Sam Tai committed to UCLA in November and he took his official visit there last weekend, perfect timing since the Bruins hosted cross-town rival USC.
Even though UCLA lost, Tai said he saw a lot of promise especially from the defense and since he's a 6-foot-4, 234-pound strong-side defensive end that was nice to witness in person.
"It was a lot of fun," Tai said. "The atmosphere was amazing. The fans were awesome. It was just nice to watch the game. Even though they lost I saw a lot of good things on the defensive side of the ball and I was very pleased with what I saw.
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"I saw that they didn't give up and they kept playing until the end of the game. They forced turnovers and kept the team in the game. I saw a lot of rotation with the d-line which I liked. That was two things that made me happy."
Tai, from Las Vegas (Nev.) Liberty, also had offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Idaho, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming and Southern Utah but the close distance from home was one of many things that sold UCLA on him.
This way, his family and friends could make it to games and wouldn't have to miss anything like if Tai ended up at Colorado or Arkansas, two places he visited in October.
What also stood out to Tai during his official visit to UCLA was the fan base at the Rose Bowl. Even when it became clear that USC had the game well in hand, many people stayed to cheer on the Bruins and Tai liked that aspect of it.
"The fans were in it all the way until the end," he said. "None of them gave up at halftime. The whole stadium was packed and just the whole rivalry atmosphere was amazing that I got to experience that."