Vista Murrieta's Jeremy Castro switches pledge to UCLA

UCLA and new football coach Jim Mora continue to reel in top recruits from the Inland Empire and other Southland regions.

The latest high senior to pledge to the Bruins is Vista Murrieta defensive lineman Jeremy Castro, who had originally committed to Oregon but switched to UCLA after taking a visit to the Westwood campus over the weekend.

Castro, a 6-3, 250-pound pass rusher, had 11 sacks last season while helping the Broncos to the Southern Section Inland Division title. He also had 11 sacks as a junior. He was teammates with strong safety/running back Su’s Cravens, who is expected to be one of the top recruits in the nation next year.

Castro originally committed to Washington over the summer, switched to Oregon in October and has now apparently settled on UCLA. National Sighing Day is Feb. 1.

“UCLA just felt like home,” Castro told Greg Biggins of ESPN Insider. “Originally, I didn't even want to take this visit. My mom is the one who wanted me to because she loves UCLA. Right away, I just felt so comfortable and loved it there. UCLA is the school I grew up rooting for and being on campus was pretty special for me.”

Castro said he was enamored by the new coaching staff, particularly defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin, who recruited Castro while Martin was coaching the secondary at Washington.

Mora hired Martin in Decemeber.

“Academically, you can't beat UCLA, and I love the fact that it's close to home,” Castro said. “The defense is a great fit for me too. They're running a 3-4 defense and like me as an outside linebacker. I'll be blitzing and running around making plays so I'm really excited.”

UCLA has also received commitments this month from Upland fullback/defensive lineman Christian Powell and Monrovia defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy.