2014 Prospects: Defense

UCLA already has quite a few offers out to 2014 defensive prospects, including several big time defensive backs...

DEFENSIVE ENDS

It will be a big priority to get two DEs in 2014, and UCLA has some good early targets.

Solomon Thomas, 6'3, 245, Coppell (Tex.)
National Position Ranking: 3, UCLA Offer
--Thomas impressed UCLA last year at its Elite Camp in April. He's a very athletic player with a quick get off from the edge. We've heard that he really enjoyed his time at UCLA last year, and that the Bruins have a legitimate shot at him.

Nifae Lealao, 6'5, 270, Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian
National Position Ranking: 6, UCLA Offer
--UCLA was one of Lealao's early offers, and the athlete is interested in also playing basketball in college. He might be leaning toward Stanford at the moment.

Malik Dorton 6'1.5, 220, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
National Position Ranking: 17, UCLA Offer
--Dorton is a bit of a tweener for UCLA's system, and would more than likely be recruited as an outside linebacker rather than a defensive end. He's an explosive edge rusher. We've heard he's very high on UCLA, and he visited practice in December. He could be UCLA's first commitment.

Qualen Cunningham 6'4, 225, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
National Position Ranking: 12, UCLA Offer
-- Cunningham is one of the best prospects in Arizona, has a good collection of early offers and we've heard UCLA covets him.

Kennedy Emesibe, 6'3.5, 235, Oak Hills (Calif.)
--Emesibe is the brother of current UCLA running back Melvin Emesibe. Kennedy could develop into a very good defensive end.

Others to Watch
Malik McDowell, 6'6, 300, Detroit (Mich.) Loyola
Uriah Leiataua, 6'4, 265, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Myles Garrett, 6'4, 230, Arlington (Tex.) Martin
Dante Sawyer, 6'4, 247, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett
Sumner Houston, 6'3, 240, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Andrew Brown, 6'4, 295, Chesapeake (Virg.) Oscar F. Smith

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

Nose guard is like quarterback, you need to take at least one every year.

Ainuu Taua, 6'1, 270, Lompoc (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 4, UCLA Offer
--With the frame to still add more weight, Taua could be a potential nose guard at UCLA. He's very quick for his size, and has a good motor. UCLA offered him early, and is actually his early leader.

Bryan Mone, 6'4, 316, Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland
National Position Ranking: 7, UCLA Offer
--The big defensive tackle earned an offer from UCLA in the fall, but Mone's early leader has been Michigan. Still, the thought is that UCLA has a decent shot at him.

Others to Watch
Elisha Shaw, 6'4, 293, Tucker (Ga.)
Tashon Smallwood, 6'1, 285, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
Tyrone Fa'anono, 6'2, 250, Westlake (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Greg Gaines, 6'1, 273, La Habra, (Calif.)

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

After getting a good, deep crop in 2013, you'd probably think they wouldn't need that many LBs in 2014, but they'll lose Barr, Zumwalt, Bowens, and Graham in 2013, so UCLA will need to take probably three LBs (inside and outside combined) for 2014.

Marquis Ware, 6'2, 210, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
National Position Ranking: 5, UCLA Offer
--UCLA is one of Ware's early standouts, alongside Boise State, Texas A&M and Washington. He's one of the more physically impressive juinor linebackers in the West. Since he's at Salesian, there is a concern that the Jermaine Kelly situation might be something to overcome for UCLA.

Dwight Williams, 6'1, 212, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
National Position Ranking: 12, UCLA Offer
--Williams figures to be one of the most recruited linebackers in the country next year, with a huge offer sheet already. He has excellent physical tools, with good agility and athleticism. We've heard he likes the Bruins, and that he was impressed with their performance against USC this year.

D.J. Calhoun, 6'1, 205, El Cerrito (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 19, UCLA Offer
--Calhoun actually thought about committing to UCLA after visiting for the Arizona game last year. Calhoun could potentially be recruited as a mini-linebacker at UCLA.

Others to Watch
Rashaan Evans, 6'3, 215, Auburn (Ala.)
Jamardre Cobb, 6'2, 215, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
Bryson Allen-Williams, 6'2, 213, Ellenwood (Ga.) Cedar Grove
Greg Hoyd, 6'2, 200, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista
Tyler Cook, 6'3, 204, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista

INSIDE LINEBACKERS

Nyles Morgan, 6'3, 220, Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee
National Position Ranking: 4, UCLA Offer
--The stud linebacker is seeing great interest from the Big Ten, so it could be difficult to pull him out of the Midwest.

Shaun Hamilton, 6'1, 222, Montgomery (Ala.) Carver
National Position Ranking: 16, UCLA Offer
--Prior to his junior year, Hamilton listed Auburn and Clemson as his favorites, but now says he has no clear favorite since his offer list expanded.

Others to Watch
Kain Daub, 6'3, 230, Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood
Chandler Leniu, 6'1, 225, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Taylor Wille, 6'2, 205, Norco (Calif.)
Royce Freeman, 6'1, 200, Imperial (Calif.)

SAFETIES

After doing so well at safety, getting two and possibly three (depending on where Priest Willis shakes out), UCLA will be selective, probably taking just one, or two if there are an elite two that want to come.

Nick Glass, 6'1, 202, Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree
National Position Ranking: 19, UCLA Offer
--The Georgia prospect is planning on visiting UCLA this weekend.

Koa Farmer, 6'1, 195, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
--The safety prospect is currently committed to California, but we've heard that if UCLA offered, the Bruins would have a good chance of flipping him.

Others to Watch
David Williams, 6'0.5, 175, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey
John Bonney, 6'0.5, 175, Houston (Tex.) Lamar
Devon Brewer, 6'0, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
Kendall Randolph, 5'11, 180, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln
Kyle Gibson, 6'0, 165, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood

CORNERBACKS

You can never have enough cornerbacks since, like defensive tackles and quarterbacks, it's so difficult to find good ones. Expect UCLA to take two for 2014.

Edward Paris, 6'1, 190, Arlington (Tex.) Mansfield Timberview
National Position Ranking: 4, UCLA Offer
--UCLA made Paris' top ten, but the cornerback is thought to favor LSU at the moment. Still, he has visited UCLA, so there's legitimate interest, and he will be on campus this weekend for a meet and greet.

Adoree Jackson, 5'10, 170, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
National Position Ranking: 8, UCLA Offer
--Jackson currently has USC and LSU as his favorites, but the Bruins will continue to work on him. He'll be on campus this weekend for a meet and greet.

Budda Baker, 5'10, 175, Bellevue (Wash.)
National Position Ranking: 9, UCLA Offer
--UCLA has already been in contact with Baker, and Baker figures to get offers from the entire Pac-12. Baker is close with incoming UCLA linebacker Myles Jack and, although it's expected that Washington will come after him hard, UCLA has a decent chance.

Adarius Pickett, 5'11, 176, El Cerrito (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 26, UCLA Offer
--Pickett should be on campus for one of UCLA's junior meet and greets this month. A teammate of D.J. Calhoun, the players may have interest in playing together in college. From what we've heard, UCLA is doing well with him.

Others to Watch
Jabrill Peppers, 6'0, 190, Paramus (NJ)
Jonathan Lockett, 5'11, 170, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Jamirr Holland, 5'11, 185, Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill
Jalen Tabor, 6'1, 175, Washington (D.C.) Edison-Friendship
Rodney Carr, 5'11.5, 183, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
Quinton Tartabull, 5'10, 180, Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany
Naijiel Hale, 5'11, 170, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Chris Hardeman 5'9, 178, Houston (Tex.) Taylor
Jermaine Roberts 5'11, 180, New Orleans (Lou.) St. Augustine


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