UCLA at The Opening: Recruiting Buzz

The Opening starts Sunday, and here's the recruiting buzz we have on the UCLA recruits participating...

Scout.com's complete coverage of The Opening 2013 presented by NIKE
Here's a recruiting breakdown of the UCLA prospects participating in The Opening June 30- July 3. The group is led by a strong crop of defensive backs, arguably the strongest position out west this year.


Brad Kaaya, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Kaaya gave an early commitment to Miami and looks very solid with the Canes although West Coast programs will still try for him, especially UCLA.

Running Backs:

Royce Freeman, Imperial (Calif.)
Freeman just visited Oregon and the Ducks look good but Florida, UCLA and USC are trying hard as well.

Joe Mixon, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom
Mixon still has a list of 15 schools but could make another cut soon. California, Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Washington all should make the next cut. If UCLA does indeed get Calhoun and possibly Pickett, it could be compelling for their friend Mixon to jump on board.

Wide Receivers:

Erik Brown, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
Brown just indicated he'll announce his choice at The Opening. It's thought to be between UCLA and Washington, but the word is that the Huskies will almost certainly get this one.

Michiah Quick, Fresno (Calif.) Central
Quick's current list consists of Alabama, California, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, USC and Washington, and those close to his recruitment feel the Sooners, Bruins and Trojans are doing well with him right now.

Juju Smith, Long Beach Poly (Calif.)
Smith is open and will take all five visits. Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA and USC are all on the short list.

Christian Kirk, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro (2015)
Kirk has offers from all over the country but UCLA was the first school to offer him, when he was midway through his freshman year and he's already one of the most heavily recruited 2015 prospects in the country.

Malachi Dupre, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian
Skinny: Dupre is a smooth wideout with speed, hands, and big-play ability. He may not put up huge numbers due to the system he plays in, but do not let that fool you. LSU was the childhood favorite, so the home-state school is thought to be the leader, but UCLA has had him on campus three times, unofficially. It's thought to be between LSU and UCLA.

Josh Malone, Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp
This long, lean, and fluid wideout holds over 30 scholarship offers. He is close to narrowing down his list for the first time, but Scout looks at Georgia, Notre Dame, and Tennessee as legit contenders for this Scout 300 receiver along with UCLA, where he camped last weekend.

Corey Holmes, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas
Skinny: This speedy, big play wide receiver from STA has offers from across the country. He loves Notre Dame and Michigan but also wants to see UCLA and possibly some others before his decision.

Tight Ends:

Tyler Luatua, La Mirada (Calif.)
Alabama, where his older brother Isaac plays, looks good for Luatua but Michigan Notre Dame, UCLA and USC are still trying as well. The word is if he stays on the west coast, it'd be UCLA.

Offensive Linemen:

Kammy Delp, Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch
Delp is hoping for an offer from one of the local schools, UCLA or USC, and also likes Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington. He grew up a USC fan, and if USC or UCLA offered, either probably get him.

Damien Mama, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Mama is a national recruit and will take all five official visits. Alabama and Ohio State are on the short list along with Notre Dame, UCLA and USC. USC is thought to be the favorite, but UCLA is recently making up some serious ground.

Viane Talamaivao, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Talamaivao missed most of his junior season but still landed an offer from Alabama and jumped on it. UCLA was the longtime leader before this spring. Both the Bruins and Trojans are trying. He's close with both Mama and Delp, and all three going to the same school could be compelling for them.

Demetrius Knox, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints
Knox has made no bones about his interest in UCLA via social media, and when he visited last week, he said he was blown away.  He clearly has UCLA in the lead at this point.

Defensive Lineman:

Ainuu Taua, Lompoc (Calif.)
UCLA, Ole Miss, Washington and Wisconsin currently top his list with the Bruins probably the team to beat.

Solomon Thomas, Coppell (Texas)
Skinny: Thomas camped with UCLA last summer and the Bruins have made him a key out-of-state target, but the Midlands schools and Stanford are also making a major push for him. Stanford could be tough to beat.


D.J. Calhoun, El Cerrito (Calif.)
Calhoun will announce at The Opening with UCLA and USC the team to beat. The more we hear, the more we think he'll pledge to UCLA.

Dwight Williams, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Williams will visit Florida and Michigan and says he's wide open, recently narrowing his list to 15 schools. We've heard, however, that UCLA is in the driver's seat.

Rashaan Evans, Auburn (Ala.)
Evans is an elite pass rusher off the edge. He has great anticipation, he gets to the quarterback in a hurry, and he is explosive. Auburn is just down the road from his home, but the word is that Auburn is pretty much out. He recently named Georgia and UCLA as his top two schools, and while Georgia has the proximity advantage, it's encouraging that UCLA is in his top two without the prospect ever having visited UCLA. He could very well sometime this summer.

Christian Miller, Columbia (S.C.) Spring Valley
Skinny: Miller committed to Florida early in the process, but has since backed off that decision. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and UCLA look to be the major contenders right now with Tennessee in the mix as well.

Defensive Backs:

Budda Baker, Bellevue (Wash.)
Baker has maintained a top three of Oregon, UCLA and Washington for months and that's still the case. Arizona State and Notre Dame round out his top five. He's getting pressure to stay close to home, but he's also close with Jim Mora's family. Recently the buzz is that he's favoring Oregon, though.

Adoree Jackson, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Jackson said he definitely plans to visit Florida, LSU and Michigan. Local schools UCLA and USC are also heavily involved but the athlete won't announce until Signing Day. The thought at this time is that UCLA leads.

Jonathan Lockett, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Lockett had told us off the record he was going to Oregon, but then announced for Washington.

Iman Marshall, Long Beach Poly (Calif.)- (2015)
Just one of five juniors in the event, Marshall has a huge list right now but expect Oregon, UCLA and USC to be in it until the very end for him.

John Plattenburg, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Plattenburg hasn't ruled out an early decision by the end of the summer and Cal, UCLA and Washington are high on his board. Boise State, Oregon and Wisconsin are in this one too. The recent read is that Washington could be the leader.

Adarius Pickett, El Cerrito (Calif.)
Pickett has a short list of Arizona State, Cal, UCLA and USC and will likely make his decision early in the season. Some source are indicating that UCLA looks really good here. Pickett is a very good student and wants to enroll early, and UCLA, being on the quarter system, gives him that option.

Quincy Wilson, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University
Skinny: Wilson is a talented defensive back with three dozen plus offers. He has had a busy summer visiting schools like Ohio State and Notre Dame. He's supposed to visit UCLA and USC, and camp with Alabama and LSU next month. Yeah, he's open.

Mattrell McGraw, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian
Skinny: McGraw is a safety who could help at nickel back on the next level. McGraw will enter The Opening with a top eight, but he plans to cut that list in half while in Oregon. Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona State, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA, and USC are his current favorites. We don't know his top three, but we do know that UCLA is one of them. He could be a package deal with Kenny Young and Malachi Dupre. Probably most likely with Young, since he and McGraw are very close.

John Bonney, Houston (Texas) Lamar
Skinny: Bonney got an offer from UCLA this spring, and while he's favoring Midlands schools, he had said UCLA was a childhood favorite, and he's very good friends with Plattenburg, with the two having talked about playing together.  UCLA is one of the schools to offer both.

Jaleel Wadood, Bellflower (Calif.) St John Bosco
The former Arizona State pledge will commit at The Opening from among Cal, UCLA and USC. Cal looks like the call.

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