Monday Morning Recruiting Buzz Word

There are some big developments so far this morning with some of UCLA's five-star targets, and the Bruins are already aggressively working the 2015 class...

-- It's the mother of all recruiting weekends for UCLA this weekend. As of now, this is the visit list:

Malachi Dupre, WR, 6-3, 195, River Ridge (Louisiana) Curtis
Kenny Young, LB, 6-2, 225, River Ridge (Louisiana) Curtis
Michiah Quick, 5-11, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central
Kalen Ballage, RB, 6-2, 220, Falcon (Col.)
Davon Godchaux, DE, 6-4, 271, Plaquemine (Louisiana)
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, DE, 6-4, 260, St. John Bosco Committed
Jaleel Wadood, DB, Bellflower St. John Bosco *Unofficial** Committed,
Iman Marshall, 6-1.5, 190, 2015, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly **Unofficial**

Of course, this list is highly subject to change, and we'd expect probably more unofficial visitors. The weekend did take a little bit of a hit when Solomon Thomas and Rashaan Evans decided not to visit unofficially, but this is easily UCLA's biggest recruiting weekend in recent memory. Whether the weekend is strong enough to sway Dupre, Young, Quick, Ballage, et al, could truly transform the 2014 recruiting class from a good one to an excellent one, among the top 10 in the nation.

-- The big news of the day is that Juju Smith, the five-star prospect from Long Beach Poly, will be on UCLA's campus today for an unoficial visit, accompanied by his family. We continue to hear that UCLA's chances have improved with Smith, who officially visited USC last weekend, and has visited Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama and Ohio State officially. It's always been believed that USC, his childhood favorite, is the leader, but UCLA assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu is doing an excellent job of recruiting Smith, giving UCLA a chance.

-- The other big news…

Evans, the #1-ranked outside linebacker in the country from Auburn (Ala.), has cancelled his unofficial visit to UCLA for this weekend. Sources close to the Evans family indicated that it's not reflection on UCLA's chances with Evans, just that the prospect is worn out and needs some rest. Evans just came off an official visit to Auburn, and we do know that Evans is under a gigantic microscope, feeling pressure to go to Auburn, the local school and his father's alma mater. There are those close to the recruitment that believe Evans always wanted to leave the state, however, and was just looking for an easy way to do it without practically getting death threats, and that it might be the least painless option since Auburn fans will excoriate him for going to Alabama, and vice versa. We feel though that the local pressure is tremendous and always an ordeal to spurn. We did hear from a source close to the family that Evans contacted UCLA in the last day or so, during the same weekend he visited Auburn, so that's a good sign for the Bruins. Just speculating, but with Evans conducting many in-home visits this weekend, you can probably expect that UCLA coaches will be traveling to Alabama, even though Mora has already used his one allotted in-home visit with Evans.

-- As we reported, things went really well with Budda Baker, the four-star athlete from Bellevue (Wash.), on his official visit this weekend. The concern was that Baker's mother has a health condition, but the feeling from sources close to the Bakers was that the mother is a big fan of Jim Mora. Also, Baker is close to his former high school teammate Myles Jack, and Jack's mom is planning to move to the Los Angeles area, and it's thought that will help the transition for Baker and his mom.

Budda Baker.
-- National Signing Day is shaping up to be a huge one for UCLA. It's expected that a huge list of targets will announce their decisions on that day, Wednesday, Feb. 5th, and many of them on ESPN's day-long coverage of National Signing Day. Announcements should come in waves, from Dupre, Young, Evans, Baker, Godchaux, Quick, Smith and Solomon Thomas.

-- USC-committed Bryce Dixon, the Ventura St. Bonaventure tight end, told Scout.com's Greg Biggins that, after his visit to USC this last weekend, he won't visit UCLA this upcoming weekend. He did, though, say he has an in-home visit with Jim Mora, which we know is Tuesday night, and Dixon said he wasn't sure if he were going to to cancel that. It will be interesting, first, if Dixon, does indeed cancel Mora's in-home visit and, if he doesn't, if Mora can convince him to come on his official visit Friday.

-- Jaleel Wadood, the UCLA-committed defensive back from Bellflower St. John Bosco, will be at UCLA for the weekend on an uofficial visit. Wadood has been a great recruiter for the program, so it can only help to have him around to help with the recruits visiting.

-- Mora had an in-school visit at Gardena Serra Monday morning with Adoree Jackson, the five-star prospect. We believe that if Jackson doesn't respond to this visit that UCLA will drop him pretty quickly. Jackson never has really connected to UCLA, which is a bit unusual when Mora takes on a big role in a prospect's recruitment. Scout.com's Greg Biggins said there's a good chance Jackson will visit USC this coming weekend, and it could be an official or unofficial. It still is considered a Florida-USC battle. Jackson will probably reduce his list to 2 or 3 this week, and it'd be a surprise if UCLA is on it.

-- Greg Biggins on Sunday's unofficial visit to UCLA by Josh Rosen, the 2015 five-star quarterback prospect: Rosen said he was very tempted to commit on the visit and had a great time but thinks it's still a little too early. Said there is no timetable for a decision but said it could come in the next two weeks to a month or whenever he feels ready. He said highlight of the visit was hanging with Mora, whom he loves, seeing how similar the UCLA offense is to what they run at St. John Bosco and how seamless the transition would be if he went there.

-- Besides Rosen, UCLA has been putting in some work with the 2015 class. UCLA will have a series of Meet-and-Greets for the 2015 class rather than just one big Junior Day, since it's smaller numbers of recruits in any given day and more conducive to meeting with the recruits one-on-one. UCLA's first will be February 15th, on the day of the Utah basketball game at Pauley Pavilion.

-- Keisean Lucier-South, the five-star 2015 defensive end/linebacker from Orange Lutheran, will, in fact, be at UCLA on Feb. 15th. He recently said UCLA is leading right now by a decent margin, and that the Bruins are the program recruiting him the hardest, while USC is also. He did say Michigan, who recently offered, was his childhood favorite, and it still is very early, but UCLA looks like they're doing a very good early recruiting job on Lucier-South. He recently told Scout.com: "UCLA -- they are recruiting me hard and I really like the job that Coach Mora has done over there. I will be attending UCLA's (Meet-and-Greet) on February 15th and I am looking forward to it."

Lucier-South has sometimes been compared to Anthony Barr, and the similarities are apparent in this video:



-- UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone and Quarterbacks Coach Taylor Mazzone visited Las Vegas Bishop Gorman last week to check in on a couple of 2015 prospects: five-star tight end Alize Jones, who is verbaly committed to UCLA, and Cordell Broadus, the wide receiver who recently transferred from Diamond Bar. Broadus, of course, is the son of Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion?), and Jim Mora had recently spent some time with Snoop at a fundraiser related to Mora's charity, Count on Me Foundation.

-- Iman Marshall, the 2015 five-star defensive back from Long Beach Poly, plans on unofficially visiting UCLA this weekend, for UCLA's big recruiting weekend.

-- We also know that Malik Henry, the 2016 standout quarterback prospect from Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake, talked with the UCLA coaches Sunday night. The plan is for Henry to come to one of UCLA's basketball games soon. Henry would be a good fit in UCLA's offense, a kind of younger play-alike version to Brett Hundley, with a strong arm and mobility.

RELATED BRO STORIES --

2014 Football Recruiting Reset: Offense - We reset the board with the new official visitors coming in on the 31st...

Recruiting in the Jim Mora Era - In just two years, Jim Mora has completely changed UCLA recruiting...

Why UCLA Could Make the Playoffs in 2014 - The Bruins have the talent, experience, and schedule to make a deep run...


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