Joe Mathis made it to the USC-UCLA game Saturday at the Rose Bowl and noticed something about the Bruins early on.
They were ready to go.
UCLA beat USC, 38-28, in the Pac-12 cross-town rivalry and it could be a boon for recruiting. The Bruins are coming after Mathis, a four-star defensive end from Upland, Calif., and the win couldn't hurt their chances.
"I talked to the UCLA coaches and it's still the same thing - they were trying to get me to commit after the game and I told them I couldn't," Mathis said.
"It used to not be like that where they'd be so aggressive but it's cool. They like certain players and they're trying to get them."
UCLA has made up lots of ground for Mathis, rated as the No. 10 strong-side defensive end and the No. 151 prospect in the 2013 class by Rivals.com. The way the Bruins performed in their win against USC played a big role.
Mathis noticed early that UCLA was ready to get after it.
"The team was pumped up," Mathis said.
"It was crazy. The look in their eyes was crazy. It was like the killer look in their eyes. They're getting more involved. I still have about two months left and I should have a top five by the end of this month."
This is the plan for Mathis: He will have a favorites list as his senior season wraps up, he plans to take official visits after the season and then the four-star will make his announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
Utah, Texas A&M, Alabama, Washington and Hawaii have been recent schools mentioned by Mathis as his recruitment continues.