UCLA's camps, if all the recruits who claim they're coming actually participate, should prove to be probably the most influential events of this recruiting cycle. The UCLA camps have always had the chance to be, since it's an opportunity for the Bruin coaches to see prospects first-hand and actually coach them. As of right now, the amount of recruits we've heard planning to participate in this year's UCLA's camps is unprecedented, at least for us in our time doing this. Even many players who have UCLA offers are planning to participate, where it used to be a prospect with an offer didn't feel the need to camp. Even 2016 prospects – with UCLA offers – have indicated to us they intend to participate. And there are many recruits that are close to getting UCLA offers that plan to camp, so it, overall, looks like UCLA's camps are setting up to have a huge impact on UCLA's recruiting, easily moreso than they ever have in the past.
The UCLA camps are:
June 22 – Elite Big Man Camp
June 23 – Elite Skills Camp
June 24 – 7-on-7 Team Camp
June 25 – Bruin Elite Camp
Also, this summer is going to be a bit different for coaches. The NCAA is now allowing college coaches to instruct at camps during the summer, and from our understanding, each program has a limited time for its coaches to do so. UCLA's skill coaches will coach at Noel Mazzone's Q90 Camp in July, so they'll be able to coach up quarterback, receiver and defensive back recruits, potentially from all around the country since there will be five Q90 Camps (L.A., Bay Area, Washington D.C., Tampa, and Dallas). You might hear other UCLA coaches, too, hooking up with some established camps, like Offensive Line Coach Adrian Klemm or Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure potentially coaching at an OL/DL camp in July. It's going to be interesting to watch how the interaction, not just with UCLA coaches but all college coaches, impacts recruiting.
For the next couple of weeks before the UCLA camps, we're in this recruiting lull, coming out of the Spring Evaluation Period, with most recruits just getting out of school and making their summer plans. Many are starting to take their summer unofficial visits, like we reported on Texas receiver Ryan Newsome visiting UCLA on Monday (Newsome Raves About UCLA). A large amount of recruits are planning on visiting campus this summer – and again, if all of the recruits who have indicated they are visiting actually do visit it will be the busiest summer ever for UCLA coaches, entertaining a steady stream of recruits unofficially visiting UCLA.
UCLA hasn't had a commitment in a while, since late April when Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks receiver L.J. Reed committed right after the Spring Game. But given that more recruits will be taking their summer unofficial visits, UCLA's upcoming camps, and UCLA coaches able to coach at other camps in July, we think it's going to start hopping here in recruiting pretty quick.
We also think that UCLA is in a very good spot for Stephen Johnson, the other speedy athlete from San Leandro (Calif.). Johnson could decide in the next couple of months and, if things don't change, it very likely would be UCLA.
That's also the situation with Quenton Meeks, the defensive back from San Diego (Calif.) Del Norte. Despite a recent offer from Stanford, we've heard that UCLA is likely still the leader, and he has said he intends to decide by the end of the summer.
With just one commitment on the offensive and defensive lines, it might appear a bit dicey for UCLA, but, in actuality, the Bruins are doing well with OL and DL recruiting.
OL Coach Klemm has one commitment, from Tevita Halalilo, from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, and he probably will give out three more scholarships to 2015 offensive linemen. It's clear that Josh Wariboko, from Oklahoma City (Okla.) Casady, Drew Richmond from Memphis (Tenn.) University School, and Herriman (Utah) High's Andre James are high on that priority list, and UCLA is doing well with each. Wariboko recently said that UCLA is the only official visit he's arranged (for the USC game, Nov. 22nd). Richmond has UCLA probably one-two with Alabama. Both plan to visit UCLA unofficially this summer. The word is that UCLA is definitely in it for James.
We had reported that things might have cooled with Sacramento (Calif.) Grant's Darrin Paulo, but we've now heard from sources close to the recruit that UCLA is very much on Paulo and has prioritized him. Klemm went to see Paulo during the Evaluation Period and we've heard that he picked up his recruitment of the OL prospect as a result. We have never seen Paulo, since he's a bit of mystery guy, but we've heard he's very big, probably 6-6 and 320ish, but moves extremely well. It's looking like a UCLA-USC battle for Paulo, while UCLA has some connections, with UCLA fullback Nate Iese being Paulo's cousin. He's supposed to participate in UCLA's lineman camp.
Kieffer Longson, from San Ramon (Calif.) Dougherty Valley, too, also plans to camp at UCLA, and we could easily see Longson garnering a UCLA offer. Longson is LDS and plans on taking his Mission right out of high school, so a commitment from him doesn't impact UCLA's limited scholarship numbers for 2015.
We have heard that UCLA is trying to get Anaheim (Calif.) Servite's Clayton Johnston to camp, and we think, if he did, he could be a prime candidate for an offer. Johnston has great size, a good body that could easily add more weight, and good feet. He was clearly the best prospect at the Polynesian Kumite Camp this last weekend.
Other offensive line prospects who have indicated they could participate in UCLA's camp that we could see garnering a UCLA offer with a good showing are: Bar Milo, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade; Blake Brandel, from Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic, and Jack Dreyer, from San Mateo (Calif.) Serra.
On the defensive line, UCLA is looking to give out probably two scholarships and possibly three. The word is that UCLA is doing well with two of its top targets, Rasheem Green, from Gardena (Calif.) Serra, and Takkarist McKinley, the JC prospect from San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa College. It was always assumed that Green was a USC lean since he goes to seemingly USC-leaning Serra, but the feeling now is that it probably isn't the case. He comes from an academic family – his mom having gone to UCLA – and he could qualify for admission to Stanford. In fact, a few close to the recruitment feel it could be UCLA and Stanford that are at the top of his list. But we still feel USC is going to be a player with Green.
UCLA has a longtime history with McKinley, with McClure having recruited him out of high school, and we've heard UCLA is probably in the driver's seat for him.
We're also hearing that UCLA is doing well with Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol stand-up defensive end/outside linebacker Cassius Peat. It has generally been thought that Arizona State was the leader for Peat, but we've heard that UCLA is right there, too.
Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou's Canton Kaumatule is another mystery guy, with no reporter having actually talked to him in months. The word continues to circulate, though, that he won't qualify academically for Stanford, which will preclude him from following his brother there, and that it's a UCLA/USC battle with possibly Oregon a contender.
We've heard that UCLA is in line to get an official visit from Neville Gallimore, from St. Catharine's (Ontario, CAN). UCLA has a connection to Gallimore, with current UCLA defensive lineman Eli Ankou from the same hometown. Gallimore is originally from the Bahamas and has family all over the country, including in SoCal, so he has no qualms about being far away from home.
There has been quite a bit reported about Russell Ude, from Atlanta (Georgia) Westminster School. It looked like he was going to make a commitment this month, and many thought it would be to UCLA, but he has since backed off that stance. We think it's a case where Ude probably needs to go to UCLA's camp later this month and get in front of the UCLA coaches to really firm up the recruitment.
Another prospect to watch is Rialto (Calif.) Carter's Kyon Clark, the younger brother of current UCLA defensive lineman Kenny Clark. He's a very promising prospect, but at 6-2 and probably 350, is carrying too much weight. From what we've heard, he's lost some weight already, and is on a workout regimen to lose more. On tape he shows some very impressive quickness for a player his size, and a mean streak. He pretty much looks like Kenny with 40 extra pounds on him. If the little brother can show he's losing weight, he very well could be an option for UCLA at defensive line – a project type that could redshirt or even grayshirt. Clark is supposed to be on UCLA's campus next week.
In Part 2 – a look at recruiting of other positions besides the OL and DL, like the situation at running back, the linebacker prospects UCLA looks very good for right now, and some DBs that could earn a scholarship offer at UCLA's camp…
Also a note: This report is not comprehensive, and doesn't cover every one of UCLA's recruits, just those we've heard some recent recruiting information about.