The UCLA Bruins received the verbal committal of probably the fastest rising defensive end prospect on the west coast in Justin Edison (6-4, 220, 4.8) from Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei.
"We went into the UCLA visit with an open mind," Harold Edison, Justin Edison's Dad said. "Coach Karl Dorrell used his in-house visit to offer a trip to Justin.
"Coach Dorrell and Coach DeWayne Walker had a great visit at the school and from that point forward we were interested.
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"Justin had a chance to talk to a couple of freshmen while he was on campus while he was on his visit," Edison said. "They were open and straight.
"They told him that UCLA's academic support is great," Edison said. "If you do what you are supposed to do, you can't fail. One freshman said he has a 2.8 GPA in high school and because of the great academic support he is carrying a 3.4 GPA.
"The freshmen also talked about (defensive line) coach Todd Howard," Edison said. "They said that Coach Howard is a great coach and is like an older brother.
"They added that if one of his defensive linemen makes a mistake the whole unit pays the price and we like that because we are team oriented," Edison said. "Justin and I really bonded with Coach Howard."
"Another thing we liked about UCLA is Coach Walker will play freshmen if they are ready to play."
Though Edison had a great time he left UCLA without an offer in hand because the Bruins only had one scholarship left and they were holding it for five-star cornerback Donovan Warren.
The word is the more the Bruins thought about it the more they realized that Edison was too good to be passed up.
"Coach Walker called us last night us that Justin had a scholarship offer from UCLA," Edison said. "I asked Justin if he wanted to think about it and he said he wanted to commit."
The younger Edison has the things that UCLA looks for and fits the profile.
"We didn't want the information released until we called Oregon State and Nigel Burton," Edison said. "We didn't want them to find out on the internet or in the newspapers. We wanted to do this difficult task right."
"I asked Justin if he wanted to wait until the morning and said no let's get it done tonight," Edison said. "He told Nigel thanks and much he liked Oregon State but the thought he never would get to play at a D-I school in Los Angeles, but the opportunity was now there. He also told him he wanted to continue to play with Akeem Ayers.
"Justin will also have a strong mentor in Kevin Brown who was his host and is the brother of his line coach at Verbum Dei, Owen Brown."
Besides Ayers, there was a another player who played a part in helping UCLA land Edison and that was UCLA commit Glenn Love from Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton.
"Glenn (Love) also played a key role in the recruiting process," Edison said. "They went on a recruiting trip to Cal together and both want to major in engineering. Glenn gave Justin great information on about UCLA.
"Justin is looking forward to participate in everything UCLA has to offer as far as conditioning," Edison said. "He's looking for an edge when training camp comes around.
"We are going to sign with UCLA as February 7th and he and I are going to start the conditioning program 5:00 AM the Monday morning after."
Oregon State is not giving up the fight as Burton will be on the Verbum Dei campus today for one last pitch for the Beavers, but more than likely, it will be a long shot.
Edison racked up 83 tackles, 26 quarterback hurries, 14 sacks, four pass deflections and two fumble recoveries. His performance saw him earn all-CIF and all-league honors in 2006.
More important was the fact that Edison was a steadying influence during the middle of the season when Verbum Dei became injury riddled.
Edison was one of the main reasons that Verbum Dei rebounded and ended up taking their division Southern Section CIF title.