Zach Okun thought about bringing his recruitment to an early close with a commitment to UCLA, but the 2015 California offensive lineman wants to leave his options open.
“I love UCLA,” said the 6-foot-4, 305-pounder from Newbury Park High School in Newbury Park, Calif.
“It’s a nice campus, close to home in Southern California, but it’s not necessarily what I’m looking for. I’m not definitely staying close to home, but it’s nice.”
He currently has offers from the Bruins, Washington, Arizona, Kansas State and Cal.
“It’s motivating,” Okun said of the early interest. “You want to stay humble about it, but it also shows you your hard work has paid off. It’s definitely motivating. You not only want to get that next offer, but you want to prove to people that you deserve those offers. It just pushes you to the next level to try to get better.”
He’s made a few trips, but is looking forward to making more.
“I’ve visited UCLA a few times, but that’s mainly it right now,” he said. “The other schools are too far right now to realistically visit.”
He plans on making more trips this summer.
“I haven’t decided yet, but there are some schools I’ve been thinking about camping at,” he said. “It’s all about what time permits and if it works with my practice schedule because that always comes first.”
He’s also receiving interest from other schools.
“Oregon’s showed probably the most interest of the schools that haven’t offered me,” he said. “Notre Dame stopped by the school to say they’re very interested. That’s mainly it right now outside of some other schools but nothing major.”
The Irish have grabbed some of Okun’s interest.
“Notre Dame is obviously exceptional for academics and athletics,” he said. “The tradition and an insanely nice campus and the great reputation for academics and athletics and putting out top-notch talent consistently. It’s definitely a school that you’d have to have a lot of interest in if they’re interested in you. It’s definitely something you’d have to consider when it comes to committing somewhere.”
After Notre Dame assistant Mike Denbrock stopped by the school, Okun caught up with him on the phone.
“We talked for like five minutes, nothing big,” the 2015 prospect said. “He just said they’re interested. They’re going to watch my film. They’re not going to offer me quite yet, but they’ll watch film and watch me for the next few months. Hopefully something comes out of it because I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame.”
Okun believes the Irish will like what they see on that film.
“I personally think I play with a motor,” he said. “I have decent feet and I can move very well for my size. Personally, I think I’m very athletic. I think they’ll like my aggressiveness and my somewhat decent athleticism.”
In addition to a coaching staff that can push him to reach his potential, education will play a role in Okun’s decision.
“I’m definitely looking for academics first because I want to use my football talents or blessing or whatever to continue my academics and hopefully get a job when football ends.”