Latest Football Recruiting Buzz

Coming off a very successful recruiting weekend, UCLA looks to be in very good shape with its remaining targets...

Coming off the big recruiting weekend, we've heard plenty of buzz about UCLA's remaining recruits.

What we're sharing here isn't a comprehensive report, so if there isn't news about a specific recruit that means that we just haven't heard anything recently on him.

First, it has to be said, that we're hearing the experience of the official visits was phenomenal. It appears that Jim Mora's program has stepped up the level of the experience for official visitors to UCLA and it's paying off well.

UCLA, of course, went a very long way to solidifying its future in the defensive secondary, with two elite prospects committing during their official visits last weekend, Johnny Johnson, the cornerback from Fresno East Central, and Tyler Foreman, the safety from Encino Crespi.

Priest Willis, the five-star defensive back from Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza, visited last weekend, and coming off his visit has decided to announce his decision Thursday. It's been thought he was a silent commitment to UCLA for some time, and that now that he's completed his official visits and finished it off with his UCLA visit he's finally going public. As he said yesterday, it will give him the chance to openly recruit for UCLA. We'd be absolutely stunned if he announced he was going anywhere else but UCLA. The announcement will be streamed live Thursday at 2:00 p.m. on FoxSportsArizona.com.

Tahaan Goodman, the four-star safety prospect from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.), visited UCLA unofficially during the weekend, hanging out with Willis, since the two are close friends. Goodman, too, had said he would announce this week if Willis did. We haven't heard specifics yet if that is going to happen, but we're pretty confident that Goodman, too, is going to commit to UCLA. He had a visit scheduled for LSU last weekend, but postponed it, apparently for this weekend, but we'll see if he actually takes the visit. Like with Willis, we'd be incredibly surprised if Goodman decided to go anywhere else to school besides UCLA.

Asiantii Woulard, the four-star quarterback prospect from Winter Park (Fla.), is taking an official visit to UCLA this weekend. Woulard, who was verbally committed to South Florida previously, is now also considering Clemson, Kentucky, North Carolina State as well as UCLA. He's visiting all of those schools, and the reports are that he was very impressed with Clemson on his official visit last weekend. UCLA, though, has some things going for it. First, a crew of UCLA coaches went to Florida yesterday to have an in-home visit with Woulard, including UCLA head coach Jim Mora, and the visit apparently went well. After the Clemson visit, UCLA just wanted some indication that they were still in it, and apparently that was made clear. Mora, too, being on the visit, had a big impact, as well as Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone. Woulard's recruitment is an easy one for UCLA – telling him he's the next Brett Hundley. Woulard is similar in playing style, being a great athlete who run the ball, but also has a strong arm. He perhaps has a stronger arm at this same stage than Hundley did, but Woulard could, overall, be more raw. It actually is a perfect situation at UCLA for Woulard, giving him a year or two to develop in Mazzone's system, watching Hundley, before he'd be expected to step up and win the starting quarterback job.

As of now, Woulard is the only official visitor, but we've heard that there could be others. UCLA-committed offensive linemen John Lopez and Poasi Moala look like they could take their official visits this weekend, which would be good in helping recruiting Woulard. It never hurts to have a couple of 6-5 offensive linemen on a quarterback's official visit weekend, escorting him through parties. We've also heard that many other UCLA commits could take unofficial visits this weekend. The B2G West Coast Bowl is Sunday night, so some UCLA commits and prospects could be in town. Moala, actually, is listed as expected to play in the game. We know that Willis will be town for it, but isn't playing in it, and he's expected to come by UCLA sometime this weekend. Devon Allen, the four-star receiver from Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep, is expected to play in the game, and he could swing by UCLA for an unofficial visit. It might be good to have Willis, if he does, in fact, commit to UCLA Wednesday, do some recruiting on his fellow Arizona native, Allen.

In regard to Allen, we're hearing that UCLA is still looking very good to get his commitment.

UCLA coaches are, this week, primarily focused on in-home visits, with coaches being in the the homes of just about every UCLA recruit or commit this week.

Some Bruin coaches will be in the home of Kylie Fitts, the four-star defensive end from Redlands East Valley, today (Tuesday). Fitts' official visit to UCLA last weekend reportedly went particularly well, and it's looking very good for the Bruins. He will visit Notre Dame this weekend, and then has a plan to visit Utah, even though it could be unlikely he actually does take the visit to Utah on February 1st. UCLA has a great deal going for it with Fitts: 1) He's close to his family and, of course, UCLA is close to home 2) He wants to be an early entrant, and UCLA is on the quarter program, which allows him to enroll in spring, in time for spring practice, and 3) USC might have been UCLA's toughest competition, since he had been committed there and they are also close to home, but we're hearing USC isn't looking good for Fitts right now. He has said he'll be a Signing Day announcement.

UCLA coach Angus McClure and other UCLA coaches will be in the home of Eddie Vanderdoes, the five-star defensive lineman from Auburn (Calif.) Placer, Thursday. Vanderdoes is just coming off his official visit to USC and, from what we've heard, USC pulled out all stops on his official visit. But it's very encouraging for UCLA that he withstood USC pressure to re-commit to the Trojans and, from what we've heard, remains a UCLA lean. Vanderdoes will officially visit Notre Dame this weekend, and has a plan to visit Alabama on February 1st. He'll definitely take the visit to Notre Dame, but it will be interesting to see if the visit to Alabama happens. It will also be interesting to see if Notre Dame and Alabama, who were late to his recruiting, can overcome the feeling that they were never interested previously, and are only trying to cash in on their BCS Championship appearances, while already having commitments from a good amount of defensive linemen (Alabama, in particular). Also, like with Fitts, Vanderdoes is very close to his family and it's thought that it's unlikely he'd go across the country to go to school. His entire family went with him on official visit to UCLA and USC, and it's unlikely they'll all be able to go with him on his Notre Dame and Alabama visits. It also probably can't hurt to have Fitts and Vanderdoes, two guys we think are leaning to UCLA, visiting Notre Dame on the same weekend. As of right now, it's a UCLA-USC battle, and you have to like UCLA's chances at this point.

Myles Jack, the four-star linebacker from Bellevue (Wash.), who is verbally committed to UCLA, reportedly had a great official visit to Westwood. The feeling is that he's pretty much done to UCLA ast this point. He'll visit Washington this weekend, which has long been thought to be a big threat to UCLA for Jack. But we're hearing that, if there is any threat, it could be Arizona State, which Jack visited the weekend previously. His parents attended ASU. He's supposed to visit Florida State on February 1st, but it's questionable whether he actually takes that visit. Again, UCLA is looking pretty good with Jack, with Jack and his family giving every indication that he was sticking with his commitment to UCLA this weekend. It's well-known that Mora has a personal connection to Jack, since Mora's son goes to Bellevue and he and Jack are friends. All head coaches get to conduct one in-home visit with a recruit, and Mora has yet to use his with Jack, wisely saving it until probably after his Washington visit. There is also the connection that Jack wants to get into sports broadcasting after football, and Mora, of course, has a great deal of experience with that on the NFL Network.

UCLA's offensive line coach Adrian Klemm will visit UCLA-committed Christian Morris, the offensive lineman from Memphis (Tenn.) East. Morris, perhaps, is the the committed OL that has been the biggest worry of whether he'd stick with his commitment. He visited hometown Tennessee the previous weekend, and decided not to visit Ole Miss, which was scheduled for last weekend. He has said he'll announce his final decision on Signing Day. We've heard, though, that Morris is solid to UCLA, and it's unlikely he doesn't sign with the Bruins.

Patrick Enewally, the standout defensive back prospect from Cerritos (Calif.) Gahr, took his official visit to UCLA last weekend and it appears, from what we've heard, to have moved UCLA into the lead for him. It's a bit surprising since Enewally was considered a long-time Washington lean. Mora is expected to have an in-home visit with Enewally this week. Cal, too, is expected, but they're running third behind UCLA and Washington. Cal wants Enewally to officially visit this weekend, but it doesn't sound like that will happen, with Enewally playing in the West Coast Bowl. He also said he could announce at the game, and if that happens the smart money is that he'd announce for UCLA. Washington, though, should be relentless, and there would a week and a half before Signing Day, and you'd expect that there could be a chance that Enewally vacillates before then. No matter if he announces a verbal commitment, this is definitely one that will go down to the actual signing of the National Letter of Intent.

We haven't heard that much on Isaac Savaiinaea, the #3-ranked inside linebacker from Honolulu (Haw.) Punahou. It's down to UCLA and Texas A&M, and the latest is still that it looks like UCLA for him.

Cameron Judge, the committed linebacker from Westlake Village Oaks Christian, told us that he very well could announce his decision between UCLA and ASU next week. He also could take his official visit to UCLA February 1st.

UCLA is still in the running for Cornelius Elder, the speedy four-star running back from Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth. There was a recent report that it was now between UCLA and Ohio State, with the Buckeyes probably leading. He, though, is apparently visiting Georgia Tech this weekend and Ole Miss on February 2nd. It's considered somewhat of a longshot for UCLA at this point, but there are some close to the situation that say the official visit he took to UCLA for the UCLA/USC game left a big impression. Elder is pretty slight, at about 5-9 and probably 175 pounds, so there is some question of whether he'd play running back on the next level. He's a talented athlete, however, with very good speed and quickness. He's also a pretty talented basketball player, a D-1 level prospect, and he wants to go somewhere he can walk on to the basketball team.

Takkarist McKinley, the 6-4, 245-pound athlete from Richmond (Calif.) Kennedy, is an intriguing prospect. He's verbally committed to California, but has been looking elsewhere since the Cal coaching change. He visited Washington State previously, and could visit San Diego State this weekend. He's interesting because he is an exceptional athlete for his size, with track speed, and very good quickness. The issue could be that McKinley wants to be a linebacker, but the way his body is going he'll probably end up at defensive end, and he'd be potentially a devastating force at that position, given his athleticism and length. The word is that he could officially visit UCLA February 1st.

We updated you on the injury status of Mossi Johnson, the UCLA-committed athlete from Los Angeles Crenshaw. Johnson was injured in the Offense-Defense Bowl about three weeks ago, and according to Johnson, it was a tear of his MCL and a slight tear of his ACL. He said surgery isn't certain right now, and that he'll see a doctor again in a few weeks for an update. It's pretty certain, then, that he more than likely wouldn't be able to immediately contribute this fall, and then the options would be to redshirt or possibly grayshirt. There have been questions about whether he'd have to redshirt and to come in this summer to benefit from getting any potential surgery at UCLA. He could, however, enroll in UCLA's summer session, like all incoming freshmen, and get the surgery, and still end up grayshirting. So, there are options available for Johnson, depending whatever has to happen in regard to any potential surgery.


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