Recruiting Reset: 2015 Defense

A look the 2015 defensive players UCLA has offered and targeted...

UCLA should have a very limited amount of scholarships to give in 2015, with only a handful of current juniors. But with a few left over from the 2014 class, they may have in the ballpark of 15 scholarships for next year.

UCLA will want to find a good amount of rides, since the 2015 class is not just strong nationally, but it may be one of the best classes locally in several years.  The quarterback position is particularly strong, with the prospect that may end up being the top quarterback prospect nationally, Josh Rosen, being a UCLA lean right now  The receiver class should also be fairly strong and UCLA is already in early on several top prospects as well as a rising offensive line class.

NOTE: This list is just 2015 prospects we know that UCLA has offered.  And Others to Watch includes prospects we know are high on their board.

**Rankings are by position nationally.**


Needs at Position: 1

UCLA signed two defensive end types in 2014, and with limited rides for 2015, will probably only have room for/need one. With the talent on the roster, then, it has the luxury of being very selective.

Kaumatule is the top player in Hawaii and one of the elite players nationally, though he has a brother at Stanford.  Green is raw but has ridiculous upside and UCLA offered him before schools like USC and Florida offered, but the Trojans are probably the team to beat.  Lucier-South was at a couple of UCLA games last fall and it appears UCLA is either leading or right there for him. He plays defensive end but worked at outside linebacker at UCLA's Elite Camp last summer and looked pretty good there. He probably would project at the Anthony Barr-ish OLB/stand-up DE position, so if Lucier-South jumped on board UCLA would probably take another, more-DE type. Jefferson visited in June unofficially and UCLA would love to get him on a return visit. He is one of the premier prospects in the 2015 class nationally. Cornell is interested, with family in California. McKenzie might be among the few best on the list, he's in UCLA Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure's recruiting region (NorCal), and he comes from a big-time program, De La Salle, that UCLA wouldn't mind establishing a connection with. We think it's only a matter of time before UCLA offers McKenzie.

Kahlil McKenzie
Keisean Lucier-South, 6-4, 220, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, #2
Rasheem Green, 6-5, 270, Gardena (Calif.) Serra, #5
Canton Kaumatule, 6-6, 260, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou, #3
CeCe Jefferson, 6-3, 265, Glen Saint Mary (Fla.) Baker County, #1
Josh Sweat, 6-4, 230, Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith, #7
Jashon Cornell, 6-4, 250, Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall, #9
Tyrone Wheatley, 6-6, 240, Buffalo (N.Y.) Canisius, #15
Darian Roseboro, 6-5, 265, Lincolnton (N.C.), #22
Arden Key, 6-4, 215, Lithonia (Ga.) King, #23
LaSamuel Davis, Bamberg (S.C.) Bamberg Erhardt

Others To Watch
Breiden Fehoko, 6-3, 275, Honolulu (Hawaii) Farrington, #11
Kahlil McKenzie, 6-3, 240, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, #19
Joseph Wicker, 6-4, 255, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, #20


Needs at Position: 1

UCLA signed a great one in Ainuu Taua in 2014, and it will look to sign one in 2015. UCLA has many different packages and looks for its defensive line, and Taua, being a bit smaller but very explosive, could fit into the Keenan Graham-type role. UCLA, then, for 2015 might want more of the big, immoveable-object type nose tackle.

Jacob Daniel
The Bruins have already offered two Western defensive tackles. Daniel will be one of the elite tackle prospects nationally and he's already the best defensive prospect in the Central Valley, regardless of class  That said, UCLA may like him more as an interior offensive lineman.  He committed to Washington and its previous staff, but opened up his recruitment during the coaching transition. Toki committed to Washington State in December, but still could end up taking visits. Carter is the younger brother of UCLA freshman DT Ken Clark; he is a massive human and, at about 320, has already lost about 30 pounds, but he has exceptional athleticism and motor. If he continues to lose weight and improve that could make it easy on defensive tackle recruiting.

Jacob Daniel, 6-4, 298, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North, #6
Thomas Toki, 6-1, 285, Kirkland (Wash.) Juanita, #16 (Washington State commit)
Tim Settle, 6-3, 307 Manassas (Va.) Stonewall Jackson, #1

Others To Watch
Vaimoe Sekona, 6-3, 280, Encino (Calif.) Crespi, #21
Kyon Clark, 6-2, 320, Rialto (Calif.) Carter.


Needs at Position: 1

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of recruiting for the 3-4 defense is at linebacker; with four linebackers you need a deep stable of guys, and there aren't always the type of 6-3, 230-pound athletes out there that fit the bill. UCLA did do very well for 2014 in the four linebackers it got and, again, with limited scholarships, it probably has room for just one outside linebacker. Again, it also gives UCLA the opportunity to be very selective.

Kyahva Tezino
Houston is the top linebacker prospect in the region for the 2015 class and may be the best linebacker in the West already, regardless of class.  UCLA was his first offer and then several other national powers got involved and he seemingly seems to be more interested in USC at this point. UCLA might actually covet other guys more highly anyway. Tezino comes from the Salesian program where there has been some issues with UCLA, but the Bruins want him and will continue to recruit him heavily.  Masina is the top prospect in Utah and he's got definite interest in the Bruins.

John Houston, 6-3, 200, Gardena (Calif.) Serra, #3
Kyahva Tezino, 6-1, 200, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian, #9
Osa Masina, 6-4, 205, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton, #6
Jeffery Holland, 6-2, 230, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy, #4
Arthur McGinnis, 6-2.5, 215, New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton, #24
Ricky DeBerry, 6-2, 235, Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher's, #2
Johnathan Sutton, 6-1, 218, Swansea (S.C.), #13

Victor Alexander

Needs at Position: 1-2

Middle linebackers are especially hard to find, so UCLA might take two if there are two elite guys that want to come.

Alexander was somewhat of an unknown when UCLA offered him and then took his commitment, but his film helped calm some questions. It will be interesting to see if UCLA can hold onto Alexander as all of the southeast programs jump into his recruitment. Smith has racked up nearly 350 tackles the past two seasons at Granite Bay and is one of UCLA's top defensive targets, but a recent offer from USC at their Junior Day certainly has the Trojans in the mix for him.  This will likely be a UCLA-USC battle throughout.

Victor Alexander, 5-10, 220, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy- #13
Cameron Smith, 6-2, 247, Granite Bay (Calif.), #1
Roquan Smith, 6-1, 200, Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County, #5

Others Linebackers To Watch
Jack Savage, 6-2, 200, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite
Mustafa Branch, 6-0, 215, Bellevue (Wash.)
Matt Locher, 6-3, 245, Los Alamitos (Calif.), #14

Marvell Tell

Needs at Position: 1-2

If there's a spot on the defensive depth chart that might be slightly thin it would be safety. There's a question, too, if 2014 signee Ron Robinson even ends up at safety. Mossi Johnson might end up there, and UCLA got a great one in Jaleel Wadood, but we could easily see UCLA take two in 2015.

Tell is the top safety in the country and may be among the small handful of best prospects in the west for 2015 regardless of position. At Crespi, he played alongside UCLA freshman Tyler Foreman as a sophomore and, as good as Foreman was, Tell is thought to be one of the best players to come from Crespi in years. The Bruins got on him early and are his early leader. Buncom was offered by UCLA early as well and he looked very good at UCLA's Elite Camp.  Buncom even tweeted this week before Signing Day, that he was on the phone with Jim Mora this week.  Dale comes from River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian, the school UCLA 2014 linebacker signee Kenny Young comes from, but also the school of receiver Malachi Dupre, who UCLA missed on.

Marvell Tell, 6-2, 175, Encino (Calif.) Crespi, #1
Frank Buncom, 6-1, 180, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine, #9
Hunter Dale, 6-0, 185, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian, #33
Deshawn Capers-Smith, 6-0.5, 185, New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton
Ben Edwards, 6-0, 195, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy

Others To Watch
Kameron Powell, 5-10, 175, Upland (Calif.), #15


Needs at Position: 1-2

UCLA signed two 2014 prospects that we think are going to make big contributions to the program, Denzel Fisher and Adarius Pickett, and you add them to an already good-looking cornerback depth chart. UCLA probably only needs 1 cornerback, but there is a great deal of talent in the west at the position -- that UCLA has a very good chance to get, so it's conceivable they take two. And in UCLA's defense, good cover guys can get used at safety and nickel.

Stanley "Scrappy" Norman
UCLA offered Marshall almost two years ago when he was finishing up his freshman year and he's the premier defensive back in the region in the 2015 class.  He plays corner now, and it's where his heart is, but could end up at safety in college. If you're designing an ideal nickel or free safety for today's college defenses, Marshall might be the prototype. He came to UCLA's Elite Camp last summer to watch but his competitive juices motivated him to work out, at defensive back and receiver. Bell was another who got an early offer from UCLA and he can play on either side of the ball.  When Norman received his UCLA offer he called it a "dream offer." He was terrific at UCLA's Elite Camp in June, working mostly as a receiver, but he clearly projects to cornerback, where he's an elite prospect with offers from across the country.  Norman has since moved to Gardena Serra, where he'll play on both sides of the ball. Holiday emerged in the 2013 season as a potentially elite prospect, and UCLA is doing well with him.

Iman Marshall, 6-1.5, 190, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, #4
Kanya Bell, 6-0, 160, Diamond Bar (Calif.), #9
Stanley Norman, 5-10, 165, Gardena (Calif.) Serra, #6
Dechaun Holiday, 6-2, 190, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills, #24
Rico McGraw, 6-1, 190, Nashville (Tenn.) Ensworth, #12
Tyrek Cole, 5-10, 165, Miramar (Fla.), #14
Xavier Lewis, 6-0, 180, Reserve (La.) East Saint John, #18
Maurice Smitherman, 5-11, 170, Adamsville (Ala.) Minor, #37
Rashard Causey, 6-0, 193, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University, #45
Kevin Toliver, 6-2, 180, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy, #1 (LSU commit)
Deontei Williams, 6-1.5, 175, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy
Josh Butler, 5-10, 150, Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite.

Others To Watch
Dominic Davis, 5-10, 175, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
Colin Samuel, 6-2, 175, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany

Brandon is in his ninth year with and FOX Sports, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout Network since 2003.
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