Football Recruiting Reset: Offense

As the spring evaluation period ramps up, UCLA is in on a number of prospects, and is doing particularly well with a strong group of receivers, the best unit offensively in the region. Here is an offensive recruiting reset as of mid-May...

UCLA is destined for a scholarship crunch. As of this moment in time, even after figuring in the players that will graduate in 2013, the staff has just 9 scholarships to give to the 2013 high school class, and it already has 7 commitments. We've heard that the staff intends to give out upward of 22 when it's all said and done, so that means it's going to have to find 13 more rides by September 2013. Of course, some players will naturally leave the program, through medical retirements, transfers and such. But that's still a boatload of scholarships to dig up.

If UCLA has a good season in 2012, too, more elite prospects will get Bruin fever and consider UCLA seriously.

Of course, having too many elite prospects wanting to come to your program is a luxury that Jim Mora would love to have.

The staff finished off the 2012 class with strength, getting some elite recruits down the stretch of the recruiting season. It has, too, continued that momentum and started off recruiting the 2013 class very effectively. It's a testament to how good this new UCLA staff is at recruiting. It's also a testament to recruits buying into the promise of a new staff and program, and Mora and his coaches benefitting from the natural honeymoon period. Mora's recruiting honeymoon, though, might be shorter than it conventionally would be, since the dismal results on the field for the last, well, decade, has made the UCLA community a little less patient with the program turning the proverbial corner. And recruits are clearly less patient also. So, for UCLA's 2013 recruiting to be successful, Mora is clearly going to have to show something on the field for 2012.

Here is a look at the Bruins' current top offensive targets for 2013. From what we know, they're looking for one quarterback, two running back types, 3 receivers, one tight end, and five offensive linemen.

QUARTERBACKS

With two quarterbacks signed in February, and a third that walked-on, UCLA is only bringing in one quarterback in this class.  While they've offered a couple, we've heard that Printz is their only quarterback target, and with him on board, they're finished recruiting quarterbacks in this class.

Eddie Printz, Marrieta (Georgia) Lassiter. COMMITTED. Printz was at one time an SMU commit, but when Adrian Klemm left for UCLA, he decommitted. An offer from the Bruins came and he committed after taking an unofficial in January.  His teammate Kenny Orjioke signed with UCLA in Februry and Printz is turning into a recruiter of sorts for the Bruins in the Southeast. He was out for the Bruins' Spring Game and while he took some unofficial visits to some Southern schools, is solid to the Bruins and he said the UCLA coaches have told him he's their lone quarterback for this class. OFFERED.

RUNNING BACK

UCLA didn't sign a true running back in the class of 2012, so they've offered a number of prospects in the 2013 class, and already have one committed, albeit from a Georgia native with SEC offers.

Keyante Green, McDonough (Ga.) Eagles Landing Christian Academy.  COMMITTED.  Green has a number of SEC offers, in fact, he reportedly was set to commit to Georgia, but the Bulldogs had too many running backs.  So he committed to UCLA, sight unseen.  That means the Bruins will have to keep recruiting him, considering the list of offers he's had, where he's from, and the fact that he's not seen UCLA.  Still, it doesn't hurt to get a back from the Southeast to commit early.  The key, obviously, is keeping him and he's already talking about taking visits to some schools.  OFFERED.

Pierre Cormier, San Diego (Calif.) Madison. One of the top prospects in San Diego in the 2013 class, Cormier is a very gifted running back who has seen his stock soar through the roof.  He nearly committed to UCLA after the Bruins' Junior Day, but held off, and now UCLA is getting serious competition from schools like Arizona and Fresno State.  OFFERED.

Craig Lee, Redlands (Calif.)  One of the top prospects in the Inland Empire, Lee got an offer from UCLA in January, but got his first offer from Washington, from then-coach Demetrice Martin, and Martin has continued to recruit him now that he's with the Bruin staff, as has Steve Broussard, who's the running backs coach and recruits the Inland Empire.  Nine of the 12 Pac-12 schools have offered, but UCLA remains in contention for him.  OFFERED.

Lavon Coleman, Lompoc (Calif.).  UCLA offered him earlier this spring, and they're in his top five, but Washington is the leader and the likely team to beat for him at this juncture. OFFERED

Khalfani Muhammad, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame. A shorter but faster back, Muhammed had an offer from the previous staff and maintains that from the new staff.  He's in the Maurice Jones-Drew makeup, short and compact but with power and speed.  But like Cormier, he's seen his stock rise and is checking out a number of schools.  OFFERED.

Other Running Backs to Watch
Jalen Ortiz, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial
Aaron Baltazar, Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake
Terrell Newby, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Dontel James, Ontario (Calif.) Colony

WIDE RECEIVER

With the Pistol gone, so likely could UCLA's troubles at recruiting the receiver position.  The Bruin staff has offered a ton of players at this position, and figures to bring in a number of them this year, or at least that is their hope.  And with Eric Yarber not just coaching the receivers, but also having a hand in recruiting them, as well as Southern California as a whole, UCLA is going to be heavily in the mix for numerous top receivers.

Sebastian LaRue, Santa Monica (Calif.). A highly skilled two-way athlete, LaRue may be the best receiver in Southern California in this class and has a number of offers, from all over the country.  UCLA, which is right in his backyard, offered him under Rick Neuheisel and also under Mora.  They'll have their work cut out for them because of how many offers, and who has offered Larue, but they'll have the home-field advantage working in their favorite and he's got a good relationship with Yarber.  OFFERED.

Steven Mitchell, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany. One of the most electric two-way players in the West, Mitchell's recruitment has been intriguing. His first offer was from SMU, when Adrian Klemm came by campus and offered him. Later that day, Washington offered him when Demetrice Martin stopped by Alemany. A couple weeks later, UCLA offered Mitchell. Now Klemm and Martin are at UCLA.   The hangup, though, could be the recruitment of Mitchell's teammate, Jerico Richardson, who was offered by the previous staff, and committed, in the 2012 class.  When told he would be grayshirting, he opted to sign with Nevada.  Mitchell didn't come to UCLA's Junior Day, as their could be some issues between the Alemany staff and the UCLA staff because of Richardson's recruitment, although we've heard those have been rectified some.  And UCLA continues to make an effort with Mitchell.  OFFERED

Francis Owusu, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.  One of the best big receivers in the West, Owusu shined in the postseason for the Lions last year, playing opposite signee Jordan Payton, having his coming out party in the CIF-SS finals against Westlake, where he had four receptions for nearly 200 yards, and three touchdowns.  The younger brother of Stanford receiver Chris Owusu, Francis doesn't have Chris' speed (few do), but he's bigger and much more physical a receiver.  UCLA offered before Junior Day and Stanford has offered as well, as have a number of other national schools.  He's had family members at Stanford, Harvard and Columbia, so academics are a big deal for the Owusus, which will make Stanford tough, but UCLA has done well of late at Oaks and with academics and location, will at least be a real threat to Stanford.  OFFERED  

Demorea Stringfellow, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde. Another big receiver, Stringfellow comes from a school known more for their big guys, Tyron Smith, Ronald Powell and Junior Pomee.  He's one of the better skill prospects in the Inland Empire and UCLA offered him under Neuheisel and he still has a Bruin offer.  He loved UCLA's Junior Day but has blown up nationally, and just this week, USC offered.  He's not been mentioning UCLA nearly as much as he was early on.  OFFERED

John Ross, Long Beach (Calif.) Jordan.  Ross could be the top prospect in the Moore League and in Long Beach, a rarity in that he's not from Poly. Ross was offered by the previous staff but it still stands with the new one and he nearly committed to UCLA at Junior Day.  Ross could play on either side of the ball, and UCLA would take him as an athlete and decide later.  Despite getting other offers, the Bruins are still doing very well with him.  OFFERED

Samajie Grant, Ontario (Calif.) Colony.  Grant can play defensive back, where Arizona offered him, or receiver, where UCLA offered.  Grant was offered by the Bruins at Junior Day in February and that immediately shot the Bruins to the top of his list, but he could be one of those guys that if he doesn't commit early, may not have an offer to commit to later.  OFFERED

Darrell Daniels, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom. A big athlete that could also be a safety, Daniels had a stellar showing at the U.S. Army Combine and is another guy that Angus McClure has found in Northern California.  UCLA was one of his first offers but since then, he's gotten offers from most of the West Coast, and numerous national programs, and he's barely mentioning the Bruins.  OFFERED.

Xavier Shepherd, Lakewood (Calif.).  Shepherd has had a great spring at numerous 7on7 tournaments and the SoCal NFTC and is the ideal slot receiver.  He likes UCLA and the Bruins like him a lot and he's one of the primary slot receiver targets in this class.  OFFERED.

Other Receivers to Watch
Devon Allen, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep- OFFERED
Inoke Lotulelei, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood- OFFERED
Juwan Dickey, Marrieta (Ga.) Lassiter- OFFERED
Julius Wilson, Culver City (Calif.)
Jake Roh, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral
Julius Wilson, Culver City (Calif.)
A.J. Richardson, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne

TIGHT END

The days of the traditional tight end might be gone at UCLA, with the move to the "Y" position by Joseph Fauria and Marques Tuiasosopo being called the "Inside Receivers" coach as much as tight ends coach.  The players they've offered at this position are more in the pass-catching tight end mold (think Ryan Moya) rather than the sixth lineman (think Cory Harkey).

Thomas Duarte, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. For the first time in recent memory, Mater Dei didn't have a player sign with an FBS school. Duarte will make sure that doesn't happen in the 2013 class, already holding a UCLA offer and attending numerous games last fall.  His mom attended UCLA and Duarte was at Junior Day and loved his time there.  USC was his favorite school growing up, not uncommon for Mater Dei players, especially with two of his teammates playing for the Trojans, but UCLA is doing well with him and he had a very good time at Junior Day in February.  OFFERED.

Other Tight Ends to Watch
Siale Fakailoantonga, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood- OFFERED

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

With Adrian Klemm now coaching the offensive line, the Bruins have their best recruiter on offense, and probably their best offensive line recruiter, in well, a long time.  He's the polar opposite from Bob Palcic, his predecessor, who was not much of a recruiter at all (although, to his credit, he was instrumental in landing Xavier Su'a-Filo the first time).  UCLA didn't bring in a lot of offensive linemen in 2012, in what was a banner year for the position, but they got their most important recruit back in Su'a-Filo.  Now Klemm will have had a whole year to recruit this position, instead of less then a month.

Erik Bunte, Santa Margarita (Calif.). COMMITTED. A massive individual, Bunte is 6-7, 310-pounds, and one of three D-I linemen in the 2013 class for the Eagles, who won a state championship. He was one of UCLA's early offer recipients and he had a great time at UCLA's Junior Day and the Bruins ended up getting a commitment from him not long after.  OFFERED.

Sean Dowling, Fallbrook (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  Dowling was first offered by Colorado but then took a trip to UCLA for the Bruins' Junior Day and was one of a select few to leave with an offer.  Dowling has a 4.1 GPA too, so academics are a big deal for him, and the time in Westwood left a good impression on him.  About a month later, Dowling committed to the Bruins, and gave them their second tackle prospect in this class.

Nico Falah, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. On a team that was blessed with numerous skill position stars, Falah was the best lineman on Bosco and is the top lineman prospect in the West.  Falah has offers that span the country, with Florida and Oregon and USC some of the schools to have offered him.  The Bruins were his first BCS offer and his father went to UCLA, so the Bruins have an advantage there and he is clearly the Bruins' top priority on the offensive line. OFFERED.

Christian Morris, Memphis (Tenn.) East.  The 6-6, 285-pounder was only offered by UCLA a couple of weeks ago, but is already feeling the Bruins, just this week releasing a top six, in order, that featured UCLA at the top of it.  He's got a good relationship with Klemm and that is a big reason the Bruins are atop his list.  OFFERED.

John Lopez, Orange (Calif.) Orange Lutheran. Was offered by the previous UCLA staff before he ever played a down of varsity football. He has lived up to it too, with a number of other offers. He was in Westwood for the Bruins' Junior Day and said it was a completely different atmosphere than what he was first introduced to.  After a so-so junior year, he's re-shaped his body and had a good showing at the SoCal NFTC.  OFFERED.

Scott Quessenberry, Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon.  Another one of UCLA's top targets, Quessenberry was at a UCLA practice and said he really enjoyed it and said the Bruins were one of the schools recruiting him the hardest.  Though he plays tackle, he projects as a guard and he's one of UCLA's top interior targets and the Bruins are doing well with him.  OFFERED.

Brayden Kearsley, Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha. One of the premier linemen in the Northwest, Kearsley was offered by BYU last summer and committed to the Cougars.  But now Pac-12 schools are getting in the mix, and several of them have offered, including UCLA.  Kearsley will take an unofficial visit to UCLA this summer.  OFFERED.

Sean Harlow, San Clemente (Calif.).  Harlow just got offered by UCLA on Thursday, and the Bruins became the 10th Pac-12 school to offer him.  His dad played at USC, so that's his dream school, but the scholarship crunch could hurt his chances.  While UCLA was one of the later schools to offer him, their proximity to home could make them a candidate for him.  OFFERED.

Khaliel Rodgers, Elkton (Md.) Christian Academy.  The #2-ranked center in the country, UCLA is one of his top schools and he's coming off a stellar performance at the Baltimore NFTC.  He's definitely UCLA's primary target at the center position and the Bruins have a real chance.  OFFERED.

Kenny Lacy, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe.  The top offensive lineman in Arizona, Lacy is collecting offers from all over the country and UCLA is hoping they have continued success in Arizona.  UCLA was in Arizona this week to check in on Lacy.  OFFERED.

Other Offensive Linemen to Watch
Aaron Cochran, Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony- OFFERED
Riley Sorenson, Santa Margarita (Calif.)
Alex Redmond, Los Alamitos (Calif.)
J.D. Hinnant, Fountain Valley (Calif.)
David Maka, Tustin (Calif.)


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