In front of his fellow students, teachers and classmates, elite safety Tahaan Goodman committed to UCLA over interest from LSU, Oklahoma, USC and Washington.
“I’ve been feeling UCLA for a while now,” Goodman said earlier in the week. I really liked them a lot in the summer but had my doubts about how good the team would be. Then I watched them this past season and they made some huge strides and you could just feel the difference in the atmosphere there.
“Coach Mora is a great coach and he’s really turning things around there. UCLA is so much tougher than they used to be and this is only the beginning. Once he gets more of his own recruits into the program, I think things will really get rolling.”
The opportunity to play early was a big factor in Goodman’s decision.
“Every coach tells you they want you to play early but at UCLA, I can see it,” Goodman said. “When I watch the games, you can see they have a big need for safeties and I feel if I come in and I’m ready to go, I’ll be able to play right away. Nothing was promised but I’m going to work real hard to get out there and play as a freshman.
“I always love the guys on the team and just the atmosphere. Every time I’m up at UCLA, it feels like a second home to me. It’s close to home so my family can see me play, and a degree from UCLA is big time is about as good as you can get.”
Goodman only took one other official visit -- to Oklahoma.
“I had trips set with Nebraska and LSU but never made it out there,” Goodman said. “Something always came up. But honestly, I’ve known UCLA was the place for me, so it didn’t really matter that much that I didn’t take any other visits. UCLA is home and I’m excited about this recruiting class we're bringing in.”
UCLA's commit class is currently in the top 10 of Scout.com's team rankings and features a host of four-star talent in addition to Goodman.
“There’s already a lot of good young talent on the roster at every position and were set up to be good for a while now. I was planning to wait until Signing Day before I made my decision but I want to start recruiting for UCLA and talking to guys right now. That’s always more effective when you’ve already committed, so I’m ready to go and very happy to put this behind me and be a Bruin.”
Goodman is the No. 7 safety in Scout.com's 2013 class and the No. 63 player nationally.