The Opening: More on UCLA Prospects

Here are more mentions from the recruiting experts of UCLA prospects from Day 2 at The Opening...

From the Top Ten DLs of Day Two:

Solomon Thomas
(Coppell, TX) and Derek Barnett (Brentwood, TN) are two defenders who worked inside and outside and did well at both positions. Barnett stood out in the run block drills, showing strength to take on a double team and the quickness to get inside the pads of offensive linemen. Thomas was hit and miss at both spots, but was one of the more coachable players soaking up instruction like a sponge. He listened and implemented. He got beat some but bounced back each time.

Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Cali.) was not the most physically impressive player, shorter and lighter than the rest, but extremely quick and explosive. He uses his hands really well, which is a necessity because OL outweigh him by a good amount. Still interior linemen had a hard time dealing with his speed. He blew past Brian Allen on one rep to draw oohs and ahhs from the crowd.

From the Top Ten Surprises of Day 2:

Greg Biggins, West Analyst

Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala.) is playing linebacker at the Opening. Evans, 6-foot-3 and 218-pounds, is a four-star recruit and the No. 10 ranked defensive end prospect in the nation. He looked outstanding today in the 7-on-7 competition.

"I heard about him but hadn't seen him," Biggins said. "Then I got to see him run around today. He made plays. He made plays in coverage. He's just a long and very athletic kid who can really run. He's physical and plays with an edge. You can just tell that he's an SEC kid."

Evans is open and currently likes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, FSU, UCLA, Tennessee and others.

Brandon Huffman, West Analyst
The defensive line unit at the Opening has some big name recruits across the defensive front like five-star prospects like Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbury, Va.), Andrew Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Smith), and Khairi Clark (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna) and four star recruits Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas) and Kentavius Street (Greenville, N.C./Rose). These are all top fifty players in the country in the class of 2014.

But Tuesday was not their day. They were beaten badly for the most part against the offensive linemen in one on one sessions.

"It was my surprise the other way," Huffman said. "There was a lack of intensity and fire. You have two of the top 10 players in the country on the defensive front and it was surprising the way they played. They were thoroughly dominated by the offensive linemen."

Scott Kennedy, Director of Scouting
It should surprise many to have Budda Baker on this list. But in fact he is. This Bellevue (Wa.) standout had a huge day for the Apocalypse team.

"He plays safety and running back for his high school team," Kennedy said. "We have him as a highly rated four-star safety. Today, he was out there playing slot receiver and was spectacular. He showed great speed and could really adjust to the ball in the air. He showed great acceleration. I mean he was spectacular today."

Baker, 5-foot-10 and 177-pounds, is wide open and looking at Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, Stanford and USC.

From the Day 2 OL Recap:

After a strong performance on Monday, the offensive line was even more impressive on Tuesday when the pads came on. In fact, if we had to pick out the five most impressive lineman of the day, they would all be on the offensive side of the ball.

The two best prospects on the offensive line are clearly West Monroe (La.) tackle Cameron Robinson and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco guard/tackle Damien Mama.

Mama has played right tackle all week and it's crazy how well he moves for a man his size. He measured in at 6-4, 370 pounds and is arguably the strongest player in the event. In the first rep of the day in the run blocking drills, he pancaked highly touted tackle Andrew Brown and has been a man among boys all week.

The big debate with Mama all week is where is his best college position. At 370 pounds, he probably won't be able to stay at tackle, despite showing great feet for a big man. If he can get down to 340 pounds or so, there is no doubt he'll have the athleticism to play right tackle at the college level although his long term upside is probably highest at guard.

Corona (Calif.) Centennial's Viane Talamaivao and La Habra's (Calif.) Toa Lobendahn are two more West Coast linemen who have had dominant weeks.

Talamaivao plays with great technique, is incredibly strong and has the perfect amount of physicality and nastiness. He can sometimes get beat with quickness but he's too strong to be bull rushed, has good short area quickness and once he latches on to an opposing lineman, it's over.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories