2013 freshman class. Rivals and ESPN both have him at four stars and No. 59 among all prospects. Rivals denotes him as the 10th-best safety available, while ESPN has him as the fifth-best.

On Wednesday, though, all the talk was about Willis joining Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) safety Tahaan Goodman in the power blue and gold of the Bruins. Goodman had cancelled a planned trip to LSU last weekend in order to be at UCLA when Willis visited and committed to the Bruins earlier on Wednesday. Whether Willis ends up at safety or cornerback, he and Goodman will represent an imposing duo in the UCLA secondary for years to come.

Maybe that's really why Chip Kelly left for the NFL.

The addition of Willis brings UCLA's reported commitment total to 24. The Bruins ranked No. 15 in 247 Sports' 2013 composite team rankings prior to his pledge and will bring the number of compositie four-star prospects in the class up to 14.

Wescott Eberts contributed to this report.

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