UCLA-committed offensive lineman Erik Bunte transferred from Santa Margarita to Mission Viejo on Wednesday.
Mission Viejo assistant principal Ed Begany said Bunte (6-foot-7, 323 pounds) enrolled at Mission Viejo on Wednesday afternoon, and that transfer paperwork would be sent to the CIF-Southern Section office Thursday morning. Once the section receives, reviews and approves the paperwork, then Bunte will be eligible to play at Mission Viejo.
Bunte started at guard for Santa Margarita last year, when the Eagles won CIF-SS Pac-5 Division and state Division 1 championships. He started at tackle the first two games this season.
He will be required to prove a change of residence before he can be declared athletically eligible at Mission Viejo.
Begany said the Bunte family has completed a sale of their house in Laguna Niguel and are currently seeking a residence in the Mission Viejo attendance area. Mission Viejo needs to verify the change of residence, and Santa Margarita must sign off on the transfer for Bunte to become eligible at Mission Viejo.
A year ago, CIF transfer rules would have denied athletic eligibility to any transfer that could appear to be, in whole or in part, athletically motivated. The “athletically motivated” language since has been deleted from CIF transfer rules.
Bunte’s move follows the recent transfer of two other Eagles players to Mission Viejo. Running back Alex Suchesk and receiver Sean Modster joined the Diablos in August.
Bunte told Scout.com, which first reported the news of Bunte’s transfer: “Under the current circumstances, I don’t feel like I’m capable of reaching my true potential at Santa Margarita. For some reason, my relationship with some of the coaches changed from last year, and I strongly lacked respect. … I just didn’t feel like the program was the right fit for me anymore.”
Santa Margarita coach Harry Welch declined to comment on Bunte’s departure.
“I wish all young men well in their future endeavors,” Welch said.
Bunte said he remains committed to UCLA.
“I have contacted UCLA and to stop all rumors, I remain 100 percent committed (to UCLA).”
Bunte was the first Orange County player from the class of 2013 to commit. He recovered in the offseason from a shoulder injury and reports that he is now 100 percent healthy.
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