Denzel Talifero admitted he did not have much interest in UCLA but after attending its recent junior day the Bruins have moved up considerably for the Duarte, Calif., linebacker especially after he got a chance to talk with new linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich.
"I've been there before for the B2G camp so I wasn't necessarily new to the facilities and things like that but when it comes to the new coaches and new things there it was great," Talifero said. "I am open to any school but I never really had outstanding interest in UCLA until I sat down and we had the meeting with the linebackers coach.
"Just sitting there talking to him about schemes and what he wants, I feel like I could play a big part in that. He opened my eyes to UCLA. It was crazy. I went from I didn't want to go there to really wanting to be a part of that program."
Talifero, who finished with 122 tackles in his junior season at Pasadena (Calif.) Muir before transferring to Duarte, said the new coaching staff is markedly different in many ways and he likes the direction of the program.
The 6-foot, 210-pound prospect who shined last summer at the B2G Elite Camp said he already had previous relationships with UCLA assistant coaches Adrian Klemm and Demetrice Martin and that will also play a factor in his recruitment.
Over a few weeks, Talifero went from having little interest in the Bruins to them shooting up his list after meeting with the new staff.
"The other coaches were nice but I never really got the feel of family from them, like they genuinely wanted me there and they wanted to be great," Talifero said. "This coaching staff has more passion and the linebackers coach is a great man. Once we talked to him it really showed.
"I have also been in contact with Adrian Klemm and Demetrice Martin, who is my coach's oldest brother, so I've known him since he was at Washington. I just need to get to know the head coach and a couple more coaches. It feels like a family there. I really like it."