Longtime UCLA commit Eddie Printz said he found out on Wednesday that his football scholarship offer from the Bruins was withdrawn.
The Lassiter High School standout had been committed to UCLA since last January. Printz was stunned by the news that the offer “would no longer be honored,” according to his family.
UCLA is coached by Jim Mora Jr., the former coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
“I feel like a horse kicked me in the stomach,” the quarterback’s father, Ed Printz, told the AJC. “And I feel like I let my son down because I let him commit early. This happens, and I don’t know how I could’ve foreseen it. I believed what Coach Mora was telling us, and now I feel sick in my stomach about it.”
This is the second time within the last couple of months that a top Georgia prospect and UCLA have parted ways. Keyante Green, a running back from Eagles Landing Christian Academy, switched to Purdue over the summer because he said he hadn’t heard much from UCLA after committing to the Bruins last February.
“I really shocked and disappointed with how this went down with UCLA,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “They haven’t been genuine and forthright through this whole thing. It appears they used Eddie, maybe to attract other recruits. Or maybe they have another recruit closer to home they ended up liking better.
“This is not how adults should handle business, regardless of whether it’s recruiting or not. They won’t answer the phone or call us back. If you’re going to build relationships with people, you have to have some level of trust.”
Printz’s father said he had to do some investigative work to find out the scholarship offer was being withdrawn. After seeing a tweet from a recruiting analyst that UCLA was scouting another QB last Friday (Hayden Rettig, who is committed to LSU), Printz said he repeatedly tried to contact the coaches over the last several days with no response. He said finally got someone to pick up a phone with offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, who recruits the Atlanta area.
“Coach Klemm confirmed it, and he said ‘If Eddie was my son, I’d go ahead and start looking around,’” the elder Printz said. “He was nice about it, I guess. Coach Klemm couldn’t really explain what happened, but I just feel like Eddie wasn’t [UCLA offensive coordinator] Noel Mazzone’s guy. He was Jim Mora’s guy but I think Noel had a change of heart. I asked Noel in June if Eddie was his guy and he said ‘Yes, he is. He’s the only guy we’re recruiting, and I’m glad I don’t have to go on the road on Friday nights and recruit another quarterback this fall.’ Then he was on the road last Friday.”
Printz said he was disappointed that he had to track down UCLA’s coaches for the news rather than the other way around – and hear it directly from Mora or Mazzone. “That was the biggest letdown. They could’ve been upfront and honest about it. And that’s my thing: Just let us know. Don’t leave us out in the cold about it. We made a few trips out there, and Eddie took classes so he could graduate early and start college early at UCLA. He didn’t go visit colleges over the summer, and probably turned down 20-25 offers, because he was a 100-percent Bruin.”
Added Irwin, “This is how I feel as a coach. At any point, they could’ve said ‘No, we don’t want to take your commitment.’ Or ‘We’re glad you’re interested but we’re still looking at other people.’ But they took his commitment and held onto it for nine months. Then they wait until after the summer, when he could’ve been looked at by other schools, and drop him in September. It’s just really disappointing, shocking, and well … disgusting.
“I know they’re trying to make inroads with recruiting this state, but this is not going to help. They’ve got some explaining to do. There’s a lot of other schools that play in competitive conferences and have great football traditions that you have to go past to get from Georgia to UCLA.”
What’s next for Printz? As news spread about his de-commitment on Wednesday, Printz’s family said he was contacted by Missouri about an official visit, and also fielded calls from San Diego State and Southern Miss.
“This is an opportunity for Eddie,” Irwin said. “He’s still a high-prized recruit. There are still plenty of people interested in him.”
Printz originally committed to SMU last September. He later switched to UCLA after his SMU recruiter, Klemm, was hired as UCLA’s offensive line coach.
UCLA’s coaches cannot publicly comment on Printz, per NCAA rules.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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