On Friday night, Kenny Lacy helped his high school team wrap up a tight victory in the biggest rivalry game of the season. Minutes after, amidst the ensuing chaos of students rushing the field, the 270-pound tackle stepped to the side, looked into a video camera a pledged not to commit to UCLA anytime soon.
Less than four days later, so much for that.
The four-star offensive linemen committed to UCLA less than 24 hours after his official visit to the Bruins' campus. He says he didn't expect to pull the trigger so early, but everything had changed well before he left Los Angeles on Sunday evening.
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"It was a great trip," Lacy said via text on Monday morning. "I planned not to commit but when it was over, I knew it was the right place for me."
Standing at the center of Lacy's pledge is UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm. This weekend's official visit made an impact, but it was Klemm that ultimately reeled in the commitment. Other factors played a role, sure. But this was about his position coach first and foremost.
"He is one of the best educators out there," Lacy said of Klemm. "I loved it there with him."
Lacy didn't alert the UCLA staff of his intentions until well after he left campus, but the decision was made a day prior to that. As the Phoenix Mountain Pointe High School standout watched the final seconds tick off the Bruins' upset win over No. 16 Nebraska, everything took hold.
Suddenly, everything Lacy said following his team's narrow victory just hours before mattered none. The Bruins had won a football game. And, with that, they also won a sought-after commitment. Not a bad throw-in, right?
See, whoever said "winning isn't everything" hadn't met Kenny Lacy.
"I knew as soon as they won the game," he said. "That's when I knew for sure."
Lacy, a Rivals250 member and the No. 17 tackle in the country, chose UCLA over a host of offers from schools such as Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Arizona State.
Despite his verbal pledge, Lacy plans to go through with scheduled official visits to Oklahoma, California, Arkansas and Nebraska. The first of such trips will take place on Sept. 22, when he'll make is way to Arkansas for the Razorbacks' game with Rutgers.