Desert Ridge defensive end Joquarri Price to UCLA

Desert Ridge defensive end Joquarri Price signed his National Letter of Intent Friday to play at UCLA.

The long recruiting journey for Desert Ridge defensive end Joquarri Price officially came to end Friday as the senior signed his National Letter of Intent to UCLA.

Price’s signing came on the last day of the early signing period, which started Wednesday.

“I’m really excited,” Price said. “I didn’t think I would get to this moment. I’m just really excited and happy for the future.”

Price had originally committed to San Diego State before the start of his senior season. But on Dec. 3, he decommitted from the Aztecs.

Desert Ridge coach Jeremy Hathcock said part of his decision came from San Diego State wanting to pull Price’s offer due to lack of communication on his part. Price agreed Friday he could have had better communication with the San Diego State coaching staff.

“It was hard to keep in touch with a lot of coaches,” Price said. “I would forget. I’m bad at keeping in touch with people but it all worked out.”

Price, who transferred to Desert Ridge from South Dakota his sophomore year, had 104 solo tackles in his two seasons at the varsity level. He was one of the top sack leaders in the state this season with 15. As a junior, he had 12. He also forced 48 quarterback hurries in his two-year varsity career and 26.5 tackles for loss.

Rated as a three-star prospect in the 2020 class, Price held offers from Rice and San Diego State when the early signing period began. He previously held an offer from Iowa State but at some point it was pulled by the Cyclones.

Price had been communicating with UCLA coach Chip Kelly and the rest of the staff when he decommitted from San Diego State, as well as other Division I programs.

But when the Bruins offered Price on Wednesday, he immediately committed.

“It’s amazing,” Hathcock said. “It moved fast. When I talked to UCLA I don’t think they were going to send out a letter of intent right away but when he got going I think they just wanted to lock him in right away.  

Price said he was relieved after he put pen to paper and locked in his college destination. He plans to study Kinesiology at UCLA to pursue a career as a physical therapist once his football career is over.

While signing with the Bruins before visiting their campus, he has high expectations when he finally gets the chance in January.

“It was stressful but I’m glad that it’s over with now,” Price said. “I know it’s a nice campus. Hopefully I can meet some of my teammates and know what I’m going to do for my dorm and stuff like that to get ready.”

Have an interesting story? Contact Zach Alvira at zalvira@timespublications.com and follow him on Twitter @ZachAlvira.

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