Redlands defensive end Kylie Fitts ended a whirlwind recruiting month by committing to the UCLA Bruins. Fitts will join a UCLA team brimming with talent of all ages on the defensive line and will help make the Bruins more talented than ever in trying to stop opposing offenses in the trenches.
The storyline surrounding Fitts and Southern Cal obscures the fact that he is one of the top defensive players in the West this year; a consensus 4-star recruit. Scout.com rates him as the #12 Defensive End prospect in the nation, #17 prospect from California and the #122 overall prospect regardless of position. Rivals.com considers him the 14th best Defensive End in this year's class, 12th best prospect in California and the #121 overall prospect nationally. ESPN rates him as the 8th best Defensive End, 8th best prospect from California and #85 overall prospect in the nation while 247Sports has him as the #102 ranked prospect overall, and #8 Strong-Side Defensive End.
Fitts figures to be in the mix to contribute immediately if he can condition himself right. He is one of the best edge rushers in this class and has the ability to overwhelm his man one-on-one just by his physical nature. He has excellent burst from the line and is pretty much unstoppable when given a free release. Fitts is also good at evading double teams: he does great job of playing the run, forcing running backs and quarterbacks to always be aware of his presence. Fitts also is adept at crashing the zone read and could come in handy against spread teams like Oregon and Arizona.
Fitts had been a longstanding commit to his dream school, USC, pledging on April 14. It seemed to be an agreed understanding that Fitts would eventually sign with USC as an early entree so he could enroll for spring. However, that spot went to Leon McQuay III, and the Trojans had to tell Fitts that they would only be able to honor his scholarship if he waited and enrolled through the fall. Now that he's with the Bruins, Fitts will be on campus in April and might have a chance to participate in portions of spring camp.
Ratings: Fitts is a consensus four-star defensive end.
Vitals: Fitts stands at 6'4 and weighs 241 pounds.
Other Offers: Fitts had offers from all the Pac-12 schools except Stanford, as well as Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
Recruitment: Fitts committed to USC early in the spring, but then opened things back up in January when his early entrance was denied. After Fitts was forced to decommit and reconsider his options, he took several trips to UCLA on the weekend of Jan. 18, Notre Dame on the weekend of Jan. 25, and Utah on the weekend of Feb. 1. Fitts ended up signing with UCLA the night before National Signing Day.
Video highlights: His 2011 reel is below. Fitts was injured early during the fall season and didn't play much of his senior campaign.
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