The highly sought defensive lineman from Auburn (Ca.) Placer High was cleared to play for UCLA this season, according to a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to comment on it publicly. It ends more than a month of uncertainty after he asked out of his letter of intent with Notre Dame.
Vanderdoes was set free after an appeal to the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee on Monday. He will be eligible to play for the Bruins this season.
Vanderdoes signed with Notre Dame last winter, but wanted to transfer to UCLA in June. He said he wanted to be closer to home because of an ailing family member. Notre Dame would not release him to play this season, which would have forced Vanderdoes to sit out a year.
That Vanderdoes can play was welcome news to the Bruins, who have depth concerns along the defensive line. Defensive end Datone Jones graduated. Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa’s availability is unknown after hip surgery this spring.
Vanderdoes, who is 6 feet 3 and 310 pounds, was ranked second nationally among high school defensive tackles by most recruiting sites last fall.