Recruiting Notes and Buzz

UCLA has several unofficial visitors coming in this weekend, the Bruins continue to do well with Josh Rosen, and the staff is hitting Louisiana hard...

With the Los Angeles NFTC this weekend, UCLA will have at least six unofficial visitors, all of whom are members of the Scout 300, and five of whom are from outside the region. Among those visiting:

-- Tevita Halalilo, Four-star Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde offensive lineman
-- Keenan Walker, Four-star Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral offensive tackle
-- Thomas Toki, Four-star Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis defensive tackle
-- Cordell Broadus, Four-star Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman wide receiver
-- Andre James, Four-star Herriman (Utah) offensive lineman
-- Cassius Peat, Four-star Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol outside linebacker (who was very recently offered by the Bruins)

There could be a few more unofficial visitors this weekend, but those are the six we've heard will be on campus.

UCLA has offered several more players this week, including the following:

-- Christian Rector, Three-star Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola defensive end.
-- Neville Gallimore, Three-star St. Catharines (Ont.) defensive end.
-- Scott Patchan, Three-star Tampa (Fla.) Freedom defensive end, who may be difficult to pry from the South, since his brother played at Florida and father played at Miami.
-- Adonis Thomas, Four-star Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett outside linebacker, who's a national prospect and has Florida and Georgia as his top two currently.
-- Austin Bryant, Four-star Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central defensive end.

We've heard that three-star New Orleans (La.) Holy Cross receiver Michael Chigbu, who was recently offered by UCLA, could be looking to leave the state for college. Chigbu actually attended a Texas A&M practice recently and the Aggies could be stiff competition for his services.

There was some talk shortly after signing day that former LSU outside linebacker (and former four-star prospect) Lorenzo Phillips was looking to transfer to UCLA. That didn't come to fruition, with Phillips instead opting to transfer to East Mississippi junior college. Phillips, though, could be looking to take a visit to UCLA sometime in the coming months in the interest of finding a landing spot after a year in the JUCO ranks. Georgia, Florida, USC, and Ole Miss could also factor into the competition for Phillips' services.

Roy Hemsley.
We've heard that UCLA is doing really well with Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward offensive tackle Roy Hemsley, who was offered by UCLA this past month. Hemsley is a basketball player as well, and we will get a chance to see and interview him Saturday afternoon during playoff competition in Santa Ana.

In addition to Hemsley, we've heard that UCLA is doing very well with Halalilo, who could commit on his visit to UCLA this weekend. According to Greg Biggins, Halalilo has good mobility for his size (6'5", 315), with excellent feet and balance, which would allow him to project well as a guard in UCLA's system.

As we've reported for some time, UCLA is doing very well with five-star Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco quarterback Josh Rosen, to the point where it'd be a shock to virtually every recruiting expert and likely Rosen himself if he were to pick any school other than UCLA. He's scheduled to announce on March 20th at his high school, and it could be a pretty triumphant moment for UCLA fans, particularly if Rosen is able to outperform current USC commit and No. 1 quarterback in the 2015 class Ricky Town over the next couple of weekends. An early commitment from Rosen could provide a significant boost to UCLA's chances with a variety of skill players, including the No. 1 receiver in the West, Christian Kirk.

We've heard that UCLA is doing well with four-star Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County middle linebacker Roquan Smith, with the Bruins building momentum off being Smith's first offer during his sophomore season. We'd speculate, though, that it could be difficult to get Smith out of the South, and from speaking with Smith this week, it seems as though he has the next two months of visits planned already—all of which are to schools in the South. There is a sense, though, that Smith is the type of kid who could thrive outside of the South, and may enjoy the idea of being away from home and in a bigger spotlight, such as Los Angeles. He grew up a fan of USC, so there's a bit of a Los Angeles connection there. He has no set plans to visit UCLA as of yet, but he said if he gets invited to The Opening (which is at the Nike campus in Oregon), he wants to make his way down to Los Angeles from there.

UCLA has obviously recruited Louisiana heavily under Jim Mora, especially throughout the 2014 cycle and now the 2015 cycle. UCLA has already offered many Louisiana prospects, among them Bo Wallace and Chigbu, and there are several more who UCLA is evaluating and could offer soon, including the following:

-- C.J. Morgan, 2016 Bossier City (La.) Parkway defensive back.
-- T.D. Moton, 2015 four-star Shreveport (La.) Woodlawn defensive tackle, who is being recruited by virtually every SEC school.
-- Terrell Chatman, 2015 three-star Baton Rouge (La.) Central wide receiver, who is thought to be a heavy LSU lean, and has said he could commit to the Tigers as soon as they offer.
-- Joe Anderson, 2015 three-star Reserve (La.) Riverside Academy outside linebacker.

Iman Marshall.
In talking to Long Beach (Calif.) Poly cornerback and No. 1 prospect in the West Iman Marshall this weekend, it seems that UCLA is very much in it for him, but that the Bruins are still probably running behind USC and Stanford. Marshall has visited UCLA twice in the last few weeks, most recently for UCLA's home basketball game against Oregon. When asked about the two Los Angeles programs, he had this to say:

On UCLA: "I'm liking the Bruins. I like what [coach] Jim Mora is doing with the squad and how they're revolutionizing the UCLA team and atmosphere."

On USC: "I like USC, they have a wonderful staff coming down from Washington, seeing how they turned Washington around in a couple years, seeing what they are going to do with their big recruits that they got, [Long Beach (Calif.) Poly safety] Juju Smith, [Gardena (Calif.) Serra cornerback] Adoree Jackson, [Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco offensive lineman] Damien Mama, see how they play – see what they do this year."

Three-star Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany cornerback Colin Samuel has not yet earned an offer from UCLA, but hopes to secure one when he camps with UCLA later this spring. He recently earned his first offer from San Diego State, and could be a prospect that emerges later this year. With the limited rides that UCLA has this cycle, though, Samuel would likely have to perform exceptionally well throughout the spring to get an offer. The prospect is also hearing from Maryland, Fresno State, Mississippi State, Washington State, and Washington.

Four-star Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North defensive end Jacob Daniel tweeted out his top 11 on Friday and UCLA made the cut. The other ten schools are USC, Ole Miss, Oregon, Arizona, Arizona State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Washington, Fresno State, and California.

One thing that's been obvious this cycle is that UCLA is doing a very thorough job recruiting second and third options in case priority recruits fall through. Even though the Bruins have a commitment from No. 1 tight end in the country Alize Jones, UCLA is still recruiting San Ramon (Calif.) California tight end Matt Snyder, who plans on camping with the Bruins later this spring. In another year, many of these secondary and tertiary options might be more coveted, but with UCLA not having many scholarships, the Bruins staff is being a bit more judicious.

We've heard that four-star Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton outside linebacker Osa Masina is heavily considering UCLA, with his family being particularly interested in the school. Masina visited campus last month, and we heard that the visit went well. Masina has plans to return for the spring game.

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