Four-star DE flips commitment from Notre Dame to UCLA

Four-star DE flips commitment from Notre Dame to UCLA
January 9, 2014, 5:00 pm
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For a Notre Dame team in need of defensive linemen, this one might hurt: Four-star defensive end Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif.) has flipped his commitment from Notre Dame to UCLA, according to multiple reports.

247 Sports reported earlier Thursday a "tough" personal issue arose with Dickerson and gave him pause about attending a school so far from his home in Notre Dame. Dickerson initially committed to Notre Dame on Aug. 3, 2013, a day after taking a visit to South Bend. Both 247 Sports and Rivals rate Dickerson as a four-star prospect.

Dickerson very well could've played a significant number of snaps as a freshman given Notre Dame's thin 2014 defensive line depth chart. With defensive end Stephon Tuitt and nose guard Louis Nix entering the NFL Draft, plus 2013 being swingman Kona Schwenke's final season, the Irish will need all the help they can get up front this coming fall.

[MORE: Losing Stephon Tuitt a major blow for Notre Dame]

Former Notre Dame signee Eddie Vanderdoes — who experienced plenty of over-the-top, vitriolic backlash last year from Irish fans — couldn't help but pour salt in the wound after news of Dickerson's flip broke.

"Of course I'll be blamed for this one," the defensive tackle jokingly tweeted. Vanderdoes committed to Notre Dame last February but backed out of his national letter of intent in June, citing a desire to play closer to home at UCLA.

Notre Dame now has four defensive end commits — all three-star prospects — in its class of 2014 as well as four-star defensive tackle Jay Hayes. Of those defensive end commits, though, Andrew Trumbetti may be the only one to stick at that position.

With just under a month until signing day, Notre Dame has 22 players verbally committed to its class of 2014.