-- Even though five-star linebacker Rashaan Evans from Auburn (Ala.) has decided not to unofficially visit UCLA this weekend, we've heard its down to two schools for him, and UCLA is one of them. The other is either Auburn or Alabama.
-- UCLA is still in it for Adoree Jackson, the five-star athlete from Gardena Serra.
A source at Serra said Jackson emerged from his visit Monday morning at the high school with Jim Mora and a contingent of the UCLA football staff with a good feeling about UCLA. The word is that Mora was pretty blunt, and said if Jackson wanted to drop UCLA at this point the coach would be able to take it, but Jackson insisted UCLA was still under consideration.
The source said that it's between Florida, LSU, USC and UCLA.
USC was coming in for an in-school visit this morning right after Mora, in fact.
The source said UCLA was working to try to get Jackson up to UCLA's campus, and that Jackson was considering when he could do it, possibly this coming weekend. It's thought he very well could visit USC this weekend. From what we've heard, too, Florida, which has probably been considered the front-runner more than any other program for Jackson in his recruitment, isn't even sure if he's visiting them this weekend. So, it appears everyone is in the same boat with Jackson in terms of knowing exactly what he's doing or thinking.
-- The word is that UCLA has a very good shot with Kalen Ballage, the running back from Falcon (Col.), who is verbally committed to ASU. Ballage will officially visit UCLA this weekend, and a source at Falcon High School said it wouldn't be surprising at all if Ballage flipped to UCLA after this weekend.
-- Budda Baker, the four-star defensive back from Bellevue (Wash.) will host an in-home visit with USC coaches today. Baker is just coming off his official visit to UCLA this last weekend, where he indicated to a few people who were around on the visit that UCLA is the place he wants to be. The issue continues to be the health of Budda's mom, and how she'd fare with Budda in Los Angeles. Mora, though, has been friends with Budda's mom for a long time and that relationship has gone a long way in the recruitment. Budda has indicated he's now finished with his visits, even though he does have two remaining and USC is pressing him to take one. We think there's actually a chance, since he's visited UCLA and Washington, his two front runners, that Budda could announce a decision this week.
-- We've heard from sources at Compton Centennial that they're expecting Mora to visit the school today to see UCLA-committed defensive back Denzel Fisher. Then, as we reported, he'll host Juju Smith, the five-star athlete from Long Beach Poly, and his family, on UCLA's campus later today.
-- It appears that UCLA is standing pat with its offensive line recruiting for 2014. With commitments from Najee Toran, from Texas, who can play either guard or center, and Kolton Millerr, who is a prototypical offensive tackle prospect, UCLA Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm has filled his basic needs for the 2014 recruiting class. Then to add the bonus of Malcolm Bunche, who at the very least helps with some-needed tackle depth for 2014, and then to get back the scholarship to give to the 2015 class because Bunche is a one-year graduate transfer, that is a retty good situation, and fits UCLA's OL needs for the 2014 season as well. UCLA would almost certainly take a commitment from Damien Mama, the #1 offensive guard in the nation from Bellflower St. John Bosco, if he wanted to come, but it's looking unlikely and, while the recruiting coup would be a big one, it's not that vital to UCLA OL depth for 2014, or beyond since Mama is taking his Mormon mission after one year of college.
-- We've heard a little more on the unofficial visit Sunday to UCLA by 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen from Bellflower St. John Bosco. A source close to Rosen said the visit went really well, that Rosen is really close with Mora and that there would have to be a major sea change for UCLA not to be his leader, even if Stanford renewed its interest in him. While he might not have formally verbally committed to UCLA Sunday, sources feel it's about as close as it could be to Rosen being committed. Of course, the caveat: It's over a year until National Signing Day 2015 and so much could happen between now and then. But we believe that, with the way Rosen is approaching his recruitment, and how conscientious he is about it, if he verbally committed he'd be the type that would almost certainly stick with his commitment.
Monday Afternoon Recruiting Buzz
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