Football Recruiting Buzz -- Afternoon Update

The UCLA coaching staff is now out around the country during the Evaluation Period, seeing prospects like Cece Jefferson, Kendall Sheffield, Soso Jamabo and more...

We're a few weeks into the Evaluation Period, and now that UCLA's spring practice is over, the coaching staff is now able to get out of Los Angeles and check in on out-of- the-region recruits.

Jim Mora, per NCAA rules, isn't allowed to visit recruits or high schools this spring as a head coach. He is currently at the Pac-12 annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, through Wednesday.

Here are a list of recruits we know UCLA coaches have visited recently, or about to visit, and some buzz about them. This, of course, is not a comprehensive list. Also, know that much of the time coaches are just stopping by high schools to make an appearance and get some face time with high school coaches. So, the UCLA coaches, when they take a swing through Texas, will go by many high schools that might not necessarily have a prospect UCLA is currently recruiting, but do so just to build relationships.

CeCe Jefferson, the 6-3, 245-pound prospect from Glen Saint Mary (Fla.) Baker County, the #1 defensive end in the nation. UCLA Defensive Coordinator Jeff Ulbrich saw Jefferson last week. We're hearing that Jefferson is expressing some very serious interest in UCLA, and the Bruins will definitely be in the running for him. It's expected that he'll visit UCLA unofficially during June, and it would be the second time on campus for him and his mom, having visited last spring, too.

Austin Bryant
Austin Bryant, the 6-4, 225-pound DE/LB from Thomasville (Georgia) Thomas County Central. Ulbrich also visited Bryant, the #27-ranked DE in the nation, and the buzz we've heard from sources in Georgia is that Bryant really has a bond with Ulbrich and that UCLA has a very good chance with him. He intends to visit unofficially during the summer, and perhaps make an early decision. Stanford is a serious contender, too, and the SEC is always tough to beat.

Neville Gallimore, the 6-3, 290-pound DT from St. Catharines (Ontario, Canada) St. Catharines CI & VS. UCLA Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure traveled all the way to Ontario Tuesday to see Gallimore. UCLA is recruiting him because they have a connection -- current UCLA defensive tackle Eli Ankou is from the same hometown in Ottawa and knows Gallimore. UCLA is pretty solidly in Gallimore's top five, and we know that Maryland is going to one of the five, and possibly Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Minnesota.

Tyrone Wheatley, the 6-6, 240-pound defensive end/tight end from Buffalo (New York) Canisius, the #15-ranked DE in the nation. McClure saw both Gallimore and Wheatley Tuesday (their two high schools are only about 40 miles apart).

Kendall Sheffield, the 6-0, 180-pound prospects from Missouri City (Tex.) Marshall, the #2-ranked cornerback in the nation. UCLA Defensive Back Coach Demetrice Martin recently took a trip through Texas and stopped in to see Sheffield. Sheffield is a tough read in terms of recruiting, but the fact he visited LSU for its spring game might be an indication. UCLA is trying to use any connections they can get since the high school is the alma mater of current Bruin Deon Hollins. The feeling is that if UCLA can get Sheffield to visit UCLA this summer the Bruins would have a shot.

Sotonye Jamabo, the 6-2, 206 pound prospect from Plano (Tex.) Plano West, is the #2-ranked running back in the nation. Jamabo keeps his recruiting very close to the vest, but the buzz is that UCLA is doing well with him, and that he intends to visit UCLA this summer. The fact he's said he's not a "big fan of cold weather" will help UCLA, and could hurt schools like Notre Dame and Ohio State.

• Martin went to see Conner Dyer, the 6-4, 280-pounder from Mesquite (Tex.) Horn, the #12-ranked offensive guard in the country.

Tim Settle, the 6-3, 310-pound prospect from Manassas (Virg.) Stonewall Jackson, the #3-ranked defensive tackle in the nation. The word is that McClure is scheduled to go by the high school Wednesday. Settle keeps showing UCLA interest, but it's thought the Bruins will have a hard time staying in this one.

Ricky DeBerry, the 6-2, 240-pound linebacker, from Richmond (Virg.) St. Christopher's. McClure will make it a two-stop Wednesday when he also checks in on DeBerry.

DaMarkus Lodge, 6-2, 190-pound prospect from Cedar Hill (Tex.), the #2 receiver in the nation. Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm is in Texas, and stopped by to see Lodge Tuesday.

• Klemm also went by one of the biggest programs in the state, Dallas Skyline, to see Carlos Strickland, the 6-4, 200-pound prospect, the #10-ranked receiver in the nation, and Kylan Johnson, the safety prospect. Skyline is a huge program so also at the high school are Anthony Wheeler, the 6-2, 225-pound linebacker ranked #4 in the nation, and Zach Abercrumbia, the #28-ranked defensive tackle in the nation. UCLA is trying with Strickland, but it's uncertain if they'll be seriously considered.

UCLA and Klemm offered 2015 Skyline offensive line prospect Clarence Henderson.

Jordan Stevenson, the 5-10, 190-pound running back from Dallas (Tex.) South Oak Cliff, ranked the #16 running back in the nation and verbally committed to Texas.

Kevin Thomas, the 6-0, 175-pound receiver prospect, and Bryce English, the 6-0, 315-pound defensive tackle prospect, both from Desoto (Tex.).

• We've heard that Ryan Newsome, the receiver prospect from Aledo (Tex.), who is one of Mora's prime targets, is expecting Klemm Thursday.

• We've heard that Keller (Tex.) High is also expecting Klemm to check in to see Maea Teuhema, the #1 offensive guard propect in the nation, currently committed to LSU.

Drew Richmond
Roy Hemsley, the offensive line prospect from Los Angeles Windward, announced his decision for USC Tuesday. We've heard that he wanted UCLA to keep recruiting him, however, but the Bruins aren't. UCLA already has one offensive lineman committed in Tevita Halalilo, and will probably sign three, possibly four, and is doing very well with a good number of prospects. So it makes no sense to spend time pursuing Hemsley.

• In fact, we've heard that UCLA is doing well with Drew Richmond, the #11-ranked offensive tackle in the nation from Memphis (Tenn.). Richmond told us that UCLA Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm will be out to see him next week. Interestingly, Richmond says he wants to announce a decision September 9th, and the only official visit he's certain of is to UCLA. He said he could still visit other schools in additon to the one he announces for, however.

• Since UCLA's Spring Game, we've heard from a couple of sources that UCLA is doing very well with Keisean Lucier-South, the defensive end/linebacker from Orange (Calif.) Orange Lutheran, who is the nation's #4-ranked DE. Lucier-South has made some pretty strong indications that UCLA is his leader at this point. He has said, though, he'll wait to make a decision, so there is still a long way to go.

• UCLA assistant Eric Yarber is expected to be at the spring game of Christian Kirk, the receiver prospect from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro on May 16th.

• We also know that UCLA assistant Mike Tuiasosopo went to Utah to see Porter Gustin, the linebacker prospect from Salem Hills (Utah), and Andre James, the offensive line target from Herriman (Utah). The word is that UCLA is doing well with James. Tuiaososopo is expected to take a trip to the state of Washington next week.

• We expect more scholarship offers as a result of these in-person visits, when the coaches can actually eyeball the recruits, as early as today.

Wednesday Afternoon Update: We heard that UCLA coaches, being out across the country, visited and offered more prospects today.

• UCLA coaches went to see Osa Masina, the linebacker prospect from Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton, for the second time in two weeks. Also at the school is Simi Fehoko, the 2016 receiver/safety with offers from Clemson and Utah.

• UCLA offered 2015 San Diego (Calif.) Del Norte defensive back Quenton Meeks. Meeks was impressive at the SoCal Nike Camp. His father is former Indianapolis Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks, who was the DC when the Colts won the Super Bowl after the 2006 season.

• A UCLA offer has gone out to Josh Wariboko, the Oklahoma City (Okal.) Casady prospect, currently the #10-ranked offensive guard in the nation. Wariboko, a former Oklahoma commit who opened up the recruiting process, was apparently was very receptive to the offer.

• UCLA offered 2015 defensive back Josh Butler, from Mesquite (Tex.) West Mesquite, received a UCLA offer.

• New 2016 offers went out to:

Devin Duvernay, wide receiver prospect from Sachse (Tex.
Jared Mayden, defensive back from Sachse.
Dee Anderson, wide receiver from West Mesquite.

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