Jan 9, 2014, 6:13 PM EDT
Long time Notre Dame commitment Matt Dickerson has flipped his commitment from Notre Dame to UCLA. 247Sports.com is reporting that the Northern California prospect has decided to stay in-state and play for the Bruins instead of play along the defensive line for the Irish.
Dickerson missed this season after a lower back fracture kept him off the field this season. The Irish stuck with the four-star prospect, honoring their offer to the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder. But in a case similar to that of Eddie Vanderdoes, the Bruins kept after Dickerson, with defensive line coach Angus McClure leading the charge, and flipped a key recruit with a little less than a month to go until Signing Day.
Dickerson planned to take an official visit to South Bend still this month. There’s no word yet if that’s still the plan. While the switch seems to be a surprise, especially with area recruiter Mike Denbrock in constant communication with Dickerson and his family, MaxPreps.com cleared up some of Dickerson’s rationale, and his decision to stay home was in part to make things easier on his parents.
Three weeks ago Dickerson’s father Clarence was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His mother Pam is also largely disabled. After long, careful deliberations between family and friends, Dickerson felt it was the right thing to stay closer to home.
“Calling (Denbrook) was a really, really hard thing to do, but it was the right thing,” Dickerson said. “I looked so forward to playing for the Irish. But I’m doing what’s best for my family and I. I need to stay close to home.
“It’s so hard because they stayed so loyal. They stuck with me through the injury. I love that guy (Denbrook). But it’s my decision. My life. It’s hard.”
While there are rumblings that good news is coming with long-time recruit Isaiah McKenzie, the loss of Dickerson as a potential nose guard in this recruiting class would likely add a hole that needs filling before Signing Day.