Update: Consider it official, but since Notre Dame isn't releasing him from his letter of intent, it's essentially just a transfer. He'll lose one year of eligibility if he loses his appeal of the Irish's decision.
Five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes will move on from Notre Dame and play football for UCLA, according to the Sacramento Bee's Joe Davidson. Vanderdoes, an Auburn (Calif.) native who played at Placer High School, originally signed a letter of intent to play for the Irish back in February, but changed his mind afterward and will never play a down for Notre Dame.
He released a statement to the Bee regarding his move -- the Bee also notes the letter-of-intent process still includes potential hurdles, as the Irish have yet to formally release him.
"I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban and allowing me to sign an athletic scholarship with UCLA. Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family. For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and be near those who are most important in my life. I am honored and humbled that Note Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship. They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near my family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family."
Our Notre Dame blog, One Foot Down, is not exactly pleased to see the Irish lose out on another five-star recruit that they had in their grasp:
As for the Notre Dame program this is (possibly) another blow to recruiting that has become common place in recent years. Vanderdoes would join Aaron Lynch, Gunner Kiel, and Davonte Neal as recruits who garnered at least one 5-star from a service and have now moved on from the Irish football program over the past year or so.
As for UCLA, the folks at Bruins Nation will no doubt be happy about the news. Getting a player of Vanderdoes' caliber to play in the middle of the defense could be a game-changer for a Bruins defense that was 66th in the country last year in rushing defense. Here, they break down the ins-and-outs of the NLI process.
An interesting ripple of this news going forward will be how this affects Florida State and Matthew Thomas. Thomas has also requested to be released from his NLI, but the Seminoles have yet to budge on the issue. The complex situation at Notre Dame may result in more pressure being put on Florida State to follow suit and let Thomas go, but we'll see.