From early in his recruitment, John Lopez said he was probably leaning toward staying in the Pac-12 and on Wednesday night the Orange (Calif.) Lutheran offensive guard followed through with that plan.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound four-star prospect committed to UCLA over Washington and many others and he said staying closer to home played a strong role in his decision-making process.
"Being familiar with the area and growing up with UCLA and USC, being a part of that rivalry was a big consideration and getting the education at UCLA, just that name, really pushed me over the edge," Lopez said.
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"I plan on living in California after my football career is over and with all those connections at UCLA will help me in the long run and that played a big part, too."
Lopez, who looked good at multiple national events this summer, said UCLA's new coaching staff also played a significant factor in his choice.
Spending time with first-year coach Jim Mora, offensive line coach Adrian Klemm and many others on the Bruins' staff helped push UCLA over Washington and all the other programs involved.
In total, Lopez has offers from UCLA, Washington, Arizona State, Colorado, Florida State, Oregon State, San Diego State, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington State.
"It's really exciting," Lopez said of the new coaching staff.
"I like all these coaches and I think they have something special planned ahead. I see UCLA coming back to its glory days. It would be fun to be a part of that."
Rivals.com rates Lopez as the sixth-best offensive guard and No. 140 prospect in the 2013 class. He's No. 17 in the California state rankings.