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December 29, 2005SANTA ANA, Calif. - The jerseys they will wear at Saturday's Air 7 CaliFlorida Bowl will say California, but for Jake Dean, Sean Sheller, Sonny Tevaga and Andy Keane maybe the more appropriate thing would be to have UCLA on the front of them.
That's because all four have already committed to the Bruins and are excited about their future in Westwood.
"It's cool to play in an all-star game, but to know you're going to play with most of these guys for the next five years, that's even better," said Dean, a four-star offensive center from Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete.
"It's neat because you can build a good relationship with all these guys before you even show up on campus."
And the chemistry is already building, according to all four of the linemen.
When they're not pushing each other hard on the practice field, they're cracking jokes and hanging out with each other off of it. In team outings to Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland, the fantastic four were inseparable and rides like the Supreme Scream and Ghost Rider were hits with all of them.
"You should see the photos from the Ghost Rider," Dean said. "We were all making goofy faces."
Sheller said it's been pretty easy to get to know his future teammates.
"We just all get a long," Sheller, a four-star guard from Walnut, Calif.
"We all have sense of humors. We always sit around and joke around with each other. We're so similar in our personalities and the way we approach things on the field and off the field, it's amazing."
Keane said the similar personalities the future teammates have might have been done by design from the Bruin coaches.
"I know they recruit character, and they have a certain type of person that they're looking for," Keane from Palm Springs, Calif., said.
"And I think they got pretty close to the same person with all of us.
"It's really true that we're very similar. We're all pretty laid back and just like to hang out. The chemistry keeps on building and growing. By the time we get to college, we should know what we're like inside and out. But it helps that we're all basically the same person off field."
On it, they're also similar.
Sure they play different spots along the offensive line, but they're all alike in the fact they're elite college prospects. If they each hadn't of committed early in the recruiting process, each one of them would be swimming in scholarship offers. Combined they might just be the nation's top offensive line recruiting class.
"We're all very good," Tevaga of Compton (Calif.) Dominguez said.
"Each one of us have different strengths, but we do have the ability to be really special by the time we're done at UCLA. We're already really close, but it's going to be fun to see what we're like several years down the road."
Keane has an idea.
"With the way UCLA has turned things around this year, we want to come in there and help them win Pac 10 titles and national championships," Keane said.
"It'd be a great dream to start for several years with all these guys and win a lot of games."
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