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, flipped 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, prospects UCLA weren't even mentioned with now are commits to the Bruins.Because of all of this, just like with how the post-summer camp reset looked different than the pre-summer one, the pre-season one looks much different than the post-summer one.
With the season starting this weekend and coaches able to call and get out to games starting next week, UCLA's recruiting list will probably continue to look different again, in fact.
Even the scholarship numbers have changed. UCLA did have about 15 scholarships to give to 2014, but recently some players left the program and the number is currently at 18. With just average attrition, you can probably expect that number, by fall of 2014, to get to 22-25. So, for some time UCLA was recruiting like it would have a smaller class than it has in 2012 and 2013, but it very well might be about the same size.
It's been uncertain at times if UCLA would take a quarterback in 2014, but with the transfer of T.J. Millweard it looks completely necessary. But to be candid, at this point UCLA's quarterback recruiting is in a precarious position, much like a year ago. There is likely not an Asiantii Woulard out there to fall in their lap. You can even make a case that's its more precarious because they've told elite 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen that if he commits to UCLA they wouldn't take a quarterback in the 2014 class. That said, things could really change in the next couple of weeks, once the high school season starrs, especially because we've heard that they pursue Kaaya seriously.
Brad Kaaya, 6-4, 208, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
National Position Ranking: 17
-- Kaaya is a commit to Miami, and he made it clear after Kyle 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, if UCLA offers they'd almost certainly have a good chance, since the family would prefer he stay close to home. In fact, we've heard that an offer to Kaaya could be imminent. It's likely that UCLA wants to see how first first couple of games go before they offer. He was limited in his throws last year with Terrell Newby carrying the load, and he didn't end up camping at UCLA, so the coaches really haven't extensively seen him throw. So in his first few games he looks like he did during the spring and summer camps, expect UCLA to go after him. And with his best friend, Jojo McIntosh committed to UCLA, you could bet than offer from the Bruins will prompt McIntosh to recruit him as well. Then Kaaya will have a final decision to make. That said, until an offer is made, a final decision is moot.
Others to Watch:
Chase Forrest, 6-3, 180, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
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 liked UCLA quite a bit and was waiting on the offer and the Bruins made his top 16, but didn't make his top ten or his recent top five. UCLA is still trying with him but they're definitely on the outside looking in. UCLA is still trying, however.
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 cooled on him. His recent top ten didn't include UCLA but they really haven't been actively recruiting him since the spring.
Tre Watson, 6-0, 185, Corona (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 50, 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 UCLA running backs coach Steve Broussard all the time and isn't opposed to their pursuit. He said he remains solid to Cal, but if Cal gets Mixon, that could push Watson to stay close to home, and UCLA wouldn't mind grabbing another player from Corona Centennial.
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 and they're one of his more remarkable offers, with Vanderbilt and Pitt the only other standout offers.
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, and you could count four, and the approach to WR recruiting has been interesting. Also, 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.
180, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
National Position Ranking: 71, 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 so that will be a storyline to watch.
Barry Ware, 6-3, 205, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
National Position Ranking: 79, 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. Schools like Utah and Washington State are still recruiting, the Utes especially making a push for him, and there are still a lot of questions if Ware would make it academically into UCLA, so that's another key aspect to watch there.
Michiah Quick, 5-11, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central East
National Position Ranking: 5, 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, especially with expected official visits to Alabama and Oregon and unofficial visits to Cal and USC coming this fall.
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 in June for the B2G Elite Camp. That is three unofficial visits on his own, which certainly is an indicator of his interest in the Bruins. While he hasn't set a leaderboard yet, he told Scout this summer that Alabama, Florida State, LSU and UCLA are schools he's seriously interested in.
Josh Malone, 6-2, 190, Gallatin (Tenn.) Station Camp
National Position Ranking: 15, 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. That said, he's also one of in-state Tennessee's primary targets and they would love to keep him close to home.
Erik Brown, 6-1, 175, Fontana (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 17, UCLA Offer
-- A commit to Washington, Brown favored UCLA early on before he chose the Huskies in July. Having said that, he's officially visiting Notre Dame, Nebraska, Oregon State and Washington and told Scout he may take his fifth visit to UCLA. So UCLA is still somewhat trying with him.
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 offered him in May as the evaluation period closed and he also camped with USC in June for Rising Stars, and they could offer him as well this fall, which could complicate things for the Bruins. He did tell us last month that he will take an official visit to UCLA at some point, with Oregon State, Oregon and Cal also set to get official visits.
Dionte Sykes, 6-2, 210, 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), the commitment is a bit generally tenuous, based mostly on whether Sykes will qualify academically. He has talent, though, and the size to slot into UCLA's Y position pretty comfortably.
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, however UCLA isn't really putting much effort into recruiting him either. 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. He told Scout earlier this month that his main three were Oregon, UCLA and USC, though he said he had a top five that included Miami and Florida. And he's set to officially visit Oregon in October. He also has said he wants to visit Miami and Texas A&M but is uncertain if he'll visit USC or UCLA.
Others to Watch:
Zack Bornstein, 6-4, 210, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
After taking 7 OLs for 2013, it was though the 2014 UCLA really only needed two, but with the class expanding its available scholarships that could become four. What looked like the strength of the Bruins' 2014 class early on, when Jermaine Eluemunor and Dominick Jackson were committed, has now become a point of concern, with both players flipping to SEC schools, leaving UCLA without an OL commitment. It is not likely UCLA will pursue Eluemunor or Jackson any longer. Plus, Demetrius Knox, who was clearly a long-time UCLA lean, committed last month to Ohio State, leaving offensive line recruiting in a bit of scramble mode, although with the class they signed a year ago, offensive line recruiting wasn't as vital this year. Frankly, the JC players were an embarrassment of riches, but with their departures, UCLA still needs some depth.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 in June, 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 they're back in the running and Klemm is targeting him heavily. Mama is clearly UCLA's top offensive line target.
Viane Talamaivao, 6-3, 285, Corona (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 9 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- Talamaivao committed to Alabama this spring, but like Mama, he showed up in June 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: 18 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- Delp got the much-hoped for offer from UCLA earlier this month. He then took an unofficial visit a couple of days later. While he didn't commit to the Bruins, they've definitely assumed the leader position in his recruitment, though Washington and Oregon State are still pushing for him. But Delp made it clear how much his family wanted him to be close to home and how much an offer from UCLA meant to them. He's also very close with Mama and Talamaivao, so UCLA would love to bring him in as a commit and then have Mama and Talamaivao follow suit.
Denzel Ward, 6-8, 290, Chicago (Ill.) Simeon
National Position Ranking: 75 (OT), UCLA Offer
-- Ward was originally from the Midwest before he moved down to Florida to play at the IMG Academy. Then he moved back to the Midwest, into Chicago. He's a commit to Purdue, committing some time ago, his first offer and before he really blossomed as a prospect.. Now schools like Florida and UCLA, who offered him on Monday, are making a push for him. He's still solid to the Boilermakers but is definitely interested in the Bruins.