Some of Atlanta’s college football prospects will be writing a weekly diary for the AJC until February’s signing day. They will be sharing their thoughts, opinions, adventures and perspectives on the recruiting journey.
Eddie Printz led Lassiter High School to its first-ever appearance in the state semifinals last year. He completed 277 of 442 passes for 3,350 yards and 28 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. Printz committed to SMU last September, and later switched to UCLA in January.
This year, 2012, is a very special year in my life. I am so excited about playing football with my Lassiter football family. We have been through so much together and I will never forget my time with them. They have been there for me and I will always be there for them. My early commitment to UCLA allowed me to enjoy a great summer with them before I head off to college next year. It was one of the best decisions in my life. My hard work and dedication paid off and made my family so proud.
I like the fact that I committed to UCLA early. Coach [Jim] Mora is a great coach and I hope I can help him lead UCLA to a PAC 12 Championship. I feel like I am a Bruin and the Coaches and fans treat me like family. My former Lassiter teammate Kene Orjioke is out there in Westwood right now and he keeps me informed. I know what to expect when I hit campus in January. It still feels new because every month someone new commits to UCLA. It’s like getting a new football brother.
It was such a big relief to be committed early this summer. Coach Mora said if I committed to UCLA, I didn’t have to look anywhere else. They are only taking one QB and I was the No. 1 guy on their board. That was great. UCLA has everything I want in a school on and off the field. I believe the Pac-12 is the best conference for developing QBs, and a degree from UCLA will open many doors after I graduate.
I am trying to recruit other prospects in the Atlanta area. I can’t really say who most of them are because they don’t want me to let anyone know because they are committed to other schools. The one player I can tell you about is prospect Brendan Langley (South Carolina). He is a great player, and the coaches at UCLA want to see him become a Bruin. Coach Mora coached DBs in the NFL, and he is so connected; it would give Langley an edge up to play on Sundays. Most of the coaches at UCLA have either played in the NFL or coached in the NFL. I would also like to see Willie Police, receiver from Lassiter, get an offer from UCLA. I think Willie is under the radar because he plays lacrosse in the off season and doesn’t go to camps.
As far as invites to All-American games, the event I competed in was the Semper Fidelis Combine in Phoenix, Ariz. I competed in that event because I wanted to play in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game being held at Qualcomm Stadium next January. Not a bad place to be during the winter months. It went great and I earned a spot in the game. That was really cool because my uncle is a retired Marine who lives in Phoenix. He was so proud that I was invited to play in the game.
I got to enjoy my summer with friends this year. It was great! I haven’t had a summer like this in about 10 years. It was a normal summer where I got to go to Lake Lanier, the beach and just chill with my friends from Lassiter. When I was younger, I played travel baseball, so my summers would be covered up. The past five years, I would go to prospect camps or visit schools to get exposure. I always felt like it was a sacrifice to be able to play at the next level and giving up summers was part of it. I know schools want to see you throw in person and if I didn’t visit a school it would be like telling them I wasn’t interested in them. It also gave me a chance to see their coaching style. After going through the process, I would recommend to prospects to commit as soon as they know and enjoy their time in high school.
I visited UCLA in January, May and June. I committed in January. I knew I wanted to play for QB Coach Noel Mazzone by his credentials. He was training Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Christian Ponder, Philip Rivers and several other NFL QB’s in the offseason. I was so impressed when I met Coach Mazzone and it was at that point my decision was made. His son, Taylor, works with the QBs, too, and he’s very cool. They will make me better.
In May, me and my Dad spent a weekend in Los Angeles to visit the campus and watch the UCLA Spring Game. It was at The Rose Bowl where UCLA plays their home games. It was amazing. A very cool thing happened there. Coach Mora introduced me to his father, and his dad knew who I was and had watched my film. He said it was good to meet the QB who was going to help UCLA win a National Championship. I was so humbled by meeting him and being welcomed into a great football family. They are very gracious people who make you feel very special. I will not let him down. I will outwork everyone until we succeed.
People always ask me about other QBs at camps. I don’t worry about what other QBs do at camps. I am a football player, and not a camper. Last year in the playoffs, I had Naim Mustafaa, Kenderius Whitehead, Darius English and Koty Allen all trying to take my head off. You don’t get that in camps because in camps you get a T-shirt, and in real games you get an ice bath afterwards. Haha.
The most fun part of recruiting is going to games. I really enjoy college football. It is amazing to see the fans, hear the bands and feel the roar of the crowd. You get to see how coaches treat players when they are under pressure. I usually look at that when I watch games on TV during the season.
The worst part of recruiting is being under a media microscope. I had to shut down my Facebook because it was getting crazy with 5-10 requests for interviews a day, strange messages from people I never met and so many requests from trainers and recruiters who can get me to the next level. Huh? It is absolutely crazy! I only talk to a few media people now to keep it manageable.
I still get letters every day. In the spring, we had over 100 college coach visit Lassiter. When coaches asked Lassiter coach Jep Irwin if I would flip, he told them I was solid to UCLA. 100% I am a UCLA Bruin! I took two summer school online classes so I can be in Westwood in January.
Editor’s note: The AJC’s intent with the player diaries is to demonstrate what the thought processes are for seniors at different levels of success as they go through their senior seasons. Please keep the comments civil or we will be forced to close commenting.