On the subject of linebackers, UCLA continues to do really well with Kenny Young, the prospect from River Ridge (Lousiana) John Curtis Christian. UCLA linebacker coach Jeff Ulbrich went to watch him Thursday night in Louisiana (and returned in time for Evan's official visit). Plus, UCLA is in a very good position with Dwight Williams, the prospect from Gardena Serra. Head Coach Jim Mora watched Serra Friday night, and Williams played well, getting an interception. Right now, it's not a stretch to say that UCLA is leading for Williams. UCLA is also still in the mix at linebacker for Shaun Hamilton, the Montgomery (Ala.) Carver linebacker who is verbally committed to Alabama but has said he will take an official visit to UCLA (and Ole Miss). There is also another four-star linebacker prospect that UCLA has a legitimate chance to get who we can't mention by name at this moment. Then there is D.J. Calhoun, the linebacker prospect from El Cerrito verbally committed to USC, and the high school teammate of Joe Mixon. The word is that UCLA will continue to watch Calhoun.
UCLA will now start to watch Uchenna Nwosu, the linebacker prospect from Narbonne, who looked very good against Serra Friday.
According to sources, UCLA has vastly improved its chances with Mixon. The nation's #5 running back had said UCLA wasn't in his top 8 a while back, but the Bruins have made a considerable comeback. Mora has taken up a good amount of the Mixon recruitment, as has Adrian Klemm, and Mixon has told many close to him that he could really see himself in UCLA's offense next season. He visited Washington officially this last weekend, and the Huskies will be real competition for him. If it's any consolation there was miserable weather in Seattle over the last several days.
Tre Watson, the running back prospect from Corona Centennial who is verbally committed to Cal, is getting close to de-committed from the Bears. UCLA has been recruiting him aggressively, and they'd be the leader for Watson if he did, indeed, de-commit. UCLA wouldn't have any reservations about taking both Mixon and Watson, if they could pull it off.
Perhaps, at this point, another five-star prospect UCLA is doing very well with and has a very good chance to get is Malachi Dupre, the nation's #1 receiver from Louisiana. From River Ridge (Lousiana) John Curtis Christian, he's, of course, getting a great deal of pressure to play for hometown LSU, but there are some strong influences close to him that want to see him at UCLA.
While we're on the subject of five-star prospects, UCLA is going very hard after Adoree Jackson, the athlete from Gardena Serra. He looked terrific in front of Mora Friday, and the thought is still that the Bruins will have a very good shot, along with Florida and probably USC, depending on the coaching hire. He could impact immediately at UCLA, on defense and offense, and as a returner.
Perhaps the 2014 Los Angeles area prospect that has really looked particularly impressive so far this season is Jaleel Wadood, the DB from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Wadood is verbally committed to Cal, but UCLA's Demetrice Martin has been recruiting him hard for the last couple of months. We're hearing with how well UCLA is looking on the field, a chance to immediately come in and contribute and then play in front of his friends and family, Wadood is a real possibility for the Bruins.
While it has appeared that Mattrell McGraw, the DB prospect from River Ridge John Curtis Christian, has been leaning toward Oregon for a while, we hear UCLA is doing very well with him. With his teammates, Young and Dupre, looking very seriously at UCLA, McGraw is also.
UCLA quarterbacks coach Taylor Mazzone went to see Rafe Peavey, the three-star quarterback prospect from Bolivar (Missouri). Peavey is verbally committed to Arkansas, but has shown interest in UCLA. He's a mobile athlete with just a decent arm. We've also heard that UCLA is seriously considering Brad Kaaya, the quarterback from West Hills Chaminade that is verbally committed to Miami. We think that UCLA could offer a quarterback soon and if it's not Peavey it more than likely would be Kaaya.