Asiantii Woulard, 6-4, 210, Winter Park (Fla.),
Woulard is an exceptional prospect. He has a combination of great size, arm strength and athleticism. He is similar to Brett Hundley, but probably with a bit stronger arm, but overall more raw as a prospect. Woulard only started playing quarterback two years ago. He was an underdog at last summer's Elite 11 competition, but beat out more highly-hyped players like Max Browne, the #1 quarterback prospect in the country, committed to USC, and won the event.
Immediate Impact: Probably not too much. As a true freshman, Woulard will come in behind Hundley, Jerry Neuheisel and T.J. Millweard. As we said, he's raw and is at the beginning of his quarterback learning curve, so he'll be behind all of them in his development. But we expect that Woulard will move ahead of Neuheisel and Millweard on the depth chart because of his considerably more upside in talent. It's a matter of when. The question is, once he gets to UCLA in June for the summer session, then enrolls in fall, how long will it take for Woulard to make the vault to #2 QB? It might actually not happen for Woulard as a true freshman, because you can't under-estimate how difficult the transition is for a true freshman quarterback to go from high school to college. We'd actually be surprised if it happened for him in 2013. In fact, the ideal scenario is that Neuheisel continues to develop enough that he is a serviceable back-up to Hundley in 2013 – and that Hundley never gets injured. That way, for Woulard, he can redshirt, develop without having to be thrown into the fire, and UCLA retains a year of his eligibility.
Long-Term Impact: . Significant. We foresee, with his upside, Woulard being UCLA's starting quarterback when Hundley leaves the program. If we had to guess, we think Hundley will stay at UCLA through his redshirt junior year, which is the 2014 season (that would mean Hundley foregoing his senior year). If that's the case, Woulard would take over in 2015, when he is a redshirt sophomore. That's just about the right amount of time to give him to develop and be prepared, while giving him enough time to make his mark as UCLA's starter.
Craig Lee, 6-0, 190, Redlands (Calif.),
The word is that Lee is completely sold on UCLA and will do what he has to do to get admitted academically. We've heard he'll have to improve his GPA over his last high school semester, with a combination of an improved SAT score. But we've also been told that he's well within reasonable range of doing that. So, we're fully expecting Lee to end up a signed Bruin. And it very well might be by this fall.
Lee, in all of the hullabaloo of UCLA potentially getting over running back recruits late in the recruiting season, was over-looked a bit in terms of his talent. He is an exceptional talent, with the size and potential strength to be an every-down back, and the explosiveness to be a game-breaker. Yes, UCLA probably wanted two running backs in this class, but if Lee becomes a Bruin, it's a very successful running back recruiting result.
Immediate Impact: If he makes it to UCLA for the 2013 season, we think he'd compete for immediate playing time. UCLA's running back position is completely up for grabs with the departure of Johnathan Franklin. The word is that Damien Thigpen has a decent chance to return from his ACL in time for the 2013 season. Jordon James will be competitive, but will have to take a major step forward to get a bulk of the carries. Steven Manfro proved very worthy of taking on some regular carries, but not probably as a three-down back. Redshirt freshman Paul Perkins, who is a solid 5-11 and 200 pounds, might be the most likely candidate to get the bulk of the carries. We think, though, that Lee has the capability of competing with Perkins, even though Perkins has the advantage of being in the program for a year. As we've reported, there is also the possibility that Malcolm Jones will return to UCLA, as a walk-on, and that could definitely help, to have a bigger-back option and more experienced depth.
Long-Term Impact: Lee has the tools and potential to win the starting tailback spot at UCLA, and even sooner rather than later. If he does come in this fall, we'd expect him to be in the rotation in 2013, and then, after a year of development, be poised to provide serious competition to take over the #1 running back spot in 2014.
Thomas Duarte, 6-4, 225, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei,
Eldridge Massington, 6-3, 205, Mesquite (Tex.) West Mesquite,
Darren Andrews, 5-10, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat,
Jalen Ortiz, 5-9, 175, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial,
Immediate Impact: There is definitely some space available in the 2013 wide receiver rotation. You have Shaquelle Evans as, really, the only returning completely proven receiver. The others are Devin Lucien, Jordan Payton, Kenny Walker, and Devin Fuller, who are all freshmen and need to step and win their roles, and Ricky Marvray, who has been in the doghouse and we've heard is a serious contender to transfer. If Massington is healthy we'd expect him to compete for time in the rotation. Of course, UCLA utilizes a great deal of different types of receivers, at the X, Z, Y and F. While Joseph Fauria was officially the Y last season, he did line up occasionally outside. We could see Duarte, who is considerably talented, being used split wide, more like an X or Z than a Y. With Fauria's departure, Duarte will have a chance to play immediately, being a pass-catching type of tight end. Andrews is a slot type, and Ortiz an F-back like Manfro. We feel they could probably redshirt next season, given the bodies ahead of them that are used at those positions.
Long-Term Impact: Massington and Duarte have starter potential long-term, while Andrews and Ortiz are probably projected more as role players.
Poasi Moala, 6-5, 265, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde,
Kenny Lacy, 6-5, 270, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe,
Christian Morris, 6-6, 285, Memphis (Tenn.) East,
Caleb Benenoch, 6-6, 317, Katy (Tex.) Seven Lakes,
Alex Redmond, 6-5, 295, Los Alamitos (Calif.),
Scott Quessenberry, 6-3, 265, Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon,
John Lopez, 6-5, 305, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran,
Immediate Impact: Klemm has said that, except for Xavier Su'a-Filo, the other four starting OL spots are up for grabs. Probably more realistically there are three spots open, since we think returning All-American freshman center Jake Brendel has a pretty firm grasp on that starting position. Starting three freshmen OLs this season, it's pretty clear that Klemm has no qualms about starting freshmen, so it's just not lip service when it's said these seven incoming OL will get a chance to compete to start. While we think Moala might have the most long-term potential, he might be a little light to come in and compete at tackle. Same with Lacy. Quessenberry we'd expect won't be able to move Brendel at center for next season. Lopez has to continue to improve his body and get stronger, and is probably looking at a redshirt. The candidates to realistically compete to play in 2013 are probably Morris, Benenoch and Redmond. While Torian White and Simon Goines started last season at tackle, they struggled at times. Goines did have a knee injury the entire season that he had to play through. But we know Klemm loves Morris and thinks he could compete with those two next season. Morris is very similar, in fact, to Goines, but perhaps a little better athlete. UCLA will have at least one open guard spot (possibly two, if Su'a-Filo moves to tackle), and Benenoch and Redmond could easily compete for starting spots. They are the most physically ready, and already have the toughness and mean streak of a successful college OL.
Long-Term Impact: As we said, Moala might have the most upside long-term. He has great quickness, with great feet, and a big frame that will easily be able to put on weight. We shouldn't even discount him getting up to 290-ish and competing in 2013 for one of the tackle spots. We project him as a starter down the line and a potential All Pac-12 type. Lacy could be the most athletic among all of the incoming OL recruits, but needs to get bigger and stronger and a bit tougher. As we said, Morris, Benenoch and Redmond are starter material, as early as next season. Benenoch and Redmond are probably UCLA's starting guards of the future, and future all Pac-12ers. Quessenberry will be in line to take over the starting center spot after Brendel. Lopez has good size and pretty good quickness; in any other year we'd be hailing him as a big-time get and a potential starter down the line, but there is such a huge amount of talent and bodies now at OL. The long-term impact, really, overall, is that UCLA now has some upside in talent to have an elite OL over the next four or five seasons – already on its roster in 2013. How's that an indication of the significant sea change in UCLA's football program, compared to the last decade of piece-mealing an offensive line together from converted DLs and walk-ons?