It was just a week ago that many Bruin fans were ready to sign off on the unthinkable, losing a recruit to their archrival USC. After three-star running back Derrick Coleman (6-0, 218, 4.53) from Fullerton (Calif.) Troy, returned from USC it appeared he was about to do just that. In fairness, however Coleman decided to visit UCLA before he made his final.
Coleman was one of 17 of UCLA's commits to be on campus making their official visit. It was somewhat remarkable that the Bruins were able to pull that off with their coaching situation being in the ambiguous state that it is.
"It was good," Coleman said. "My visit to UCLA surprised me a lot.
"Most of all the other recruits were there and it was great just hanging out with them and getting to know them," Coleman said. "It was a great experience.
"I'm probably going to wait until UCLA hires a coach before I make my decision," Coleman said. "The visit to UCLA grounded my decision.
"Chris Markey was my host and he was really good," Coleman said. "I asked him a lot of questions and he had all the answers. He (Markey) really helped clear things up for me and hanging out with him was fun.
"Almost everywhere we went, we went as a whole group together," Coleman said. "People are right what they say about this (UCLA) class. I have seen a lot of them play and this class is not only good as football players but it is a unique class.
"I hope DeWayne Walker gets the job and that Dino Babers stays as running back coach," Coleman said. "I think Coach Babers can make me a whole better player.
Coleman is one of the most underrated players on the west coast, but the proof is in the pudding. When both local schools are doing battle over your services, you bring a whole meal and some dessert to the table.
As a senior, Coleman rushed for 1,200 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. He also caught four passes for approximately 100 yards and two more scores.