In 2012, UCLA Head Coach Jim Mora and his staff brought in the #12-ranked class, only a matter of days after coming on the job in Westwood.
In 2013, after the Bruins had a good season in 2012, and much was made of Mora turning around UCLA football, UCLA then signed the nation's #5-ranked class.
The 2014 UCLA class will be a little different, with UCLA probably not having the 25-27 scholarships to give like they did in 2012 and 2013, but probably more in the 17-20 range. Given that the Bruins have filled up on bodies for 2012 and 2013, and the smaller projected class, UCLA will almost certainly take a decidedly different tact with 2014, and be far more selective.
It might feel a bit different to all the BRO recruitniks, too; there will be recruits you would normally think that UCLA should be on in any other year, but they simply aren't in 2014.
It's March, so it's very early, and we know that any list of UCLA's top targets is going to look considerably different by next January. But with the smaller projected class, and UCLA being more selective, with its big board having far less names on it for 2014, it gives us a chance to perhaps get a better earlier handle on how the class might ultimately shape up.
The following list isn't at all comprehensive. It doesn't even have all of the prospects UCLA has offered on it. But, as of right now, in March, these are the guys that 1) UCLA has as a top target and 2) are doing really well with so far, and we think they'll have a legitimate chance to get and 3) we can see the scenario of how they'll end up at UCLA. So that means there are plenty of players, like say Michiah Quick, Nathan Starks or Malachi Dupre, that aren't on the list -- not because UCLA hasn't offered them or isn't recruiting them hard, but we just don't think they're prospects that UCLA ultimately will get.
In other words, this could be a far-premature but realistic guess (based on what we know at this time) at how UCLA's 2014 class might shake out.
Kyle Allen, 6-3, 200, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain, Ranking: #1 QB
Other Most Likely:
Manny Wilkins, 6-3, 190, San Marin (Calif.) Novato, #15
David Cornwell, 6-5, 215, Norman (Okla.) Norman North, #8
Foster Sawyer, 6-5, 205, Fort Worth (Tex.) All Saints' Episcopal, #22
Brad Kaaya, 6-4, 210, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade, #32
After getting Asiantii Woulard in 2013, UCLA will probably only take one quarterback for 2014. Right now, it's pretty clear (if you've been reading the front page of BRO lately), that UCLA's #1 QB target is Allen, the nation's #1 prospect at his position (as of yesteday). Allen, who was already pretty good, looks like he's even gotten better, now being all of 6-3, bigger and stronger. UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone and assistant Taylor Mazzone have been recruiting Allen since Mazzone was at Arizona State and have a good relationship with him. Right now, it looks like it could be between UCLA, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Of course, being the #1 QB in the nation, Allen's going to have an avalanche of recruiting attention and he, of course, could be swayed any direction. He has said, however, that he'd like to make a decision before his senior season, which means this summer, and that could limit him to the schools he's going to be able to see, which he says are the four current leaders. UCLA and the Mazzones, then, have a very good chance here.
Wilkins would be our second-best best for a quarterback for 2014. UCLA hasn't offered yet, mostly because the Mazzones, who are the final word on quarterback recruiting at UCLA, haven't yet seen him in person. You would expect the Mazzones to accompany Angus McClure (the assistant who recruits Northern Cal) this May (during the evaluation period) on a trip to San Marin to see Wilkins, and Wilkins intends to camp at UCLA in June. Wilkins looked very good in the NLA 7-on-7 in Las Vegas recently, and received some initial offers -- from Arizona and Utah State. We anticipate that Wilkins will get more offers once he participates in more camps, and the hope is that UCLA joins the offer fray before too long. We know that Wilkins really likes UCLA, with the Bruins being the probable favorite, according to some close to his recruitment. It would be good, then, that UCLA, if it's going to have a chance, offers fairly soon, so it doesn't lose ground with those that are offering. It's good that Allen will potentially make a decision early, because then UCLA won't have to keep Wilkins hanging long.
Cornwell visited UCLA at its Meet-and-Greet about a month ago, on his own dime from Oklahoma. That's a pretty good indication of his interest level. He has said he wants to leave Oklahoma for college. Sawyer goes to the same high school as did current UCLA freshman quarterback T.J. Millweard, so the Mazzones have a pretty established relationship with him. Each of them as possibilities diminishes some merely because they're from outside the west.
Kaaya might be the next most likely. He looked good at the recent Vegas event, and he's a very good student. He probably favors Stanford, but the word is that Keller Chryst, the nation's #2- ranked quarterback (Allen just displaced him at #1), could be a lock for Stanford, since he goes to Palo Alto High School, which is literally across the street from The Farm. He has the academics for it, and his father, who is the quarterbacks coach of the 49ers, would probably want to have his protege son close. If Chryst commits to Stanford, we've heard that UCLA could be Kaaya's next favorite. Kaaya has said he has tentative plans to attend UCLA's quarterback camp in June, and that will go a long way to whether UCLA recruits him seriously.
More 2014 Recruiting Class Analysis Coming Soon...