UCLA Bruins defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes has declared for the 2017 NFL Draft and will be forgoing his final season of collegiate eligibility. With the Bruins finishing the season 4-8, there is no bowl game for the d-lineman to appear in, leaving him plenty of time to prepare for the April draft.
The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Vanderdoes appeared in 11 games for the Bruins this season, recording 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Coming off a torn ACL that robbed him of virtually his entire 2015 season, it was his first year of football since recovering from the injury.
Vanderdoes has had a circumnavigational route to departing from UCLA, as there was controversy swirling around if he would even arrive in Los Angeles. A highly-touted five-star recruit that was ranked as the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country for the class of 2013, Vanderdoes initially committed to Notre Dame. But after he attempted to pull out of his commitment, he would have to appeal to the NCAA to allow him to transfer to UCLA, as Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly refused to let him go. Vanderdoes would go on to win his appeal.
As a freshman, he made 37 tackles–4.5 for a loss–and had half a sack, earning him Freshman All-American honors. His sophomore season saw those numbers improve up to 55 tackles (5.5 for a loss) and two sacks.
His collegiate career ended after the team’s 36-10 drubbing at the hands of Cal on Saturday, in which he recorded a lone tackle. Once a Top-10 national recruit, Vanderdoes will attempt to re-create the magic he found during his freshman and sophomore campaigns on campus in Los Angeles leading up to the Draft.