Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei junior guard Christian Dunbar-Hawkins just announced that he will be playing in college at UCLA.

Dunbar-Hawkins had options from all over the country, but decided to stay close to home and showed up at UCLA.

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“There were many reasons why I chose UCLA,” Dunbar-Hawkins said. “The main reason was my relationship with the coaching staff and the high level of comfort at school.

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“I spoke to coaching staff from all over the world, but when I spoke to UCLA coaches, it was different. School always feels right at home, I love the defensive scheme and how they plan to use me, and the blue and gold is amazing and looks just right for me.”

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Dunbar-Hawkins said he spoke with several players on the UCLA team and got good feedback on their experience.

“I know (Devin) Kirkwood, Jalyn (Davis) and Will (Nimmo) very well,” Dunbar-Hawkins said. “I train with Kirkwood and Jaylin with my DB coach Anthony Brown and playing at UCLA will allow me to still train with him in the offseason.

“They both really enjoy studying at UCLA and I spoke with Will about the school part and strong study. He said it’s hard, like here at Mater Dei, but it’s good, and my mom is very excited about UCLA because of the strong academic reputation.”

Dunbar-Hawkins said he also heard nothing but positive things about head coach Chip Kelly.

“Everyone I’ve talked to loves playing for him,” Dunbar-Hawkins said. “They said he was a great coach and you can look at his track record and see that he is one of the best to ever do it.

“I also really like Coach Norwood. He is more than a coach for me, he is a person with whom I can talk about everything. He always speaks the truth to me and when we talk it’s always on a personal level and that means a lot to me.”

As for the timing of the decision, Dunbar-Hawkins said he just feels ready.

“I think when you know, you know, and I knew UCLA was where I wanted to be,” Dunbar-Hawkins said. “Besides, today is my mom’s birthday, so it has a special meaning.

“It all seems surreal to me because I actually left my grandfather’s funeral early to go to UCLA summer camp. They proposed a few weeks later and it was a special moment for me. My grandma also recently passed away, and it made me think that it’s time to make a decision, even though it’s still early, and I’m very happy to be a Bruin right now.”

Dunbar-Hawkins is a versatile corner cover that we think could play just about anywhere at a secondary level. He has a strong body, is very instinctive and has a natural sense of cover.

He is a smart player and we could easily see him move to safety in college due to his high football IQ, but he has shown an ability to play corners and nickels at the high school level.