No matter now it concludes on Signing Day, UCLA's new head coach, Jim Mora, is doing a very impressive job of recruiting, as is his new staff.
With so much going on, and with many new recruits committed because of the new coaching staff, and so many more they're still recruiting, to go along with the recruits committed to the previous staff, it's tough to get a handle on exactly where UCLA stands in terms of its scholarship limits and whom UCLA likely will end up with on Signing Day, February 1st.
Hopefully we can make it a little bit clearer.
First off, you have to almost completely disregard the NCAA limit of 25 scholarships that can be given in any year. UCLA has enough flexibility with that number due to current players potentially leaving the program (some due to medical reasons), or with early entrants (which can count against last year's number) or grayshirts (which can count against next year's number). Even though UCLA currently goes over that number of 25, and is seriously still involved with many recruits, that limit won't be difficult to adhere to by next fall.
In terms of scholarship limits, the overall limit of 85 allowed on your roster is probably the bigger concern. UCLA currently has 18 spots on the roster available for next season, so if UCLA intends to bring in a total more than that (counting early entrants and grayshirts) it will have to find more scholarships. As I said, there are some current players on the roster who could take a medical retirement between now and next fall. And again, they only have to get in line with that number of 85 by next fall.
But, really, even the overall limit of 85 scholarships isn't that big of a concern. It's simple: If there are recruits that this UCLA coaching staff wants, that are willing to jump into the boat, there will be room made for them. If UCLA has, say, 5 more elite prospects wanting to commit, it will find the scholarships for them.
Actually what might be a concern is the rule that a program can't have more than 28 recruits sign NLIs. That includes Early Entrants. One way around it is to have a player you intend to grayshirt not sign an NLI and later accept Grant-in-Aid. We have heard that UCLA has prepared a record number of NLIs for potential signees -- upwards of 50 -- so in the last week they've been making room to bring the signed NLI total to no more than 28.
Note: It's now the Dead Period, so college coaches aren't allowed to visit a recruit in-home or on his campus, or host him on their college campus. They can, though, call a recruit an unlimited amount.
So, here's a rundown to get you a little better grasp of the recruiting class. To date, by Scout.com's Class Rankings, UCLA is currently 8th in the nation. That's pretty extraordinary, coming off a losing season and with a new coach, Jim Mora, that is unproven as a recruiter.
We've taken out the number of commitments UCLA intends to take at each position because, truly, it is a matter of UCLA taking any prospect it deems talented enough regardless of position at this point.
T.J. Millweard, 6-5, 205, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints' Episcopal. COMMITTED. Millweard committed a day after being home from his official visit. The former ASU commit is talented, and is coming to UCLA almost entirely because of UCLA's new offensive coordinator, Noel Mazzone.
Devin Fuller, 6-1, 185, Old Tappan (N.J.) High. COMMITTED. Fuller announced on January 29th he is a Bruin. It's believed that he was leaning to Rutgers, but when Rutger coach Greg Schiano decided to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job Fuller slipped to UCLA. He's a stellar athlete with very good speed who will get a chance at quarterback. He could though, as he showed in the U.S. Army game, be an electric threat at wide receiver.
UCLA received a verbal commitment from a 2013 quarterback, Eddie Printz, from Marietta (Georgia) Lassiter. More than likely, UCLA could take two quarterbacks in 2013.
Paul Perkins, 5-10, 175, Chandler (Ariz.) High. COMMITTED. UCLA looks like it will take a lot of guys in the 5-9 to 6-0 range with speed for 2012, and among those guys Perkins looks like the most likely to actually develop into a tailback in college. He's a good fit for Mazzone's offense.
Tairen Owens, 5-9, 165, Pasadena (Calif.) Muir. COMMITTED. Owens, like Perkins, probably projects as the slotback/tailback in the Mazzone offense also. We've heard Owens, who didn't take an official visit, could have academic issues.
Christian Powell, 6-0, 250, Upland (Calif.) High. He was projected to be UCLA's fullback in this class. He had committed to UCLA, but as of Monday he's now committed to Colorado.
Demetrius Fairley, 5-11, 195, Garner (North Carolina) High. UCLA's involvement with Fairley is a bit unknown, with Fairley taking an official visit to Westwood last weekend. He has offers from Gardner-Webb and Western Michigan, and tripped to UCLA with his teammate, Greg Milhouse. He doesn't, however, have an offer.
Ian Taubler, 6-6, 250, Fresno (Calif.) Bullard. COMMITTED. His official visit to UCLA sealed the deal for him.
Colby Cyburt, 6-5, 270, Mission Viejo (Calif.) High. COMMITTED.
Alexandru Ceachir, 6-5, 300 Santa Monica (Calif.) City. COMMITTED.
Lacy Westbrook, 6-5, 300, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. COMMITTED.
Carl Hulick, 6-3, 280, Anaheim (Calif.) Esperanza. COMMITTED.
Simon Goines, 6-8, 295, Keller (Tex.) Central. COMMITTED. Goines was one of the offensive line prospects we said was committed elsewhere that would visit the weekend of the 21-22. Goines reportedly had an excellent visit last weekend. UCLA OL coach Adrian Klemm had an in-home visit with him Tuesday night and his Twitter seemed to indicate he was going to commit to UCLA. Goines committed Monday.
Kyle Long, 6-7, 290, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Saddleback College. The son of Howie Long, he's considered a JC guy who could come in and immediately play. UCLA is recruiting him, even though he's committed to Oregon. He will only have one year of eligibility at the FBS level.
Shane Brostek, 6-3, 300, Kamuela (Haw.) Hawaii Prep Academy. He visited UCLA officially last weekend, but his dad went to Washington and he's considered lretty much destined for the Huskies. Latest is that he'll be a Husky.
It's the position, at this time, where UCLA is most in need.
Fabian Moreau, 6-0, 165, Davie (Fla.) Western. COMMITTED. Moreau verbally committed after his visit, and he more than likely projects as a wide receiver, with very good speed. Ohio State and Illinois have gotten involved, but it might be too late.
Randall Goforth, 6-0, 175, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. A soft verbal to Arizona State, Goforth is a talented athlete that will visit UCLA officially January 27th. It's thought that UCLA has a very good chance to get him, and that he could very well project as a receiver at UCLA. Goforth visited UCLA last weekend and reportedly the visit went really well and that he's definitely a candidate to flip to UCLA.
Bryan Harper, 6-0, 170, Ontario (Calif.) Colony. The one-time commitment to Washington, UCLA was pursuing him. Oregon has now offered and is coming on strong, and the word is that he's leaning heavily to the Ducks.
Kenny Walker, 6-0, 175, Richmond (Calif.) Kennedy. Committed to Cal, he was one of the players committed to a Pac-12 school that we alluded to could be visiting UCLA. UCLA has continued to recruit him, and he's gone back and forth on re-committing to Cal. He probably projects as a slot guy in UCLA's new offense. Walker did, in fact, visit UCLA last weekend, and the word was that he came close to committing to UCLA. He's in torn between UCLA and Cal, with Washington also in the picture because Eric Kiesau, who was the receivers coach at Cal, is now the offensive coordinator at Washington, and it will more than likely come down to Signing Day. UCLA assistant Angus McClure and Mora had an in-home visit with Walker. He took an official visit to Washington last weekend, which has complicated his recruiting picture even more.
Bryce Treggs, 5-11, 175, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. The #1 receiver prospect in the west is a bit uncertain with his commitment to Cal after the departure of Cal coach Tosh Lupoi for Washington. He visited UCLA last weekend, and the word is that UCLA is doing very well with him. UCLA made up quite a bit of ground, and UCLA WR coach Eric Yarber is doing all of the heavy lifting, with Yarber, when he was at ASU, having been the first coach to ever recruit and offer Treggs when he was a freshman. As of right now, some sources are saying UCLA is the leader, but it's going to take quite a bit more to get him to reject Cal, his long-time dream school and the alma mater of his father. His mother, though, is a UCLA grad. Sources are saying Treggs is the lynchpin to other recruits -- wherever he goes it could greatly influence many other prospects, like Shaquille Thompson or Kodi Whitfield. Treggs met with UCLA coaches Thursday on UCLA's campus, along with Whitfield. Treggs unofficially visited Cal Saturday and then reportedly UCLA Sunday. Sources are indicating he's leaving toward Cal at this time, but with the break-up of the "Cal Gang" anything could happen before Signing Day.
Javon Williams, 6-5, 186, Chandler (Ariz.) High. A big, possession receiver, Williams, who looked like he'd stay in-state and go to ASU, now says UCLA and Arkansas are his leaders. Williams was Brett Hundley's top receiver as a junior. He visited UCLA last wekend and said: "I love the city & the campus is beautiful." Has he made his decision? "No not yet, it's going to be hard." He'll announce his decision on the Fox Arizona Signing Day Show.
Jordan Payton, 6-2, 205, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. A soft verbal to Cal, he recently was supposed to be leaning toward Washington after an official visit there, but he's made it clear he'd be interested in UCLA if the interest was mutual. That could be happening. Payton reportedly visited UW and UCLA this last weeknd unofficially. There are reports that he's told each one of UCLA, Cal and Washington he's coming.
Malcolm Lewis, 6-0, 185, Miramar (Fla.) High. Committed to Miami, Lewis will be visiting UCLA this weekend. He's a Ricky Marvray type, with good hands and some shiftiness. He didn't have a UCLA offer, but we suspect he received one during the weekend on his oficial visit.
Ahmaad Harris, 5-7, 175, Suwanee (Georgia) Peachtree Ridge. Harris visited UCLA officially last weekend, but we still don't know that much about him. We've heard he projects as a slot receiver, and we don't know what his status is with UCLA at this time. We know that UCLA has not offered him.
Ellis McCarthy, 6-5, 295, Monrovia (Calif.) High. COMMITTED. McCarthy shocked the recruiting world when he verbally committed to UCLA, flipping from Cal. While UCLA fans are still aglow, it has to be said, however, that this is still a long ways from being over, with Washington (where his Cal recruiter, Lupoi, went), Cal and USC going to still go after him hard. UCLA assistant Demetrice Martin got the verbal from McCarthy and he'll have to continue to recruit him aggressively. He visited UCLA the weekend of 21-22 and re-affirmed his commitment to the Bruin staff.
Aziz Shittu, 6-3, 275, Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony. It looked like UCLA would have a shot for the #14-ranked DT in the nation, until Stanford accepted him academically. He visited UCLA last weekend and he reportedly had a good visit and is saying all the right things about having a tough decision to make, but sources are indicating he's going to Stanford.
Gregory Milhouse, 6-1, 250, Garner (North Carolina) High. He's rated the #53 defensive tackle in the nation, despite being pretty light, mostly because of his athleticism and projected ability to put on weight. He visited UCLA, but doesn't have an offer at this time.
Eli Ankou, 6-3, 245, Bear (Del.) Red Lion Christian Academy. COMMITTED. Ankou visited UCLA the first weekend in January, but he's been unavailable for comment since. He could be one of the committed players that UCLA has encouraged to check out other options.
Nate Iese, 6-4, 245, Sacramento (Calif.) Sheldon. COMMITTED. Considered vastly under-rated with tremendous upside, Iese visited UCLA last weekend and verbally committed Thursday.
Aaron Porter, 6-2, 230, La Habra (Calif.) High. COMMITTED. A huge piece of UCLA's class, he will visit Oklahoma, so there is some concern, but this week Jim Mora had an in-home visit with Porter and he said he's fully committed to UCLA.
Kenny Orjioke, 6-4, 215, Marrieta (Georgia) Lassiter. COMMITTED. There was some discussion of whether he projects as a safety or linebacker, but the UCLA coaching staff has talked to him about being a linebacker. He took an official to Arkansas, but he's saying he's still committed to UCLA. He'll have an in-home visit with the Arkansas staff, so we'll see if this one sticks.
Jeremy Castro, 6-4, 245, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta. COMMITTED. Previously verbally committed to Oregon, he always had a liking for UCLA, and he flipped on his official visit January 21-22.
Jeremiah Allison, 6-1, 210, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey. UCLA is high on his list, while he still likes Stanford and visited Washington State. Stanford, though, likely will not offer him. UCLA didn't ultimately pursued him hard and he committed to WSU.
Seth Jacobs, 6-2, 215, Arroyo Grande (Calif.) High. An elite linebacker prospect, Jacobs will visit UCLA January 27th. Oklahoma State and Arkansas could be the biggest competition. He'll announce on Signing Day evening. He visited UCLA last weekend and the word is that he's torn, having been leaning to Oklahoma State previously. Here's our interview with him after his UCLA visit: Jacobs Enjoys UCLA Visit.
Alex Gray, 6-4, 200, Suwanee (Georgia) Peachtree Ridge. A safety in high school, he probably projects as a linebacker in college. Gray visited UCLA, while Arkansas has offered. UCLA, though, has not offered.
Henry Adelman, 5-11, 200, Arroyo Grande (Calif.) High. A teammate of Seth Jacobs and visiting with him this weekend. Adelman doesn't have a UCLA offer.
Ishmael Adams, 5-10, 190, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. COMMITTED. An elite prospect, he was a huge commitment for UCLA. He's been recruiting for the Bruins, and appears to be very solid at this point. He has been a monster of a recruiter for UCLA.
Marcus Rios, 5-11, 170, Elk Grove (Calif.) Consumnes Oaks. COMMITTED. The first commitment for Jim Mora, Rios has been recruiting heavily for the Bruins. He's a potential early entry.
Shannon Edwards 5-10, 175, Bakersfield (Calif.) Ridgeview. COMMITTED. He verballed to the previous staff, but it's clear the new staff wants him. He officially visited last weekend. UCLA asked him to grayshirt, he didn't want to, and he committed to Fresno State.
Jerico Richardson, 5-11, 175, Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany. COMMITTED. Richardson will almost certainly grayshirt, and he could look at other programs, like Colorado or Hawaii.
Justin Combs, 5-9, 175, New Rochelle (NY), Iona Prep. COMMITTED. The son of Sean "Diddy" Combs, he'll visit UCLA this weekend, along with his famous dad.
Dalis Bruce, 5-11, 185, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. While he could be a key to the recruitment of Bryce Treggs, since they're very close, Bruce is a legit prospect in his own right, but he'll probably be a walk-on for either UCLA or Cal. It would definitely help with the recruitment of Treggs, as well as the other Cal-associated recruits. Like Treggs, his father played at Cal -- but exactly like Treggs, Bruce's mom went to UCLA.
Taylor Lagace, 6-1, 200, Arcadia (Calif.) High. COMMITTED. He was verbally committed to Washington but flipped to UCLA when Demetrice Martin came to Westwood.
Trayvon Watson, 5-11, 185, Los Angeles West Adams Prep. COMMITTED. He verbally committed to the previous staff. e never took an official visit to UCLA, academics could be an issue and that could mean he's a likely grayshirt.
Shaquille Thompson, 6-2, 210, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant. One of the few best prospects in the west and the #1 safety prospect in the country, Thompson is verbally committed to Cal, but everything changed when Cal coach Tosh Lupoi left for Washington. Thompson could take an unofficial visit to UCLA, and we know that UCLA's Martin was in Thompson's house for an in-home visit right after the Lupoi announcement. He in fact threatened as late as Friday night to unofficiall visit UCLA last Saturday. We're hearing UCLA still has a chance with him. If UCLA does flip Cal commit Bryce Treggs, it will greatly improve their chances with Thompson. Mora and assistant McClure visited Thompson's school Wednesday. Thompson took an unofficial visit to UW over the weekend and the word is that he's leaning toward the Huskies.
Marrell Jackson, 6-1, 180, Miramar (Fla.) High. A teammate of Malcolm Lewis's who is visiting with him this weekend. Jackson is reportedly a very good student. He doesn't have a UCLA offer.
Ka'imi Fairbairn, 6-0, 165, Honolulu (Haw.) Punahou. He firmed up his verbal with UCLA last week. With Kip Smith's future at UCLA uncertain, it was an excellent bit of recruiting by Mora and staff to keep Fairbairn on board when his high school teammates aren't coming to UCLA.