With three weeks until Signing Day, Auburn (Calif.) Placer defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes is hopeful he’ll have a decision made by February 6.
But if the five-star needs some more time, he’ll take it.
“I’m shooting for Signing Day, but if I have to take a couple of extra days to make sure I’ve made the right decision, I will,” said Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes has had a busy week so far, and it’s only going to get busier.
On Monday night, Alabama and Notre Dame had in-homes with the nation’s #2-ranked defensive tackle. Washington came in on Tuesday and UCLA is coming in on Thursday. USC might also try to squeeze in an in-home before he visits the Trojans this weekend.
“I’m not exactly sure when USC is coming this week, but they might be coming before my visit,” said Vanderdoes. “I’m visiting them officially this weekend. Then I’m going to Notre Dame on the 25th and then Alabama the next weekend right before Signing Day.”
Vanderdoes visited UCLA in November and Washington in December, and the official visits are key for the one-time USC commit.
“The official visits for me will be a way better help than the in-home visits, and will be a better gauge,” said Vanderdoes. “There have definitely been other schools trying to get in, but I’ve closed it up to the five schools I’m considering being USC, Alabama, UCLA, Notre Dame and Washington.”
Tuesday night, Washington defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi was in with Vanderdoes and on Thursday, UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure, defensive coordinator Lou Spanos and linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich will be in.
On Monday, Chris Rumph, Alabama’s defensive line coach, was in as was Notre Dame defensive line coach Mike Elston and receivers coach Mike Denbrock, who recruits Northern California. UCLA also came in on Friday.
“The in-home visits have been really good,” said Vanderdoes. “UCLA came by and it went well, then Alabama and Notre Dame both came on Monday, and that was really good and I’m looking forward to my visits there. Coach (Justin) Wilcox was supposed to come with Coach Lupoi (from Washington), but he couldn’t make it so it was just Coach Lupoi and us. But the in-homes are all going really well.”
Vanderdoes admitted that the process is once again, getting overwhelming.
“It’s definitely been overwhelming, because it’s not a four-year decision, it’s a 40-50 year decision, a real life decision,” said Vanderdoes. “I have some great opportunities with all of these schools, but I just have to find which one is the best for me.”
Vanderdoes said that USC, where he committed in July, but decommitted from in December, has still been recruiting him hard, and he’s eager to visit Troy this weekend.
“Coach O (Ed Orgeron) is calling me and recruiting me just as hard and I also hear a lot from Coach (Clay) Helton and then Coach (Lane) Kiffin calls me once a week,” said Vanderdoes.
Vanderdoes, though, said that one school in particular has been really picking up their interest.
“Alabama has really been coming on hard, especially in the last couple of weeks,” said Vanderdoes. “They will be my last visit.”
Meanwhile, Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington continue to make Vanderdoes a priority.
“Notre Dame has been really interested and I didn’t hear a lot from them before, but Coach Denbrock and Coach Elston have really been talking to me so I definitely want to visit them and see more about Notre Dame,” said Vanderdoes. I visited Washington in December and liked it, and Coach Lupoi and Coach Wilcox have been talking with me a lot too and really are recruiting me hard. UCLA, Coach Angus and really the whole staff have been talking with me. I call Coach (Jim) Mora 2-3 times a week and talk to Coach Spanos and Coach Ulbrich a lot.”
Vanderdoes was thrilled with the experience of playing in the U.S. Army Bowl, particularly the practices leading up to them.
“It was definitely great going to the Army Bowl, and working out in practices, and just being able to play football,” said Vanderdoes.
But when the game concluded, and Vanderdoes got back to the hotel, football was secondary and recruiting once again got pushed to the forefront.
“Oh man, that was the worst,” he said. “I was planning to just go back to the hotel, and go to my room, and instead there were like 200 coaches there at the hotel. It was crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Vanderdoes did, though, talk with a handful of coaches.
“I talked to UCLA, Washington and USC for a while, and I talked a little bit with Clemson, Michigan and Mississippi State,” said Vanderdoes. “It was still crazy.”
But Vanderdoes knows the end of the craziness is in sight.
“I’m for sure ready for things to get back to normal and just be a normal football player again,” said Vanderdoes.