2011 Recruiting Reset: Offense

UCLA has eight commitments so far, seven on the offensive side of the ball, and with a limited number of scholarships available in the class of 2011 overall, UCLA will pick up a select few more offensive recruits...

With the contact period six weeks in, the Bruin staff is working on putting together a class for 2011 that will consist of 14-20 recruits. After a fruitful spring evaluation period, they've already filled practically half of the class, getting eight commitments. The program did have three rides open up with the departures of three freshmen, but two of those spots were filled for this fall by JC prospects. So, overall, a UCLA football scholarship will be a scarce commodity between now and February's Signing Day.

UCLA has eight commitments, seven on the offensive side – four offensive linemen, one receiver, one tight end and, most importantly, one quarterback. More than likely, the 2011 class will be pretty balanced between offense and defense, so expect a good number of future commitments to be from the defensive side.

Here is a look at the prospects UCLA will likely be targeting for the 2011 class on the offensive side of the ball the rest of the way.

QUARTERBACK (1-2)

UCLA needed a quarterback in the class of 2011. They brought Darius Bell on board, which was a boost in terms of depth, especially in light of losing 2010 prospect Brett Nottingham to Stanford about a week before last February's signing day. But in terms of how UCLA's future depth chart at quarterback plays out a couple of years down the line the Bruins needed an impact quarterback recruit in the 2010 prep ranks. And UCLA got one in Hundley, who's a franchise type-quarterback.  Expect them to also bring in Neuheisel as a gray-shirt, and have him enroll in the Winter of 2012. There is an outside chance UCLA could still sign another quarterback in addition to Hundley, someone developmental who has upside and would have a chance to play a few years down the road. . At this point it looks like Nick Crissman could get a medical retirement, and that could compel UCLA to possibly take on a developmental quarterback recruit for 2011 if there is one available.

Brett Hundley, 6-2, 205, Chandler (Ariz.).  COMMITTED.  The top quarterback in the West in the 2011 class, Hundley was down to Washington and UCLA, and the feeling was that he was headed to Seattle.  But an unofficial visit to UCLA the week of the Fall Scrimmage was one of the big turning points of the recruitment and on Labor Day, Hundley pulled the trigger and announced for UCLA.  Watching the Pistol offense, Hundley is an ideal fit for it, and with no quarterback currently in the program really looking spectacular, it wouldn't be a surprise if Hundley came in the spring and made a case for inclusion for consideration.  Regardless, this is a big get for UCLA, not just from a talent standpoint, but from a depth standpoint.  Offered. 

Jerry Neuheisel, 6-1, 175, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola.   Neuheisel's recruitment is obviously a big story.  What's most likely is that he'll greyshirt and be counted as part of the 2012 class. So quarterbacks coming in with the 2011 class (and there possibly could be two others besides Neuheisel) -- won't feel they're competing with the coach's son.  Neuheisel has actually looked pretty good this spring and summer, on the passing league circuit, leading Loyola to the semifinals of the Bonita Air Strike Tourney and the 1925 All-Stars to the finals of the Badger/New Level 7on7 Tournament.  There is the lingering question of whether he's a Pac-10 level quarterback, but he does have another offer, from Idaho.  He's looked good at times this fall, but has also been suffering from a concussion suffered late last month. Offered. 

Other Quarterbacks to watch:
Michael Eubank, 6-5, 220, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Aaron Cantu, 6-2, 185, Montebello (Calif.) Schurr
Nick Isham, 6-0, 175, Westlake (Calif.)
Christoph Bono, 6-2, 180, Palo Alto (Calif.)

RUNNING BACKS (0-1)

With the haul that they pulled in last February, getting Malcolm Jones and Jordon James, running back isn't a priority for the UCLA staff in 2011  They've only offered two, and they'll take an elite one in this class if he wants to come, but it's not as pressing as the other positions.

Harvey Langi, 6-2, 215, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham.  The top prospect in Utah this year is one of the best power backs in the country.  Very similar to Malcolm Jones, but bigger, Langi runs with strength but is deceptively fast.  He was the MVP of the Miami Nike Camp, in a pretty loaded field, and has dominated just about every camp he's attended.  BYU and Utah will be tough to beat for Langi, especially the Cougars, who've done a great job recruiting Bingham, as will Stanford, provided Langi is admitted, but UCLA will keep trying.  Offered.  

Brendon Bigelow, 5-11, 180, Fresno (Calif.) Central.  Bigelow headed into the season as the top running back prospect in California in the class of 2011, but he's missing the entire season with another injury to the same knee he tore a year ago.  And while he's committed to Washington, that's a soft verbal, at best.  Cal is the school that is probably the most worrisome to Washington, but UCLA is in on him.  The injury, though, could cause them to back away.   Offered.

Kelsey Young, 5-10, 190.  Young is a commit to Stanford, but UCLA is still recruiting him and was close to offering him before he committed to the Cardinal.  He may be the best back in the state now, and has done it against a pretty tough schedule.  Last year, as the backup to now Arizona State freshman Deantre Lewis, he ran for 1,700 yards and this year, against Crenshaw, put on another show.  UCLA is watching him closely, and could pounce if Young isn't admitted into Stanford.  

Other Running Backs to watch:
Brandon Wright, 5-11, 195, Las Vegas (Nev.) Palo Verde
Garrett Steele, 6-1, 190, Kingsburg (Calif.)
Maika Polomalu, 6-0, 200, Pottstown (Penn.) Pottsgrove
 

RECEIVERS (2-3)

With Paul Richardson the lone receiver UCLA signed last February, the Bruin staff knew that receiver would be a priority in 2011.  With Richardson's dismissal, it makes it even more imperative that they sign some receivers in this class, and some high-quality ones.  The problem is most of the elite ones are committed elsewhere or favoring other schools, save Cooks and Blackmon.

Brandin Cooks, 5-11, 165, Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln.  COMMITTED.  The first commit for the Bruins in the class of 2011, Cooks is a player who offers a lot of speed.  He's had an excellent spring, earning MVP honors at the Stanford Nike Camp and the Bruins landed him over a bunch of Pac-10 schools.  Cooks is similar in body type to Terrance Austin, though is faster and has better hands.    Offered. 

Devon Blackmon, 6-1, 180, Fontana (Calif.) Summit.  One of the top offensive prospects from the Inland Empire, Blackmon was verbally offered by the UCLA coaches last summer and received his official offer from UCLA earlier this spring.  The Bruin staff is doing well with him, but as his tape has made the rounds, his recruitment has really taken off.  His top seven schools are Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Miami, Washington, Alabama and Florida.  The feeling, though, is he's UCLA's to lose.  Offered. 

George Farmer, 6-2, 197, Gardena (Calif.) Serra.  For the second straight year, Serra has California's top receiver, but for the second straight year, that player, in this case Farmer, is likely going to end up a Trojan.  Farmer has made no bones about the Trojans being his leader, and while UCLA has offered, Farmer isn't mentioning the Bruins in his list and recently said his top two were USC and Miami.   Offered. 

Darius Jennings, 5-11, 175, Baltimore (Mary.) Gildan.  One of the better two-way players in the country, Jennings play cornerback, but he will likely play slot receiver, and play it well in college.  Most of his offers come from the ACC and the SEC, but he told Scout recently that UCLA is the one definite school on his list that he wants to officially visit.  Offered. 

Hakeem Flowers, 6-2, 180, Greenville (S.C.) Hampton.  Flowers has a pretty admirable offer list, with several schools from SEC and ACC country.  But he recently trimmed his list to five and it wasn't as full of schools from those region, like you'd expect.  The Bruins made the final five, that also includes Michigan, Georgia Tech, LSU and Oregon.  He's planning an official visit to Westwood for some time.  Offered. 

Devin Lucien, 6-2, 195, Encino (Calif.) Crespi. One of the better receivers in the Southland, Lucien has really shined during the offseason, at various camps, namely the U.S. Army Combine, the Badger 7on7 and the FBU Camp in Tucson, where he was MVP.  He's a strong, physical receiver, who is deceptively fast and will not hesitate to go into traffic for a tough catch.  Oregon is his dream school but he also likes UCLA, and he works out with former Crespi quarterback Kevin Price in the offseason.  He's gotten off to a strong start in 2010 too, and has showed he's one of the premier pass-catchers in the state.

Other Receivers to watch:
Michael Thomas, 6-1, 180, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
MarQuan Major, 6-2, 175, Las Vegas (Calif.)
Nelson Spruce, 6-2, 195, Westlake (Calif.)
B.J. Kelley, 6-2, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central
 

TIGHT ENDS/F-BACKS (1-2)

UCLA wanted to add at least one tight end to the mix, even though it won't be graduating anyone this year, so more than one isn't really necessary.  They've offered three so far and have a commitment from one, and probably would take a second one, especially if it's Pomee.

Raymond Nelson, 6-5, 215, Modesto (Calif.) Modesto Christian.  COMMITTED.  The younger brother of UCLA basketball player Reeves Nelson, the younger Nelson was an all-state defensive end in 2009 after helping lead Modesto Christian to the CIF State Small Schools title.  He wants to play offense in college, though, and he's a nice, big rangy target.  UCLA was a school he wanted to play at, especially with his brother there, and he was told to come to the UCLA camp.  After Pomee, Nelson was the best performer there, and earned that offer.  In late July, Nelson committed to the Bruins.  Offered. 

Junior Pomee, 6-3, 215, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho VerdePomee is a stronger version of Morrell Presley.  He's not as fast as Presley, but they're eerily similar players, both being TE/WR types, who are best with the ball in their hands. Pomee, in fact, might be a perfect fit for the F-back position in UCLA's Pistol offense. Pomee starred in Vegas at the 7on7 tournament, and impressed Neuheisel, who was there to watch his son, and ended up with a Bruin offer just a couple days later.  Then Pomee came to the UCLA camp in June and was easily the top prospect there, on either side of the ball. Pomee said that UCLA has been his favorite school for years and he committed to the Bruins in July.  But he quickly opened things up, specifically after visiting Florida for their Friday Night Lights.  And recently, USC has offered so UCLA is having to compete with the Trojans and Gators, where his good friend, Ronald Powell, is a freshman.  The encouraging news is that Pomee has been to a couple of UCLA games this season already and has seemed to be enjoying himself.   Offered. 

Dillon Van Der Wal, 6-6, 240, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.  Van Der Wal is one of SoCal's best tight ends, and he's also a pretty good defensive end to boot.  He's been more productive on defense, but he projects to offense in college, although this year, he's been more of a defensive player.  He's got offers from several schools, but UCLA is a school he's interested in and he was at the Bruins' Junior Day in February and their camp in June. 

Other Tight Ends to watch:
Sam Meredith, 6-4, 250, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix.

OFFENSIVE LINE (5-6)

UCLA has made the offensive line a priority, with four commitments in the class of 2011 and then also adding JC Casey Griffiths tehis fall and his four-for-three eligibility. Two of the commits so far in 2011 are most likely tackles, while the other two are more likely to play inside.  UCLA will probably bring in two more more lineman, with Walker the prohibitive favorite, though Hobbi is probably right there in terms of probability in being a Bruin.

Torian White, 6-6, 275, Lakewood (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  White is an intriguing player- a guy with upside off the charts, but is still raw.  He missed almost all of his junior year with a hernia, but come out this spring and summer and starred at numerous camps, earning MVP honors at two of them and then doing well at the UCLA camp in June, which garnered him an offer and committed on the spot.  White has good length and great athleticism (his dad is an AAU basketball coach), and UCLA was his dream school growing up, so it's a nice match.  Since then, USC and TCU have offered him, so UCLA will have their hands full in keeping him, particularly with USC.  White's best football is still ahead of him.  Offered. 

Marc Mustoe, 6-7, 275, Arvada (Colo.) West.  COMMITTED.  Mustoe was one of the first players from Colorado to commit to a Pac-10 school and say the Buffs entry into the Pac-10 was a reason he picked another Pac-10 school.  Mustoe committed to the Bruins on an unofficial visit to Westwood in June.  He's the other likely tackle of the group, with White. Since his verbal commitment to UCLA, Notre Dame has offered.  Offered. 

Ben Wysocki, 6-4, 275, Los Alamitos (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  Wysocki had his recruitment really take off in the spring, with several Pac-10 schools offering and heavily recruiting him.  Wysocki got an offer from the Bruins after their first camp in early June, then committed to the Bruins a month later.  While he plays tackle for Los Al, he'll likely end up as a guard in college.  Offered. 

Jacob Brendel, 6-4, 285, Plano (Texas) West.  COMMITTED.  Brendel is one of the top centers nationally, ranked in the top ten by Scout.com, and is considered by some in the Lone Star State, to be one of the top five linemen in all of Texas.  He committed to UCLA earlier in July and while he said he's committed, he is still open to other options.  Offered. 

Brent Walker, 6-5, 300, Norco (Calif.).  Walker is an admitted heavy-lean to UCLA, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he committed soon.  Arizona State, which has recruited Norco well, is on him too, but the Bruins are probably going to be tough to beat.  Some think he may be the best offensive lineman in Southern California.   Offered. 

Cyrus Hobbi, 6-3, 285, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro. UCLA is definitely in the mix for Hobbi, who's good friend and Saguaro teammate Kody Innes is a freshman with the Bruins.  Hobbi is part of a stellar lineman trio from Arizona, and schools all over are noticing as USC, Alabama, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are some of the national programs who've offered. Arizona State has the homefield advantage, but UCLA is trying to grab another top prospect from Arizona.   Offered. 

Troy Niklas, 6-7, 255, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite.  Niklas was offered as an athlete by UCLA, he could play tight end or defensive end, but likely projects to an athletic offensive tackle at the next level.  Stanford and Notre Dame are the two leaders and USC just recently offered so UCLA is on the outside looking in for Niklas.  Offered.

Stephan Nembot, 6-7, 250, Van Nuys (Calif.) Montclair Prep. Nembot is originally from Cameroon, and is a very impressive physical specimen and athlete. One of the reasons he came to Southern California was because of UCLA's former basketball players from Cameroon, Alfred Aboya and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. He attended UCLA's linemen's camp and then received a scholarship offer, and it's believed UCLA is among a small group of favorites. He could end up playing defensive end, even though his body will probably go the way of an offensive tackle in college. Offered

Ray Ball, 6-7, 325, Westerville (Ohio) Westerville-South. Another east coaster that UCLA has offered and has listed the Bruins on his short list, Ball has said he wants to visit Westwood. Again, a kid from the east coast that has many schools in his area pursuing him aggressively has to be thought of as a longshot. Offered

Other Linemen to watch:
Pat Flavin, 6-7, 260, Lisle (Ill.) Benet Academy- Offered
Matt  Williams, 6-7, 290, North Dakota State (N.D.)- Offered
Brian Moran, 6-7, 305, Atherton (Calif.) Sacred Heart
Faitele Faafoi, 6-5, 300, Tustin (Calif.)
Kalvin Cusick, 6-3, 282, Provo (Utah) Timpview
Brian Farley, 6-7, 280, San Diego (Calif.) Patrick Henry
 


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