Dlugolecki Decides Against UCLA and Settles on Illinois
Santa Margarita High quarterback Matt Dlugolecki on Tuesday said he has rescinded his commitment to UCLA and will commit to Illinois because he feels more comfortable with the Fighting Illini’s offense.
However, sources at UCLA said they revoked a scholarship offer Monday night after confirming that Dlugolecki had visited the Champaign, Ill., campus over the weekend.
Dlugolecki said UCLA offensive coordinator Al Borges called him Monday and asked him whether he had visited Illinois. Dlugolecki said he was upfront with Borges, but UCLA sources said Dlugolecki denied making the visit until Borges confronted him.
NCAA rules bar coaches from discussing recruits until after they sign a letter of intent. But UCLA Coach Bob Toledo said he tells recruits not to make a verbal commitment to UCLA until they are sure they want to attend.
“When you make a commitment, it’s like you’re married. You don’t keep looking around,” he said.
Dlugolecki said he was aware of the policy and regretted any hard feelings.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder will battle Illinois’ returning senior quarterback, Kurt Kittner, plus other quarterback candidates, for playing time in the Illini’s pro-style offense.
“I’m a drop-back quarterback,” said Dlugolecki, who completed 56% of his passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. “I want to be in control of the offense. Borges runs a great offense, but it’s a lot of play-action and reading one-on-one situations. I want to spread the ball around a lot and play in a rhythm-and-timing offense. That’s what Illinois has.”
Dlugolecki said Illinois Coach Ron Turner, rumored as a possible replacement for fired USC Coach Paul Hackett despite the Illini’s 5-6 record this season, assured him he was staying in Champaign.
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