Also, a reminder again, 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.
At linebacker, UCLA is in a good spot. It needs probably three or four 2015 linebackers, depending on whether you consider certain prospects linebackers or defensive ends, and how much elite talent wants to jump in the boat. UCLA already has a commitment from Victor Alexander, who we think is under-rated as a three-star and a very good prospect, despite being just 5-10. We also think there's a very good chance UCLA holds on to Alexander, even though he's from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian, because of his relationship with UCLA Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Jeff Ulbrich.
We've heard recently that UCLA is looking very good for Osa Masina, the four-star prospect from Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton. He cut his list to eight last month, but we've heard UCLA is on the shorter list and, on many days, is at the top of the list. Ulbrich has been big in the recruitment, as he is in every recruitment he's involved in.
We've hinted in the past that UCLA is doing very well with Roquan Smith, the four-star inside linebacker from Montezuma (Georgia) Macon County, and that still holds true. He has said he's focusing on UCLA, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Auburn, and we heard that he previously indicated to UCLA that the Bruins are at the top of his list. He's been getting hit hard by Florida and hometown Georgia, so we'll see if that holds up by fall. He's already said he's taking an official visit to UCLA.
Perhaps the most interesting linebacker news we've heard recently is that UCLA is a school to watch in the recruitment of Cassius Peat, the four-star prospect from Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol. Peat might fall into that DE/LB role, too, but, like Lucier-South, he has the athleticism to drop into coverage. He is, though, the smallest guy in his family at 6-4 and 235, and if his body even goes slightly the way of his older brother Andrus Peat, the Stanford offensive lineman who is 6-7 and 310, he very well could end up strictly a defensive lineman. The general feeling around his recruitment has been that Arizona State is the leader but we've heard enough recently to believe that the Bruins are very much in the race for Peat, and right there with ASU.
If UCLA were to get any three or four of Alexander, Lucier-South, Masina, Smith and Peat it would be considered a major coup in linebacker recruiting for 2015.
As we said in Part 1 of the Recruiting Buzz Word, UCLA is looking very good for Davis. But while he might project as a running back he could end up playing somewhere else, so we could see UCLA even continuing to pursue other running backs if Davis jumps in the boat, in particular Jamabo, who we've heard UCLA definitely has a good chance with. Jamabo has said a few times he plans on unofficially visiting UCLA this summer, as has Simmons and McCloud. Scarlett, who is the #1 running back in the west, was going to come to UCLA's camp to try to earn a scholarship offer, and, now that he has one, has said he still intends to camp at UCLA.
We continue to hear that UCLA is in the driver's seat for Cordell Broadus, from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. We're also hearing that the Bruins are definitely in it for Equanimeous St. Brown, the prospect from Anaheim Servite. Of course, UCLA already had a commitment from one "big" receiver in L.J. Reed.
In terms of getting a speedy game-breaker type, at the top of the list is Ryan Newsome, the prospect from Aledo (Tex.), who visited UCLA this week (he also stopped in at USC and is now, Thursday, visiting Oregon). As we said in Recruiting Buzz Part 1, UCLA is looking good with Stephen Johnson, and even though he plays quarterback in high school, he probably projects to the slot receiver role in college (or on defense). UCLA is fading some on Christian Kirk, the prospect from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saquaro.
Defensive back recruiting should get interesting, with a very limited number of rides to give, perhaps two and possibly three, and seemingly quite a few prospects that Defensive Backs Coach Demetrice Martin is on aggressively and that he's doing well with. We've chronicled that UCLA is doing well with Dechaun Holiday, from Mission Hills (Calif.) San Marcos; Marvell Tell, from Encino Crespi, and Quenton Meeks, from San Diego (Calif.) Del Norte, and it's not a stretch to say they're leading for all three. You could also probably throw in Ykili Ross, from Riverside (Calif.) Poly, as a guy UCLA is probably leading for at this point, too, even though he very well might project as a wide receiver. Those three, and even Ross, are all more safety-types in college, so you could see UCLA also trying to get a more cornerback-type.
Three-star cornerback James Locke from Beaumont (Tex.) Central Station will visit UCLA today as part of a West Coast trip for him and his family. He told us he should be on campus this morning (Thursday). Locke has already visited Oregon and Stanford. He has family in the L.A. area, and his dad was actually born here, so there's a tangible connection.
UCLA just recently offered William Lockett, from Manvel (Tex.), who is ranked only the #77 cornerback in the nation by Scout.com, but he's starting to get some serious interest nationally. From what we've heard, he has very good coverage skills and is long and rangy. We've heard that UCLA will probably have an uphill battle with Lockett since there were some programs that had already been on him for a while.
Other prospects that will camp at UCLA that could very well garner an offer with a good showing are:
-- Jihree Stewart, from Corona Centennial, who Martin has been recruiting for sometime.
-- Philip Afia, from Chino Hills (Calif.) Ayala, who UCLA has just recently begun to recruit heavily and we know likes quite a bit.
-- Isaiah Renfro, from Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, who many programs were recruiting as a wide receiver but recently the thought is that he could be a better defensive back.
-- Dwayne Parchment, the 5-11, 180-pounder from Fontana Kaiser.
Of course, there is always Iman Marshall, the elite defensive back from Long Beach Poly, but that recruitment is going to stretch all the way until Signing Day. We would suspect that UCLA and Martin will have his defensive back recruiting probably pretty much set by then and that Marshall, if he does opt for UCLA, would be some considerably sweet icing on the cake.
Breaking: Josh Wariboko, the offensive line prospect from Oklahoma who is one of UCLA's biggest OL targets, will unofficially visit UCLA Saturday.