UCLA had two elite offensive linemen committed at one point, both from the JC ranks, and now, neither is headed to Westwood, both, in fact, flipping to the SEC. Other prospects UCLA appeared to be heavily in the mix for, even some they were thought to have led for, have committed elsewhere or dropped UCLA altogether. And in one case, players UCLA wasn't even mentioned with, now are commits to the Bruins.
With fall camp set to start next week, recruiting will probably be taking a back seat for the next couple of weeks, at least until the team gets back to campus for fall practice, when recruits are more likely to make it to Westwood than to San Bernardino.
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.
As has been discussed numerous times, though, the plan is not necessarily working out perfectly so far. UCLA has had to regroup and reset their recruiting board numerous times, and right now, the Bruins' only commits are at receiver.
UCLA will be targeting one quarterback in the class of 2014 but with the decision by Kyle Allen to commit to Texas A&M, the Bruins are back to the drawing board. In fact, UCLA's quarterback recruiting is in a precarious position, much like a year ago, but there is likely not an Asiantii Woulard to fall in their lap. You can even make a case that's its more precarious because they've told Josh Rosen that if he commits to UCLA, they wouldn't take a quarterback in the 2014 class.
Brad Kaaya, 6-4, 208, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
National Position Ranking: 21
-- Kaaya is another commit, this time to Miami, and he too made it clear after Allen's commitment that he was solid to the Canes. He also threw in the fact that at Miami, he was a priority and doesn't think he's a good fit for UCLA's offense. Still, UCLA is trying to woo him and with Al Golden always a threat to leave with NCAA sanctions looming, they'll keep trying all the way to Signing Day. It happened last year with Woulard, a commit to a school in South Florida who changed his mind after a coaching change.
Jalen Greene, 6-3, 185, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
National Position Ranking: 47
-- Greene is committed to Boise State, but UCLA was recruiting him some early, and he was one of the select few invited to their mini-Junior Day the weekend after Signing Day. He comes from a school that UCLA is trying to make major in-roads too, and he's coming off a season in which he led the Cavs to a state title. Serra is arguably the most talented school in the West, and he's the leader of that team, so if UCLA were to offer and give him something to think about, he could play pied piper with other Serra targets. However, he looked just ok at UCLA's Skills Camp in June and is not likely to be pursued by the Bruins.
With Craig Lee officially in with UCLA, the Bruins' don't have such a need for two running backs, but they will still want to bring in one.
Joe Mixon, 6-1, 195, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom
National Position Ranking: 4, 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, are in the mix as are Texas A&M and Oklahoma, both schools he's planning to visit. Still, UCLA has made it clear to him he's their number one target.
Demario Richard, 5-10, 175, Palmdale (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 27 UCLA Offer
-- Richard is a quick, speedy type that UCLA has offered, seeing him fit in that smaller, scatback role. He liked UCLA earlier but is starting to pick up some more offers, and UCLA has somewhat cooled on him. He was at UCLA's practice earlier this spring and said he does like UCLA, but with more schools getting involved, doesn't seem to want to make an early decision. He's also said that Arizona State was his top school, and has been for some time, with Washington, where he visited earlier this summer, now tied atop for him, though recent scuttlebutt is that Arizona State is still the top school.
Tre Watson, 6-0, 185, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
National Position Ranking: 57, UCLA Offer
-- Watson committed to Cal earlier this summer, after getting an offer from the Bears, his longtime favorite. But UCLA offered in June, and while they're on the outside looking in, they have started to make a bigger push for him. Watson said that he's hearing from Steve Broussard all the time and isn't opposed to their pursuit.
C.J. Leggett, 5-10, 210, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett
National Position Ranking: NR, UCLA Offer
-- Leggett camped with UCLA and also visited Cal and Stanford during the week. The Georgia native was out during the spring as well for UCLA practice. The Bruins were his first offer as well.
Others to Watch:
Rashaad Penny, 6-0, 185, Norwalk (Calif.)
D.J. Riggins, 5-11, 180, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
UCLA receiver recruiting has been much discussed. They have three commits at the position but have had an interesting approach to a couple of other guys. Then, when Roberts' committed, it somewhat came out of the blue.
Austin Roberts, 6-2, 221, Carmel (Ind.)
National Position Ranking: 30, COMMIT
-- Roberts wasn't even on the Bruins' radar when July came around, but got an offer not too long after the month started and committed just a couple of weeks later. Roberts has plenty of connections to UCLA, from the sports information office to his dad coaching with Eric Yarber with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His commitment was a big boost for the Bruins, whose recruiting had been lagging before his verbal. Roberts could eventually grow into a Y down the line for UCLA.
Barry Ware, 6-3, 205, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
National Position Ranking: 65, 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, skill set, and junior film. A few more schools offered since he committed, but Ware, who was invited to UCLA's Junior Day in February, long favored the Bruins.
180, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
National Position Ranking: 60, COMMIT
-- Lasley was the only player to get an offer the night of UCLA's Elite Camp, and he jumped on his dream school's offer the next day. Lasley is a late-bloomer, transferring from Carson to Serra and playing in a backup role for his junior year. He blew up this offseason, and UCLA gave him an offer after the camp, before he had a chance to blow up more. He did camp at USC a week later, and the Trojans could offer him too this fall, which could make somewhat of an impact.
Michiah Quick, 5-11, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
National Position Ranking: 3, 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 UCLA's spring practices, the Bruins moved into his top five, and UCLA will continue to heavily pursue him. Oklahoma, who signed two of his teammates, is also very much in the mix for Quick. However, it's premature to call this a two-horse race.
Malachi Dupre, 6-3, 175, River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian
National Position Ranking: 1, UCLA Offer
-- Dupre is a big target in the SEC, but likes UCLA and visited UCLA in February for the Bruins' Junior Day. He also returned to UCLA for the Spring Game and raved about the visit and his relationship with Eric Yarber, the Bruins' receivers coach. Dupre also visited UCLA last month for the B2G Elite Camp. That would be three unofficial visits on his own, which certainly is an indicator of his interest in the Bruins.
Mark Andrews, 6-6, 220, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain
National Ranking: 10, UCLA Offer
-- The receiver from Arizona, and teammate of Kyle Allen, is a perfect fit for the Y role, at 6-6, 220. The Bruins are really pushing him for that spot, showing him how they utilized Joe Fauria. He's seemed to make it clear that his decision is independent of what Allen is doing. Still, UCLA appears to be on the outside looking in.
Josh Malone, 6-2, 190, Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp
National Position Ranking: 17, UCLA Offer
-- Malone was one of the standouts at the UCLA Elite Camp, coming out from Tennessee to camp with the Bruins. He was back at UCLA the next weekend too, for the B2G Elite Camp. He told us after the UCLA Elite Camp that he's very interested in UCLA and has no problems leaving the Southeast to come out West for college.
Alex Van Dyke, 6-4, 200, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove
National Ranking: 37, 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 in March 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. Oregon just offered him in May as the evaluation period closed and he also camped with USC last month for Rising Stars, and they could offer him as well, which could complicate things for the Bruins. He did tell us last week that he will take an official visit to UCLA at some point.
Dionte Sykes, 6-2, 195, Chandler (Ariz.)
National Ranking: 75, UCLA Offer
-- Sykes comes from Brett Hundley's alma mater, as well as Paul Perkins'. Sykes is an interesting player- he has talent, and did well at the Los Angeles NFTC, but he also "committed" to Arizona State without an offer and while he considers himself a commit to UCLA (he does have an offer), we've heard he's not considered a commit by the Bruins. He has talent, though, and he's close with several of UCLA's targets in Arizona. There doesn't appear to be a push to take his verbal right now.
UCLA is looking pretty good at the position, but it will undoubtedly bring in at least one Y.
Tyler Luatua, 6-4, 215, La Mirada (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 2, UCLA Offer
-- Luatua has seemed to be favoring Alabama for some time, and it makes sense, with his brother, Isaac, a sophomore offensive lineman there. He's cooled on USC some, though, and we've heard if he stayed local, UCLA would have a very good shot at him. Texas offered him in the spring and he has some other big national offers, too, with plans to visit Ohio State and Notre Dame. He's one of the most heavily recruited prospects in the region but had an up and down spring, performance-wise.
Bryce Dixon, 6-4, 220, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
National Position Ranking: 6, UCLA Offer
-- Dixon has been on UCLA's radar for months, earning an offer from the Bruins back in the fall. He was at UCLA's select Junior Day in February and it's clear 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 Oregon, USC, Florida and Ohio State, so they'll still have to work to get him. Where he looked like a UCLA lean at one point, he's now a guy the Bruins will have to push for, especially with USC making a major push for him.
Others to Watch:
Zack Bornstein, 6-4, 210, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
After taking 7 OLs for 2013, in 2014 UCLA really only needs two, but could take as many as four. What looked like the strength of the Bruins' class so far, when Jermaine Eluemunor and Dominick Jackson were committed, has now become a point of concern, with both players flipping to SEC schools. It is not likely UCLA will pursue Eluemunor or Jackson any longer. Demetrius Knox, who was clearly a long-time UCLA lean, committed this weekend to Ohio State, leaving offensive line recruiting in a serious state of flux.Damien Mama, 6-5, 340, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
National Position Ranking: 1 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- UCLA seemed completely out of it for Mama for a while, but then, out of nowhere, took an unofficial visit to UCLA last month, spending a couple of hours on campus with Adrian Klemm. He was then back a couple of days later for the UCLA Elite Camp, not to work out, but to spend more time with Klemm on campus. Mama is now saying that the Bruins are on his short list with Alabama and USC, and while they're probably running third, they're back in the running and Klemm is targeting him heavily.
Viane Talamaivao, 6-3, 285, Corona (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 8 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- Talamaivao committed to Alabama this spring, but like Mama, he showed up last month for the UCLA Elite Camp, and spent a lot of time shadowing Klemm. UCLA was the first school to offer him, doing so after his freshman year, when Rick Neuheisel was the coach, and then Klemm offered him when he got to Westwood. The two sides seemed to cool, though, and then Talamaivao committed to Alabama. But with Jackson headed to Alabama, UCLA is now back on Talamaivao, and he and Mama are very close.
Kammy Delp, 6-4, 305, Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch
National Position Ranking: 44 (OG)
-- Delp has offers on both sides of the ball, but after an MVP performance at the Oakland NFTC, he's mostly set on the offensive line. He's a good guard prospect, physical and nasty with good athleticism. He doesn't have an offer from any in-state Pac-12 school, but those schools are about the only Pac-12 schools that haven't offered. He, too, camped with UCLA last month, but didn't net an offer. Still, he could be an early season offer guy. He, Mama, and Talamaviao all train together and are tight. An offer for Delp, and a commitment, couldn't hurt UCLA with Mama and Talamaivao.