RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Hidden under his B2G Five-Star black warm-up suit was the secret to Tahaan Goodman's recruitment.
But before the four-star safety announced his college decision, hats of USC, UCLA and Oklahoma were laid out. The fact that there were powder blue and yellow balloons and streamers on the table was a not-so-clandestine hint the Bruins looked good on this day.
After thanking his mother who was in attendance, briefly talking about his brother that was murdered in the last few months, addressing all the staff, faculty and coaches at Rancho Cucamonga and all the college coaches involved in his busy recruitment along with thanking others, Goodman said the words all UCLA fans wanted to hear.
"I'm going to be a Bruin," he said.
With that, the 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect, unzipped his jacket and he had a light blue UCLA one underneath it. Same thing with his pants. Goodman put on a UCLA hat - and a big smile.
For some time, UCLA was considered the favorite for Goodman but he said his recruitment was closer than people think.
The Army All-American had planned to visit LSU last weekend and he said the Bruins and Tigers were even, all the way up until the visit didn't happen. There were apparently some communication problems with the LSU coaching staff and Goodman decided to cancel the trip.
Goodman also decided, somewhat importantly, to spend the weekend at UCLA and that's when he said he came to the conclusion that it was the best fit for him. That's when the final decision was made and he wanted to commit.
"Once (the LSU trip) didn't happen, I didn't force it, the coaches didn't call me, I was like all right," Goodman said. "It was really between those two. Those were my last two main schools, LSU and UCLA. They were pretty much even. When I didn't get the call from the coach I felt like it was meant to be.
"The job (UCLA) did this year it was kind of good because I know a lot of those players are coming back so they're going to be there with me for two or more years or maybe even one. It's just great we can have a team like that come back and we still have good players coming in."
The addition of Goodman moves UCLA to No. 10 in the Rivals.com team rankings and the Bruins should get another boost later this evening when four-star defensive back Priest Willis from Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza makes his decision.
It's no secret that Goodman and Willis have planned to play together ever since joining forces on the B2G 7on7 team and that could become a reality soon. LSU and others are also involved in Willis' recruitment.
Goodman said he would be open to taking other visits in the weeks leading up to signing day but that probably won't happen. Oklahoma continues to recruit him but others have slowed down since it became clear UCLA was the frontrunner.
After an exhaustive year of phone calls and visits and everything that packs into the recruiting experience, Goodman said he's happy to have it completed.
He's found his future home and isn't looking back.
"It's very exciting," Goodman said. "I'm happy it's finally over. I finally did it and now I can just move on."