Pre-Weekend Recruiting Buzz Word

The UCLA football staff were out Thursday on the first day after the dead period visiting recruits, and will be back today for the first of UCLA's three big recruiting weekends...

UCLA has its first of three big recruiting weekends starting Friday. As of right now (9:14 a.m. PST), this is the list of recruits taking their official visits:

Denzel Fisher, DB, 6-2, 170, Compton Centennial, Committed,
Cameron Griffin, LB, 6-3, 210, L.A. View Park, Committed,
Kolton Miller, OL, 6-8, 280, Roseville (Calif.)
Nathan Starks, RB, 6-0, 195, Englewood (Col.) Cherry Creek, Committed,
Aaron Sharp, QB, 6-3, 195, Houston (Tex.) Summer Creek
Jordan Lasley, WR, 6-1, 185, Gardena (Calif.) Serra, Committed

-- Lasley, the Gardena Serra receiver who has been committed to UCLA since summer, will visit UCLA this weekend. That's a development, since it was uncertain before what weekend he'd visit, and also that he might visit USC this weekend. This move compels us a little more to consider Lasley a solid UCLA commit. He had been flirting with USC a bit, but it looks like USC, with the limited scholarships available from the sanctions, wouldn't be able to offer him a ride.

-- Greg Biggins: I talked with Kolton Miller's father briefly this week, and the family is excited for the upcoming UCLA visit. UCLA coaches Angus McClure and Adrian Klemm were scheduled to have an in-home with the Millers Thursday night. Oregon, who offered a few weeks ago, is pushing hard and were also supposed to be in the home Thursday with the head coach, OC and OL coach. The Ducks are trying hard to get Kolton up for an official visit on the 24th and he said Arizona, ASU and Cal are trying as well. He said a decision will likely come by the 27th. I asked if that meant they'll definitely visit somewhere on the 24th and he said there's a 25% chance they will. From that, I'm not sure why they plan to announce so late if there's a 75% chance the UCLA visit is his last but guessing key word is "by" the 27th, meaning they could obviously do it this weekend.

Oregon State also was scheduled to be in the home Thursday but I still get the feeling if the visit goes well this weekend and Kolton feels comfortable, UCLA is in good shape. I like Miller; he grew on me the more I watched him and I think he would be a very solid pickup. I like him better than a few tackles we have rated higher and he has a chance to be a very good college player.

-- Klemm and McClure also visited UCLA-committed wide receiver prospect Alex Van Dyke Thursday.

-- Jim Mora flew to Louisiana Thursday, as was evident from the picture someone (an LSU fan) took of him on the plane.

He visited a number of prospects with a contingent of his assistants, with in-home or in-school visits going non-stop from 6:45 a.m. to 11:55 p.m.

UCLA had a total of six coaches at River Ridge John Curtis Christian -- Mora, Demetrice Martin, Kennedy Polamalu, Eric Yarber, Noel Mazzone, and Jeff Ulbrich. That was to see targets Malachi Dupre, Kenny Young and Mattrell McGraw.

While in New Orleans the entire staff went to see the #1 prospect in the nation, Leonard Fournette, the running back verbally committed to LSU. From what we've heard there is no indication that UCLA will continue to recruit Fournette, but were just checking into to see if there was a chance.

While in NOLA, they swung by to see Darrel Williams, running back at Marrero Ehret John, who is verbally committed to LSU also. He had been originally committed to LSU, flipped to Oklahoma State in December, and then re-committed to LSU a couple of days later. The word is that he's a bit open right now, looking also at Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M. He's interested in UCLA and could take an official visit.

At the very least, it makes LSU have to spend more time recruiting Williams and less time on Dupre and Young.

If you're wondering why Mora emphasizes Louisiana, don't forget his father, Jim S. Mora, spent 12 years in New Orleans coaching the Saints.

They did not see Davon Godchaux, the defensive end from Plaquemine, who was supposed to visit UCLA Jan. 31st. It appears he won't visit as of this moment and UCLA probably won't recruit him anymore.

Darrel Williams.
-- After the weekend, Mora and Ulbrich will be garnering more frequent flyer miles on their way Monday to Alabama, to see Rashaan Evans, the #1 outside linebacker in the country. Evans recently reduced his list to UCLA, Auburn and Alabama, and the opinion is that it's between UCLA and Auburn. Evans has already officially visited UCLA, and he'll visit Alabama and Auburn over the next two weekends. The UCLA coaches will undoubtedly try to get Evans to take an unofficial visit during UCLA's big recruiting visit weekend on Jan. 31st. In fact, Evans' father Alan told, "Rashaan would really like to take one more unofficial visit to UCLA before he makes his mind up. He took his official there last fall and really liked it a lot and he's kept a very strong relationship with the UCLA staff. We haven't decided for sure yet on that visit but Rashaan would like to try and get out to LA again on January 31."

-- Greg Biggins: From what I've heard this week, it will be pretty shocking if Solomon Thomas, the five-star Texas defensive end, doesn't end up at Stanford. He may take a few more visits for the experience but Stanford is doing very well with Thomas right now.

-- Fresno (Calif.) Central receiver Michiah Quick named his top six schools: Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA and USC make up Quick's top six, he tweeted this week. He's visited Alabama, Notre Dame and Oklahoma officially already and will take two more visits in January. This weekend, he'll visit USC officially and he will visit UCLA officially the final weekend before Signing Day. Quick is the top receiver prospect in the West in the 2014 class. The thought is that he's been leaning to Oklahoma since his friend, running back Joe Mixon, committed to the Sooners. As we've said, however, UCLA continues to recruit Mixon. Both Quick and Mixon have been a bit unpredictable and volatile in their school preferences, so UCLA is hoping it can still sway the two back to UCLA by NSD.

-- Marlon Humphrey, the five-star cornerback from Alabama, has floated more stories about what he might do in terms of official visits than just about anyone in the last several weeks. It's always thought he was a near-lock for Alabama, where his father played, but he has wanted to take visits. He's supposed to visit Florida State this weekend and Alabama on Jan. 24th. Beyond those two it's anyone guess. In regard to UCLA, he at one point said he was visiting mid-week next week, then said the weekend of Jan. 31st -- after the word he had been talking to the Louisiana prospects who are visiting UCLA that weekend. It then circulated that he could visit UCLA Feb. 2nd-4th, but the only problem with that is the dead period starts on the 3rd and it'd be an NCAA violation to be on UCLA's campus. He then told that he wasn't visiting UCLA at all. No matter if he does somehow visit UCLA, or does it just for one day, he's an extreme longshot to be a Bruin.

-- Two players are saying publicly that UCLA is recruiting them, defensive back Kendall Randolph from Florida, and Michael Sawyers, the defensive tackle from Tennessee. Perhaps it's great that both recruits like UCLA, but we've been unable to find any information supporting that UCLA is seriously recruiting either Randolph or Sawyers. It'd be interesting if they sign an imaginary UCLA NLI, too, on Signing Day.

-- UCLA has another offensive line prospect that is a possibility, other than anyone who has been mentioned previously.

-- George Brown, a 2015 offensive line prospect from Ohio, is unofficially visiting this weekend. He has offers from around the country, from the likes of LSU, Michigan State, Texas, FLorida, Auburn, Georgia, Baylor and many more. He's also unofficially visiting Penn State Feb. 15th, and Texas A&M, TCU, Teas and Baylor in March.

Juju Smith.
-- There have been some rumors about ex-Long Beach Poly head coach Raul Lara being hired at UCLA. We've heard that Lara does have interest in getting a job at UCLA. He knows UCLA running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu pretty well. It's not, by any means, a done deal, however. I don't think UCLA would make any kind of move until after Signing Day, and it's completely unknown what he would be hired as. He wouldn't be an assistant coach.

Some people believe he would help with the recruitment of five-star Poly prospect Juju Smith. He was the coach who accompanied Smith to the U.S. All-American Game, even though it's standard procedure for the high school head coach to accompany a player to an All-American game. A source, though, said that Smith's parents trust Lara as an advisor. Others believe he wouldn't necessarily help with Smuth. We do know that Smith has been warming up a bit to UCLA, and that he could take an unofficial visit to UCLA this weekend, and possibly another on Jan. 31st. He's playing in the Polynesian All-Star game Saturday so that could limit his chances of making it to UCLA. He'll visit USC officially on the 24th, and that's his last official visit, having visited Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oregon. We still are pretty convinced he's a heavy USC lean, with his uncle being the running backs coach there now and the Trojans being the childhood favorite.

Polamalu's son will be participating in the activities for the Polynesian All-Star game, so that means, by NCAA rules, he's allowed to attend. Smith and UCLA offensive line target Damien Mama will be playing in the game.

-- Marlon Mack, the Florida running back, decommitted from UCLA on Twitter, which wasn't shocking since the Bruins hadn't recruited him much since former running backs coach Steve Broussard was let go in early December -- and UCLA got a commitment from running back Nathan Starks a couple of weeks ago. Mack is officially visiting Louisville this weekend, and he did say he'd like be recruited by UCLA and would "love to visit." Interestingly, UCLA's rating per committed player went up from 3.54 stars to 3.6 after Mack's decommitment.

Late Friday Morning Update: UCLA coaches Adrian Klemm and Angus McClure were at Bellflower St. John Bosco to check in on UCLA commits Jaleel Wadood and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner. They also were able to check in on 2015 prospects Josh Rosen and Zachary Robertson, both of whom have Bruin offers and are leaning to UCLA. And of course, Damien Mama, the five-star lineman that UCLA hasn't stopped recruiting.


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