After facing serious turmoil this offseason surrounding his eligibility for this upcoming season, Eddie Vanderdoes can now rest easy and look ahead to the future.
Vanderdoes was able to participate in his first practice with the UCLA Bruins less than two weeks removed from his NCAA hearing.
There was serious doubt in the mind of the freshman defensive end Vanderdoes as to whether he would play next season or not. After initially signing his letter of intent with Notre Dame, Vanderdoes nullified his commitment due to what he termed "family concerns," one specifically being a breast cancer diagnosis of his grandmother.
“My grandmother can’t travel,” Vanderdoes said. “I got to go home last weekend. That was nice. The trip to Notre Dame is an hour-and-a-half flight to Phoenix, a four-hour flight to Chicago and then a three-hour drive.”
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly declined Vanderdoes his eligibility for his freshman year, which ultimately led his to turn to the NCAA for an appeals hearing, a hearing in which he ultimately won. After writing the NCAA committee several letters, Vanderdoes finally decided it was time to show his face in person.
“Writing wasn’t going help, so I finally got to talk to them,” Vanderdoes said. “I talked a good hour and a half. It was nice to open my mouth at that point.”
Vanderdoes was thought to be one of the best defensive ends coming out of high school, so the 18-year-old was confident he would be able to play next season. When asked if the Notre Dame staff and officials were helpful throughout the appeals process, Vanderdoes replied “everybody except one coach.”
When asked if the one coach was Brian Kelly, Vanderdoes simply responded, "no comment."