Eddie Vanderdoes, the five-star defensive tackle recruit who earlier this week announced that he was headed to UCLA instead of Notre Dame, the school he signed with in February, will make the case that extenuating family health circumstances have played a role in his desire to go to college in his home state of California, a source told CBSSports Saturday.
Earlier this winter, a close relative of the 6-foot-2, 310-pound defensive lineman was diagnosed with a severe illness, the source said. That spurred Vanderdoes, rated the No. 1 defensive tackle from the class of 2013 by 247Sports, to want to remain in California for college.
Vanderdoes is hoping these circumstances, along with the fact that he would be close to more family in the Los Angeles area, will greenlight his appeal. Notre Dame would not release him from his National Letter of Intent for what it deemed "integrity" purposes. Because the Fighting Irish have refused to release Vanderdoes, he would have to sit out the 2013 season and would lose a season of eligibility, meaning without winning an appeal, he would have only four seasons to play three years in college.
Vanderdoes, who is already enrolled at UCLA and considered a student there, is expected to arrive for classes later this month.