With the dead period, UCLA is hoping their efforts in December, with official visits and in-home visits, left a big impression leading into January.
The Bruins have a dozen commits, with five on offense, three at receiver, and seven on defense.
But there are several big fish still on the radar so the three weekends of visits in January, and the weeknights spent on in-homes will be crucial for the UCLA coaches to sign another top tier class.
UCLA has brought in some big classes in Jim Mora's first two recruiting classes, for 2012 and 2013. The 2014 class looked like it'd have about 18 scholarships to give, but with transfer and attrition already, it's pretty easy to project it to be in the 22-25 range.
***As we've said on the message board in the past, with UCLA looking like it's a program on the rise, there have been prospects from around the country that are starting to show interest in UCLA. Some we can't share here, since they are committed elsewhere and it could disrupt their recruiting, and UCLA's chances with them. If UCLA continues to have a successful season there will undoubtedly be more viable prospects that show interest in UCLA.***
UCLA will have to not just recruit a quarterback for the 2014 class, they need to keep recruiting Brett Hundley and keep him in the fold. If he leaves, the quarterback spot is precarious, especially if they don't bring someone in for this class.
Brad Kaaya, 6-4, 208, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
National Position Ranking: 16, UCLA Offer
-- 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. But we'd heard for months, an offer from UCLA would make him seriously consider it. UCLA did so in September, but publicly at least, Kaaya hasn't wavered. In fact, he's even spoke positively about Miami's sanctions being light from the NCAA. And the sanctions not hitting Miami as hard probably ensure that Al Golden stays in Coral Gables, so there won't likely be the program uncertainty that could cause Kaaya to really second-guess his decision. USC has also offered Kaaya, but what we've heard is that if he flips from Miami, it will be to the Bruins, not USC. UCLA has offered a number of quarterbacks in the 2015 class, but for this class, they absolutely need another scholarship quarterback, especially if Brett Hundley were to leave early. UCLA had an in-home with Kaaya earlier this month and we've heard they've put on the full court press to keep him close to him. This will be one to watch.
Luke Rubenzer, 6-1, 180, Scottsdale (Ariz.)
National Position Ranking: 50, UCLA Offer
-- Rubenzer is a commit to Cal and doesn't seem likely to waver, but UCLA offered him earlier this month to try and get him to consider them. With Zack Kline leaving Cal and Jared Goff undergoing shoulder surgery, Rubenzer may actually be on the two-deep at quarterback next year at Cal so it's very unlikely he flips.
UCLA is targeting a couple of running backs and will take two, with one already in the mix. New running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu is already pounding the pavement here too.
Marlon Mack, 5-11, 195, Sarasota (Fla.) Booker
National Position Ranking: 54, COMMIT
-- Mack came out of nowhere to commit to UCLA last month. Mack plays on both sides of the ball, and has been compared by Scout's Florida analysts favorably to former Florida two-way prospect Fabian Moreau, who came in as a running back and is now starting at corner for the Bruins. While he was originally ranked as a safety by Scout, UCLA will bring him in as a running back. He's not visited UCLA, and still plans to take some other official visits, so this will be one to watch. From what we've heard, despite Mack being a Steve Broussard recruit, UCLA and Polamalu still want him.
Joe Mixon, 6-1, 205, Oakley (Calif.) Freedom
National Position Ranking: 5, UCLA Offer
-- UCLA's path with Mixon has been much discussed, but long story short, after pretty much being out of the mix for him, UCLA crept back in. Now, it's pretty much a UCLA-Cal battle for Mixon, with Oklahoma, Wisconsin and others looking up. UCLA head coach Jim Mora went to Mixon's house the second night he was able to be on the road (and amidst rumors he was leaving for Washington). Last week, Polamalu and Adrian Klemm had their in-home. Klemm has taken over the recruitment for Mixon, who never did take an official visit to UCLA but did take an unofficial in November for the Arizona State game. And putting Klemm on Mixon is one of the key reasons why UCLA is in the mix. He'll announce next month at the U.S. Army Bowl but this one likely won't be over until Signing Day.
Tre Watson, 6-0, 185, Corona (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 48, 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 have made a big 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 he also has said that Cal is throwing the ball a little more than a running back might like. We've heard too, that his solid with Cal isn't quite so solid. He also visited Boise State in September and Utah in October (when the Bruins were playing the Utes). The question will be how hard does Polamalu recruit him. Broussard had made Watson a priority (and maybe at the extent of not spending enough time with Mixon), but the priority now, wisely, is Mixon.
UCLA receiver recruiting has been much discussed. They had five commits at the position at one point, but their two least regarded receivers and UCLA went their separate ways. Of course, UCLA would love this class to be at five receivers again, with their two biggest targets still on the board.
Austin Roberts, 6-2, 221, Carmel (Ind.)
National Position Ranking: 36, 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. Adrian Klemm was in Indiana in September to watch Roberts play.
Alex Van Dyke, 6-4, 200, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove
National Ranking: 40, COMMIT
-- 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; he visited unofficially in February and had long coveted a Bruin offer. He then visited officially for the Cal game, and committed before he went back home. 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 and Oregon State and Cal were also in contention, but Van Dyke felt UCLA was the best place for him. He had a monster senior season too and he more so than Roberts could move to Y at 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 would end up offering him this fall. Lasley did take some visits and he's expected to visit USC next month officially as well as UCLA officially
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. USC is making a push for him too, but this is still likely a UCLA-Oklahoma 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 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 earlier in September that Alabama, Florida State, LSU and UCLA are his top four schools. UCLA coaches Eric Yarber and Jeff Ulbrich were at his game in September. We've heard that UCLA feels very good about their chances with Dupre but as is always the case, when you have an elite prospect in the South, they're tough to get out of that region. He will visit officially with two of his teammates next month, the weekend before Signing Day.
UCLA is looking pretty good at the position, but it will undoubtedly try bring in at least one Y, so Van Dyke and Roberts could be that guy if need be.
Bryce Dixon, 6-4, 220, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
National Position Ranking: 3, 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 fall that his main three were Oregon, UCLA and USC, though he said he had a top five that included Miami and Florida. And he visited Oregon officially and raved about the trip. But everything we've heard is that it's still a SoCal battle, with UCLA and USC both trying to bring the local All-American in and from what we're hearing, UCLA has the edge.
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 with only one OL commitment. And with injuries hurting UCLA this year, they've started three true freshman on the offensive line, so depth continues to be an issue.Najee Toran, 6-3, 260, Galena Park (Texas) North Shore
National Position Ranking: 18 (C), COMMIT
-- Toran has been a recent riser and he's UCLA's most recent commitment too. He was committed to Oregon State, where Mike Cavanaugh has long been considered one of the premier offensive line coaches in the country. But Cavanaugh's prodigy Adrian Klemm (who he coached at Hawaii), flipped Toran after he visited officially for the Colorado game. Toran is ranked as a center, but he'll come to UCLA as an offensive guard.
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 has had the Bruins on his short list with Alabama and USC and they got back in the running with Klemm trying to stay in the race. Mama had been UCLA's top offensive line target and he's been to a couple of UCLA's home games and getting plenty of attention from the Bruin coaches, particularly Klemm. UCLA is still in the mix for him, but everything points to him going to USC.
Kammy Delp, 6-4, 305, Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch
National Position Ranking: 19 (OG), UCLA Offer
-- Delp got the much-hoped for offer from UCLA towards the end of summer and 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, Washington State 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 has already visited Arizona State and Washington State, and he's said he still plans to announce at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, which is before his scheduled UCLA official visit.
Kenyon Frison, 6-5, 290, West Valley City (Utah) Granger
National Position Ranking: 29 (OT), UCLA Offer
-- Frison committed to hometown Utah early, almost instantly after the Utes offered. Then he went to the Oakland NFTC and was stellar and then Oklahoma and Washington offered. UCLA has recently gotten on board with him and is hoping to bring him out for an official visit and will try to flip him. He's got tremendous upside and has a chance to be a good player in college. UCLA is also playing up the fact that the last lineman they got from Utah has turned out pretty good. Academics, though, could derail those plans.
Kolton Miller, 6-7, 285, Roseville (Calif.)
National Position Ranking: 52 (OT), UCLA Offer
-- UCLA offered Miller earlier this week after he visited Oregon State, and he'd previously visited Wisconsin. Angus McClure had been recruiting him for a while, but Adrian Klemm did the offering this week and now Miller will take an official visit in January and the Bruins have a very good chance with Miller, who had a terrific senior season.
Larry Allen, 6-3, 250, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
National Position Ranking: 21 (OG)
-- The son of arguably the finest offensive guard in NFL history, Allen has been a stalwart for the Spartans offensive line and has a number of offers. But he covets an offer from the in-state schools and while he is also looking at the Ivy League schools, he'd like to go to one of the in-state academic powerhouses, so he's not committed anywhere and still looking at schools like Cal, Stanford and UCLA as a potential late offer guy.