NOTRE DAME — A tweet confirmed what many people following Notre Dame football already suspected.
Eddie Vanderdoes, a blue-chip defensive tackle who signed with the Irish in February, is hoping to shed his commitment to Notre Dame and head to UCLA, first reported by Sacramento Bee reporter Joe Davidson on Twitter and later confirmed by Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly.
“Eddie Vanderdoes will not be attending the University of Notre Dame,” Kelly said in a statement. “We did not release him from his national letter of intent in order to protect the integrity of that very important program, but we have worked with the Vanderdoes family so that Eddie can continue his education this fall at a school closer to his home. We understand Eddie’s interest in remaining closer to his family and wish him well.”
Even though Notre Dame did not release Vanderdoes from his letter of intent, Davidson tweeted that Vanderdoes thanked Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban that allowed him to sign with the Bruins.
According to Davidson, Vanderdoes wrote in a text:
“I would like to thank the University of Notre Dame for lifting the recruiting ban and allowing me to sign an athletic scholarship with UCLA. Over the past four months, circumstances have changed for me and my family. For very personal reasons, I feel a strong need to remain close to home and be near those who are most important in my life.
“I am honored and humbled that Note Dame thought enough of me as a person and a football player to offer me a scholarship. They have been very gracious to recognize not only how difficult a decision this was, but also how important it was for me to be near my family at this time. I take my commitments seriously, but as circumstances changed, the most important commitment is the one made to family.”
Since Vanderdoes wasn’t released from his NLI, ESPN reporter Joe Schad said Vanderdoes will have to sit out a year of eligibility for breaking it the commitment.
Vanderdoes signed with Notre Dame on National Signing Day, choosing the Irish over UCLA, Alabama and USC, but rumors cropped up two weeks ago that Vanderdoes may not be heading to South Bend after all.
Vanderdoes hopes to start summer courses at UCLA on June 24.