After the defections of two defensive back recruit to USC and Notre Dame, the Bruins are making a late run for the services of cornerback Osahon Irabor (5-10, 178, 4.5) from Upland, Calif, by offering the talented corner from the Inland Empire yesterday (July 8th).
UCLA's late offer complicates things for Irabor as he was ready to announce his intentions on what college he was to attend and play football for today (July 9th). Because of UCLA's late run, that decision will be delayed until Friday so Irabor can reassess his situation.
Upland coach in charge of recruiting, Mike Esquivel, had a whirlwind day with the latest development regarding Irabor's recruitment.
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"The past 18 hours have been crazy regarding the buzz about UCLA coming into the picture for Osahon," Esquivel said. "Early yesterday evening (July 8th 2008) I received a phone call from UCLA's head coach Rick Neuheisel to inform me that UCLA will be extending an offer to Osahon. I was very excited for Osahon because he has come a long way from being a reserve freshman football player to a national division one top recruit.
"Coach Neuheisel explained the latest developments that were happening at UCLA and so did Coach Dewayne Walker when I spoke with him later on that evening. When Coach Neuheisel told me about the offer and Coach Walker, Osahon didn't know till three hours after because he was at a passing league game in Covina.
"I have always told our players that recruiting is like a roller coaster and always be on your toes. This is just an example of what I meant," Esquivel said. "UCLA's offer took everybody by surprise and it has change things a little for Irabor. He was ready to make his announcement this morning ( July 9th 2008) on his college choice.
"However with the latest developments he has postponed his announcement to explore the UCLA offer and options. He has always loved UCLA early on in his recruitment, so how can he not explore UCLA a little bit more now that they have come into the picture full swing."
Irabor was excited by his latest offer.
"UCLA's offer came as a surprise," Irabor said. "When I first checked my cell phone after the passing league game, I got a voicemail and text message from Coach Esquivel telling me to call him right away that it was extremely important.
"I was shocked on the news about the offer and very excited," Irabor said. "Back in April I visited UCLA on their junior day and I watched a couple of practices. I liked what I saw and how aggressive Coach Walker's defense was.
"I know what they are all about and the atmosphere there was awesome," Irabor said. "I called Coach Neuheisel and Coach Walker last night and had a great long chat with both of them. I have great respect for both of them. They were upfront with me and honest on their latest recruitment about me."
"I was ready to make an announcement the following day but I am going to hold on for a few days to consider UCLA's offer and really sit down with my family and think this completely through," Irabor said. "Like I said, I was totally caught by surprise and to have a chance to play in the Rose Bowl would be something special. The next few days will be tough for me, and I'm going to research and think this through completely. It will be hard to sleep in the next 48 hours."
UCLA is Irabor's 15th offer and the seventh Pac 10 team to join the fray. Nebraska, Arizona , Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Northwestern, Boise State and Fresno State are a sampling of schools that have offered.
Irabor made first-team all-league cornerback his junior season after racking up 49 tackles and three interceptions. As a receiver, he came down with 16 receptions for 325 yards and two touchdowns.