Tuesday Recruiting Buzz

UCLA is recruiting the 2015 class hard, and it looks like the staff's early efforts are already paying dividends with prospects both locally and nationally...

--Justice Shelton-Mosley is a prospect that could emerge as a UCLA target.  Shelton-Mosley is a 6-0, 180-pound athlete that could plug in at cornerback, slot receiver or even provide some reps at running back.  He's starting to emerge mostly due to his speed, having run a sub-4.5 40, and also because he's an excellent student, having a 4.14 GPA. He has just one offer, from UC Davis, but that could change pretty quickly.  He unofficially visited Cal recently, and plans to visit UCLA and Northwestern in April.  He's close with a current UCLA target, L.J. Reed, the receiver from Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks.

--Tevita Halalilo, the offensive line prospect from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, will unofficially visit UCLA this weekend and he could potentially commit. UCLA recently offered Halalilo and he comes from a family of Bruin fans as well as being close with current Bruin and former high school teammate Poasi Moala

--UCLA, again, is targeting recruits in the state of Louisiana, and it mostly stems from Jim Mora's father having coached the New Orleans Saints for so many years and the Moras having strong ties to the area.

Derrick Dillon.
Perhaps the prospect from Louisiana that's emerging as one of UCLA's top targets is Derrick Dillon, the 5-11, 175-pound athlete from Franklinton (Louisiana) Pine that UCLA recently offered.  The Bruins also recently offered River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian linebacker Bo Wallace, who is from the same high school as UCLA signee Kenny Young; and New Orleans (Louisiana) wide receiver Michael Chigbu.  Wallace has offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arizona State.  Chigbu has really garnered some recent big-time interest, with offers from Notre Dame, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M and more.  From what we're hearing UCLA would have a real chance with each, especially with Wallace.  He would project as that Anthony-Barr-type outside rush linebacker.

--UCLA is really picking up its recruitment of John Houston, the #2-ranked outside linebacker in the nation from Gardena (Calif.) Serra, with Mora personally recruiting Houston.  We still think it'd be difficult to get him away from his USC lean, but it's a long ways to Signing Day. 

--UCLA will probably bring in three linebackers for 2014.   If UCLA can hold onto Victor Alexander, the prospect from Florida that is verbally committed, that would be one inside guy.  It then would be looking for pass rushers, in that Barr-type linebacker/end mold, and that could be Keisean Lucier-South, the elite prospect from Orange (Calif.) Lutheran, Wallace or perhaps Jeffery Holland (Alexander's high school teammate at Trinity Christian). The third linebacker UCLA would take more than likely would be an inside linebacker type, but it could take the most talented prospect available.  It wouldn't turn down two elite pass-rushing linebackers. 

--UCLA currently has two very clear silent verbal commitments, one locally and one from out-of-state. Both are considered elite prospects and UCLA will have a good chance to keep them in the fold by Signing Day, even though next February is a long ways away. 

This isn't to say that other 2015 recruits haven't indicated to UCLA that they're coming, too, but these are two we've heard that are clearly committed.

--UCLA isn't recruiting Desean Holmes, the Pasadena Muir receiver.  According to many sources, it's a long shot he'll qualify academically and could be JC-bound.  The word is that he would have committed to USC by this time if the Trojans were able to accept his commitment.

--UCLA is looking good with Cordell Broadus, the receiver from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman who is the son of rapper Snoop.  Broadus is close with Josh Rosen, the Bellflower St. John Bosco quarterback who is strongly leaning to UCLA.  At this point we know that UCLA is recruiting Broadus pretty aggressively, but it will be interesting to see if they'd take a commitment from him.  UCLA currently has a stable of bigger-type backs and is the leader for L.J. Reed, the 6-3, 200-pounder from the same high school as UCLA signee Alex Van Dyke.  If it got Reed it would then look to find smaller, quicker slot-type guys, but it still very well could take two X and Z types. 

Christian Kirk.
--Christian Kirk, the prospect from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro, is UCLA's top target for that slot receiver, and the word is that they'll be a finalist for him, with Kirk close to a UCLA G.A. and having long ties to the Mazzones.  In that same role would be Dillon, and a guy to watch is Lavan Alston, the 5-11 speedster from Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, who could be a guy that really shows well this spring and summer because of his speed and pass-catching ability.  He looked very promising at Sunday's 4th Quarter 7-on-7.  St. Bonaventure is currently a difficult place for UCLA to recruit, but we've heard that it might be easier for UCLA with Alston.  Kirk is going to hold off on making a decision until late in the game, like January or Signing Day, so it will be interesting what UCLA does with all of these other slot-type prospects in the meantime.  We are pretty certain if Dillon wanted to commit, though, UCLA would take that commitment and probably then hope it could get Kirk, too. 

--After offering running back Bolu Olorunfunmi, from Fresno Clovis North, we've heard that UCLA is Olorunfunmi's leader and he could commit sooner than later.  He's loosely planning to visit UCLA in the spring and we think he could verbally commit then.  When considering an Olorunfunmi commitment, on one hand it makes sense since it's a skimpy group of running backs in the west and Olorunfunmi is the bigger, every-down, between-the-tackles pounder at 5-11 and 210 pounds that UCLA feels it's lacking.  On the other hand, it's pretty early in the process and an Olorunfunmi commitment could be a bit premature.  We'll see how Olorunfunmi looks at this weekend's Nike Camp. 

--A big group of unofficial visitors is expected at UCLA on Saturday, since the recruits are in town for the Nike Camp Sunday.  As we compile the list we'll share it with you. 

--We made a joke Saturday on the message board about which school Rosen would pick when he announces on March 20th.   We apologize if people didn't get the joke, so we'll be more straight-forward about it: Unless something completely unforeseen happens in the next two weeks, it's completely sure that Rosen will announce for UCLA.

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