Football Recruiting Reset: Offense

With the spring evaluation period starting this week, we take an early look at UCLA's main targets on offense...

UCLA has brought in some big classes in Jim Mora's first two recruiting classes, for 2012 and 2013. The 2014 class will be a bit different, however. Rather than consist of 25-27 recruits, the 2014 class will probably be in the 18-20 range. So, UCLA will be far more selective in this class. It's a result, first, of UCLA having less scholarships to give, but also a matter that, with the upswing and momentum of the program, and UCLA having already stocked up in 2012 and 2013, the staff feels it can shoot for an even higher-level of talent in 2014.

Up until a few weeks ago, UCLA hadn't offered many recruits, but the UCLA staff recently went through some recruiting meetings, and a flurry of scholarship offers were the result.

Even though the evaluation period begins this week, the UCLA coaches won't be out to see prospects until UCLA's spring practice is over.


UCLA will be targeting one quarterback in the class of 2014 and they're in on the best in the country.

Kyle Allen, 6-2, 195, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain
National Position Ranking: 1, UCLA Offer
-- The nation's top-ranked quarterback prospect, and only five-star at the position nationally, Allen has been on UCLA's radar for over a year, getting an offer last spring from the Bruins.  But offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has been eying Allen for much longer and has made him a clear priority.  Allen will visit UCLA this spring and plans to make a decision this summer.  UCLA likely won't seriously pursue another quarterback in the region until they have a good gauge of where they stand with Allen, but right now, they're certainly in the mix.

David Cornwell, Norman (Okla.)
National Position Ranking: 6, UCLA Offer
-- Cornwell came to UCLA in February for their mini-Junior Day and the Bruins have offered him.  At this month's Elite 11 regional in Dallas, he had a short list, and while he wouldn't go completely in-depth on who is on it, UCLA didn't really come up.

Manny Wilkins, 6-3, 185, Novato (Calif.) San Marin
National Position Ranking: 15
-- Wilkins is a great athlete that UCLA has already gone to see and he's said he'll be down for their QB Camp in June, and he'd love to get an offer from UCLA.  He's actually an ideal fit for the Bruins offense, with a lot of similarities to Brett Hundley, and he's got as much upside as any quarterback in the region.  Wilkins has a handful of offers but as coaches go out in the spring, we expect his recruitment to grow.

Brandon Dawkins, 6-4, 215, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
National Position Ranking: 17
-- Dawkins has everything you want – size, arm strength and athleticism. Notre Dame and Utah have offered and NC State late last month. He's indicated that UCLA would like him to come to their QB Camp in June, and he comes from a school that UCLA has built a nice pipeline from in the past few years.  Dawkins was at a UCLA practice earlier this month, spending a lot of time with the quarterbacks.

Brad Kaaya, 6-4, 208, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
National Position Ranking: 33
-- Kaaya is another quarterback that will likely camp with the Bruins next month.  He was at a UCLA practice last week and said he had a good conversation with the Mazzone's and will be coming to practices more frequently this spring and plans to sit in on the quarterback meetings.  Kaaya has one offer, from Miami, but UCLA is certainly on his short list.  It just may take a good performance at their camp, and some other dominoes falling at the position, for Kaaya to land a Bruin offer.

Others to Watch:
Morgan Mahalak, 6-3, 190, Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic
Cade Apsay, 6-2, 176, Canyon Country (Calif.) Canyon
Eban Jackson, 6-3, 185, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne


Depending on the fate of Craig Lee, and whether he eventually enrolls at UCLA, the Bruins could be after not just one but two tailbacks for 2014.

Joe Mixon, 6-1, 195, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom
National Position Ranking: 5, UCLA Offer
-- UCLA offered Mixon in early February, but he has offers from around the country and is a major national prospect. He likes UCLA quite a bit and was waiting on the offer and the Bruins made his top 16, but with offers from all over, he's not in any rush to make a decision.  Cal, the hometown school, and Washington, where his teammate signed in February, look to be the early leaders, but UCLA is trying.

Nathan Starks, 6-0, 190, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
National Position Ranking: 9, UCLA Offer
-- Big, strong and quick, Starks could end up a safety. He'll be a top national target.  UCLA offered him, but he's never been real serious about them, and his top five doesn't include the Bruins.

Christian McCaffrey, 6-0, 195, Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian
National Position Ranking: 13, UCLA Offer
-- McCaffrey is the top player in Colorado, and he said last week he plans to whittle his list down to about 10-12 schools after he visits all the schools he's interested in this spring.  One of those schools slated to get a visit from him is UCLA, where he said he's planning to trip to at the end of this month, completing a West Coast swing.  His father, former NFL standout Ed McCaffrey, played at Stanford, and the Cardinal are doing well for him.

Nick Wilson, 5-11, 195, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
National Position Ranking: 24, UCLA Offer
-- Wilson is emerging as one of the best ball carriers in the west for 2014, but he committed to Arizona last month.  UCLA curiously waited until after he verballed to Arizona to offer.  They're hoping to get him down for an unofficial visit, and one of his teammates, Johnny Johnson, signed with the Bruins in February.  UCLA isn't giving up on Wilson, though.

Demario Richard, 5-10, 175, Palmdale (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 26, UCLA Offer
-- Richard is a quick, speedy type that UCLA has offered, seeing him fit in that smaller, scatback role. He likes UCLA but is starting to pick up some more offers, most recently, Oregon and Cal.  He was at UCLA's practice earlier this month and said he does like UCLA, but with more schools getting involved, doesn't seem to want to make an early decision.

Royce Freeman, 6-00, 220, Imperial (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 32, UCLA Offer
-- Few running backs have upped their stock this spring like Freeman, for a variety of reasons.  After some early skepticism because of the competition he's played, Freeman was the MVP of the NFTC, and physically, may be the most impressive running back in the West region.  Since his MVP performance, a number of schools have offered, including UCLA, and the Bruins are high on his list, as is Oregon, which recently offered him.  UCLA has surprisingly done well in Imperial historically, signing the last two Pac-12 prospects from the school in Robert Thomas and Christian Ramirez.

Others to Watch:
D.J. Riggins, 5-11, 180, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Isaiah Brandt-Sims, 6-0, 187, Wenatchee (Wash.)
Chris Leggett, 5-10, 195, Alpharetta (Georgia) Chattahoochee
Kishawn Holmes, 5-8, 170, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta


With UCLA missing on a couple of 2013 receivers, and the UCLA offense needing a big number of receivers, expect UCLA to be going after a good number of them for 2014.

Barry Ware, 6-3, 205, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
National Position Ranking: 87, COMMIT
-- Ware was UCLA's first commit in the 2014 class, committing just a few days after the Bruins offered him.  UCLA was his first offer, a surprise considering his size and skill set and his junior film. A few more schools offered since he committed, but Ware, who was invited to their Junior Day in February, long favored the Bruins.

Michiah Quick, 5-11, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
National Position Ranking: 1, UCLA Offer
-- Quick is one of the top priorities in the 2014 class for UCLA, and for many programs around the country. UCLA obviously has good connections at Central, signing his teammate Johnny Johnson, and his coach has had numerous players go to UCLA. UCLA wasn't originally on his short list, but after a visit to one of their spring practices, they moved into his top five, and UCLA will continue to heavily pursue him.

Malachi Dupre, 6-3, 175, River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian
National Position Ranking: 7, UCLA Offer
-- Dupre is a big target in the SEC, but likes UCLA and visited UCLA in February for the Bruins' Junior Day.  He's also indicated plans to return to the Southland as soon as this month, trying to visit during a UCLA spring practice.  A second trip, on his own dime, is an encouraging sign for the Bruins.

Jalen Brown, 6-2, 175, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe
National Position Ranking: 8, UCLA Offer
-- Already with offers from around the country, Brown is the top receiver in a loaded crop from Arizona, and is the #2-ranked receiver in the region after Quick.  Brown visited UCLA unofficially last month and one of his former teammates, Kenny Lacy, signed with UCLA in February.  UCLA was one of his earliest offers and considering UCLA's recent success in Arizona, Brown is getting the attention that shows UCLA isn't trying to stop there.

Mark Andrews, 6-6, 220, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain
National Ranking: 11, UCLA Offer
-- Like Brown, Andrews is another elite receiver from Arizona, and he's also teammates with UCLA's primary quarterback target Kyle Allen.  Andrews is planning to visit this spring as well.  He's a perfect fit for the Y role, at 6-6, 220, and UCLA is really pushing him on that spot, showing him how they utilized Joe Fauria.

Alex Van Dyke, 6-4, 200, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove
National Ranking: 34, UCLA Offer
-- The top skill player in the Sacramento area, Van Dyke has great bloodlines, his father was an all-American at Nevada before playing for several years with the New York Jets.  Van Dyke was offered last month and UCLA is definitely in the mix for him; he visited unofficially in February and has long coveted a Bruin offer.  He played with cornerback Marcus Rios as a sophomore and is good friends with Rios, who spent time with him on his unofficial visit.

Erik Brown, 6-1, 175, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
National Ranking: 44, UCLA Offer
-- UCLA offered Brown last month and no receiver has blown up this spring like Brown, who had no offers coming into the spring, but is now nearing double-digits.  UCLA is doing very well with Brown and likes where they stand with him, but he's planning to go through the process for a while.

Jalen Harvey, 6-0, 175, El Cerrito (Calif.)
National Ranking: 57, UCLA Offer
-- One of three prospects from El Cerrito that UCLA has offered, Harvey was at UCLA in February for the Bruins' Junior Day and UCLA offered last month.  Harvey was thrilled with the offer as he'd been wanting one since Junior Day, and the idea of playing in college in Los Angeles intrigued him.  Still, local school Cal as well as Arizona State, who offered him first, are recruiting him just as hard.

Others to Watch:
Jacob McCrary, 6-0, 175, Miami (Fla.) Coral Reef
Donovan Lee, 5-9, 165, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Jordan Lasley,6-2, 180, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Justin Holmes, 6-2, 185, Roseville (Calif.) Oakmont
Zaire Andre, 6-0, 175, Inglewood (Calif.)
Ryan Sousa, 6-1, 175, Orlando (Fla.) Lake Nona
Donyeh Patterson, 6-2, 180, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez


UCLA is looking pretty good at the position, but it will undoubtedly bring in at least one Y.

Dalton Schultz, 6-5, 230, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham
National Position Ranking: 1, UCLA Offer
-- Schultz is the top-ranked tight end in the country, but has long thought to be a Stanford lean, and while UCLA has offered, it's a longshot for Schultz.

Tyler Luatua, 6-4, 215, La Mirada (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 2, UCLA Offer
-- On the other hand Luatua, while he'll be a big recruiting battle, is certainly in play for the Bruins. UCLA has a good chance, but he has a brother at Alabama and was a USC fan growing up.  He's got nearly 30 offers from around the country, but he may not leave home, unless it was to be reunited with his brother in Tuscaloosa.

Bryce Dixon, 6-4, 220, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
National Position Ranking: 8, UCLA Offer
-- Dixon has been on UCLA's radar for months, earning an offer from the Bruins back in the fall and he was at their select Junior Day in February and it's clearly known to him that he's coveted by the Bruin staff and is near the top of their board.  Dixon has said that UCLA is certainly a school he's highly interested in, but he's got a handful of national offers, including Florida and Ohio State, so they'll still have to work to get him.

Trevor Wood, 6-5, 235, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral
National Position Ranking: 16, UCLA Offer
-- Wood got an offer from UCLA just recently, another top prospect from Arizona that the Bruins are after.  He's more of a power tight end, a physical blocker with decent hands, than he is a pure Y.  He his junior season with an injury but has looked good thus far this spring.

Others to Watch:
Koda Martin
, 6-6, 235, Manvel (Tex.)
Daniel Helm, 6-4, 220, Chatham (Ill.) Glenwood
Chase Blakley, 6-4, 212, Coeur D'Alene (Idaho)
Zack Bornstein 6-4, 210, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Darrell Cloy, 6-3, 220, La Habra (Calif.)


After taking 7 OLs for 2013, in 2014 they'll probably only take a few

Dominick Johnson, 6-6, 300, College of San Mateo (Calif.)
UCLA Offer
-- We recently told you about Johnson, a JC lineman from the Bay Area who UCLA was the second school to offer.  He's dreamed of playing in either the SEC or the Pac-12, and after dropping nearly 40 pounds this offseason, expect several coaches to stop by CSM to take a look at him, including UCLA.  The Bruins are on his top five and are very much a legitimate factor for him.

Damien Mama, 6-5, 340, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
National Position Ranking: 12 (OT), UCLA Offer
-- The top offensive lineman in Southern California, Mama has offers from all over, and he can play either tackle or guard.  Mama was the MVP of the NFTC and on back-to-back days, Mama was offered by UCLA and USC, just a week after Alabama and Notre Dame offered him.  He's a national recruit, but being a Southland native, UCLA is trying to keep him home.

Casey Tucker, 6-6, 290, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
National Position Ranking: 4 (OT), UCLA Offer
-- An early USC commit, there has been plenty of speculation that Tucker will not, in fact, sign with USC next February.  While he hasn't publicly decommitted, he's open to schools recruiting him and UCLA is one of them, though Arizona State is also making him a focus.

Roderick Taylor, 6-4, 295, Jackson (Miss.) Callaway
National Position Ranking: 4 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- One of the top offensive lineman in the Southeast, Taylor recently named a top five, that was heavy on Southern schools, save one school, UCLA, who was on the top five.  While he'll probably be pretty tough to pull out of the SEC, Adrian Klemm hasn't ever backed down from recruiting against schools that have strongholds in certain regions.

Natrell Curtis, 6-2, 300, Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe
National Position Ranking: 6 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- Another teammate of Kenny Lacy, Curtis is high on UCLA, and once the Bruins offered, it made them even more of a factor.  Arizona State is putting the hometown press on Curtis, but so is Lacy and UCLA.  He's visited once and plans to visit again this spring.  UCLA wants him as an offensive lineman, though several schools have offered him as a defensive lineman.

Viane Talamaivao, 6-3, 290, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
National Position Ranking: 7 (OG), UCLA Offer
--  Talamaivao has been offered by UCLA twice, once by Rick Neuheisel's staff when he was entering his sophomore year, and once by Jim Mora's staff, last summer.  UCLA and Talamaivao have cooled on each other somewhat, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the Bruins started to pick things up again once they see him during the spring.

Jermaine Eluemunor, 6-5, 315, Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna
National Position Ranking: JC 4-star (OT), UCLA Offer
-- Another JC prospect that UCLA has offered and placed a good deal of attention on is Eluemunor, from Pennsylvania.  He has offers from all over the country, with two from the Pac-12, UCLA and Arizona State.  He said earlier this month he's planning to visit UCLA this summer officially (as a JC player, this is possible), with Florida State and Arkansas also receiving an official visit.  UCLA would love to get him and enroll him in January to be around for the spring, to offset a potential early NFL departure of Xavier Su'a-Filo.

Others to Watch:
Austin Hall, 6-6, 295, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep
Jordan Sims, 6-4, 333, Homewood (Ala.)
Jamarco Jones 6-5, 285, Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle
Larry Allen, 6-3, 250, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle

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