UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes eligible

Freshman defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes will be immediately eligible to play for the UCLA Bruins this fall.

Vanderdoes, widely regarded as one of the nation's top prep defensive tackles last year, originally signed with Notre Dame in February but changed his mind in June for family reasons, he said. He decided to play for UCLA, which is closer to his Auburn, Calif., home.

Notre Dame refused to release him, so Vanderdoes brought his appeal to the National Letter of Intent Steering Committee on Monday.

"While I disagree with yesterday's decision by the NCAA National Letter of Intent Appeals Committee to reverse its original ruling and grant Eddie Vanderdoes a complete release from his NLI, I understand and respect the entire appeal process," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday in a statement. "However, this result does not change my opinion concerning the importance of protecting the integrity of the NLI program, nor will it change our approach to the process going forward."

If the committee had ruled against Vanderdoes, he would have been forced to sit out a year and lose a season of eligibility.

Now eligible as the Bruins open practice on Monday, Vanderdoes, 6-foot-3, 310 pounds, is expected to immediately contribute on a defensive line that has some injury questions. The D-line also lost Datone Jones to the NFL.