Football Recruiting Reset: Offense

As the season quickly approaches, UCLA is going to gear up for an important fall, where a good season could open up many doors for a top class, with the makings of a good one already in place. Here is a offensive recruiting reset as of late August...

With the high school season starting across the country this weekend, and with UCLA starting their season next weekend, its overshadowing what September brings: the beginning of the Evalution Period.

Beginning September 1st, coaches can now get out to see high school prospects play during the season.  Typically, UCLA sends their coaches out the weekends of most home games and bye weeks and their yearly trip to the Bay Area usually has them covering Northern California pretty extensively.

There has already been some attrition this offseason with players leaving the program that still had eligibility (Iuta Tepa and Chris Ward among others), so when players leave, that leaves more scholarships for UCLA to give in the 2013 class.

Right now, UCLA has 11 verbals, with six on offense and five on defense.   Like we said last month in our last reset, UCLA would need to have some more scholarships come February, and they're already on track for that.

UCLA will probably fill out a class of 22 or 23 but are recruiting as if they'll sign 25.

Here is a look at where UCLA stands with their top offensive targets.

QUARTERBACK

With two quarterbacks signed in February, and a third that walked-on, UCLA is only bringing in one quarterback in this class.  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 February and Printz is turning into a recruiter of sorts for the Bruins in the Southeast. He was out for the Bruins' Spring Game and again in the summer with several of his Team Georgia teammates 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.

RUNNING BACK

UCLA got one of the best in the West in the 2013 class, and they'll probably be content with just him, especially with the emergence of Paul Perkins as a freshman.

Craig Lee, Redlands (Calif.)  COMMITTED.  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.  Ten of the 12 Pac-12 schools have offered, but UCLA got him earlier this month, a huge pickup for the Bruins, as he's the #2 running back in the Golden State.  

Other Running Backs to Watch
Khalfani Muhammad, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Aaron Baltazar, Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake

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.  There has been some concerns that UCLA hasn't recruited as well at the receivers position as initially hoped, and valid concerns they are.  Since then, though, UCLA seems to be picking it up a bit.

Sebastian LaRue, Santa Monica (Calif.). A highly skilled two-way athlete, LaRue committed to USC in June, but with their tight numbers crunch, and the likelihood that they will move him to corner, LaRue could end up opening things up and UCLA will continue to try with LaRue and sell him on being their top receiver target. 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, though their first preference, of course, is as a receiver.  Ross also likes Washington, but with the Huskies having two bigger receivers in this class, and UCLA not having any receivers, the Bruins could have an advantage based on their depth chart.  He spent a lot of time at UCLA last month at their camp, despite not camping.  OFFERED

Devon Allen, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep.  The top receiver in Arizona, Allen came out with a top 15 earlier this month and UCLA was listed in it, but we've not heard a whole lot that would indicate the Bruins are a serious suitor for him.  Still, if he keeps paring his list down and UCLA finds themselves on it, they'll gladly continue to pursue him.  He's one of the top track athletes in the West in this class as well.  OFFERED

Julius Wilson, Culver City (Calif.).  UCLA has been high on Wilson for a while, but he's had some work to do academically.  All signs, though, have pointed to him doing well in the classroom, at least enough to get back high on UCLA's recruiting board.  The Bruins would love his speed.  OFFERED

Joshua Taylor, Los Angeles (Calif.) Franklin.  Taylor basically came out of nowhere to put on a show at UCLA's 7on7 tournament last month, in front of the UCLA coaches, and got a lot of attention from the Bruin coaches when it was done, including Eric Yarber.  He's played out of position as a quarterback for Franklin, but is a natural receiver, with good size, body control and hands.  He's also got pretty good speed but there could be some academic questions.

Other Receivers to Watch
Jake Roh, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral

TIGHT END

The days of the traditional tight end might be gone at UCLA, with the move to the "Y" position by Joe 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, and while they haven't offered, they're still on his short list, along with Oregon, who just recently offered.  The other three schools in his top five include Notre Dame, Washington and UCLA, all who've offered.  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, and he's already off to a good start, with four linemen committed.  That said, the attrition of linemen, and the need for more instant impact, is evident, see their recent addition of JC transfer Jacob Seydel.  And they also have a need for more players, so they've offered a few new guys, and pushed on guys they had initially appeared to cool on.

Christian Morris, Memphis (Tenn.) East.  COMMITTED.  The 6-6, 285-pounder was only offered by UCLA in the spring, and immediately shot to the forefront. He committed to the Bruins last month, and his relationship with Klemm was a major reason for his decision to pick the Bruins.  Like any out-of-region prospect, UCLA will have to stay on him, especially if SEC schools put a big push on him, but he's made it seem as if he's all Bruin.

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. 

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.  Oklahoma offered late in spring and he said he may take a visit, but he said he's solid to UCLA.

John Lopez, Orange (Calif.) Orange Lutheran. COMMITTED.  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 and The Opening.  Last month, Lopez's recruitment came full circle, and he committed to UCLA a little over two years after first being offered.  OFFERED.

Kenny Lacy, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe.  The top offensive lineman in Arizona, Lacy is collecting offers from all over the country and while UCLA is on his list and in his final eight, they are also on his much shorter list with Nebraska and Arkansas.  OFFERED.

Scott Quessenberry, Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon.  Another one of UCLA's top targets, Quessenberry was at around during the spring, and was on Quessenberry's short list, but since the summer, when more offers have come, they'd fallen back to the pack a bit.  Most recently, though, the Bruins were in his top three with Cal and Nebraska.  OFFERED.

Poasi Moala, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde.  Moala was offered by UCLA in June, and then committed to Washington a couple of days later.  That said, their proximity to home, and Moala's own comments after he committed, have UCLA thinking they still have a chance, and you can bet they'll still recruit him up until Signing Day.  OFFERED.

Cameron Hunt, Corona (Calif.) Centennial.  Hunt was offered by UCLA earlier this month, an offer he had hoped would come in June after the Bruins Lineman Camp.  He didn't get one and they committed to Cal at The Opening.  But UCLA was his favorite school growing up, and the offer from the Bruins now has him at least considering a visit this fall, as well as to Arizona State, though he says he remains committed to Cal.  OFFERED.

Aaron Cochran, Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony.  Cochran is arguably the biggest, physically, of any offensive linemen in the West.  While UCLA offered early, there wasn't a lot of mutual interest the past few months, but that has changed recently, and Cochran said that UCLA is now in his top four.  Cal, though, would have to be considered the favorite, considering his brother, Matthew, is a freshman with the Bears.  OFFERED.

Riley Sorenson, Santa Margarita (Calif.).  Sorenson got his first offer a year and a half ago from SMU, when Klemm was coaching there, but it wasn't until recently, like after the UCLA Elite Camp, that the Bruins offered him.  UCLA is in his top three with Arizona State and Washington, and all three schools he's interested in have a commit from a teammate.  OFFERED.

David Maka, Tustin (Calif.).  Maka doesn't have an official offer from UCLA yet, but the Bruins staff likes him a lot and the feeling is mutual.  He's had some academic work to do, to get that Bruin offer, and he said he's been doing what he needs in the classrom to get that done, so if he's good after his first quarter, you can expect the Bruins to offer.

Other Offensive Linemen to Watch
Na'Ty Rodgers, McDonough (Md.)
 


Bruin Report Online Top Stories