|Ray-Ray McCloud, with Rosen behind him.|
Roquan Smith, the linebacker from Georgia, struggled a bit Tuesday in drills, but really stepped up and stood out Wednesday in the 7-on-7. The pure, raw athleticism really came out and he was one of the stars of the day, getting four interceptions, returning two for touchdowns. We continue to hear UCLA is doing well with him, even leading for him, despitesources in the South who are skeptical he’ll leave the region for college.
The OL/DL went head to head in shoulder pads and helmets, and Fred Ulu-Perry, the Hawaii offensive line prospect, was easily among the best OLs of the day, and very well might have been the best. He went up against Kahlil McKenzie, who many think is the #1 overall prospect in the west, and he stoned McKenzie on two successive reps, and just about everyone else he went up against.
Dru Samia also had a good day in the OL/DL one-on-ones. We're hearing more and more that Samia will commit to UCLA very soon.
In fact, UCLA is looking really good on OL recruiting, with impending commitments from Samia and Andre James (the announcement is tonight at the Opening), and the word being that the Bruins are leading for Josh Wariboko, from Oklahoma, doing very well and probably leading for Ulu-Perry, and probably leading for Texas OL Connor Williams. Remember, UCLA OL Coach Adrian Klemm already has a commitment from Tevita Halalilo.
Details on Ulu-Perry: Even though his childhood favorite was USC, we’re hearing that UCLA is the leader. USC hasn’t offered, but we’re hearing that even if they did Klemm has done such a good job of recruiting Ulu-Perry it almost certainly wouldn’t matter.
So, within a couple of weeks or so, Klemm will probably have Halalilo, James, and Samia committed, with a possibility of Ulu-Perry and even Wariboko. Then there’s also Drew Richmond and Williams as possibilities. We’ve said previously that UCLA intended to bring in four or five OLs in 2015, and it’s looking more and more like at least five.
In fact, we’re hearing that UCLA does definitely plan to give out around 22 scholarships in the 2015 class, despite, at this time, not having near that many available. Of course, the program will get some back from transfer and medical retirement, which happens every year, but it will be interesting to watch all of the scholarships get freed up.
Neville Gallimore, the DT from Canada, and he was very reserved about saying what schools he'd like to officially visit. The feeling is that Ohio State is possibly the leader but that UCLA has a good chance of getting an official visit.
Gardena Serra defensive lineman Rasheem Green looked a bit better Wednesday in pads, showing more aggressiveness.
Keisean Lucier-South, the DE/LB from Orange Lutheran, is working as a DE here, and he presents some considerable mis-matches in one-on-ones, being just too quick and athletic if an OL can’t get a hand on him. He matched up against Andre James a couple of times, and Lucier-South just ran around him the first time, but James dropped into position with some considerable quickness and stayed in front of Lucier-South on the second rep. The buzz around the event is that Lucier-South is clearly UCLA’s to lose.
There are some conflicting stories on how UCLA is doing with Christian Kirk. A source close to him says UCLA is running no better than fourth, behind Texas A&M, USC and Ohio State. But another source believes the Bruins have a better chance than that, especially with Rosen spending time with and recruiting Kirk this week.
Donte Jackson, the athlete from Louisiana, worked out with the DBs Tuesday and then became a slot receiver in 7-on-7s Wednesday, and looked very good. He’s very quick and has some considerable top-end speed, and showed a real knack for getting open. UCLA is recruiting him, but we’re told it will be tough to get him away from LSU or Georgia.
We’re hearing that Osa Masina, the Utah linebacker, could possibly visit California again to go by UCLA and USC before his high school practice starts at the end of July.
UCLA-committed prospect Stephen Johnson worked as a cornerback in 7-on-7 and looked very good, with some considerable quickness and that speed which allows him to recover exceedingly fast.
Marvell Tell, the safety from Encino Crespi, got burned a couple of times early in 7-on-7 – well, we should say his defense got burned – but then in his team’s last two games he looked particularly good. He jumped a couple of routes for break-ups and, if he had been allowed to hit, would have probably beheaded the would-be receivers.
There are some very elite prospects here that UCLA is recruiting that we’ve heard the Bruins have little chance of getting. Linebacker Malik Jefferson, wide receiver George Campbell, defensive end Byron Cowart, defensive tackle Tim Settle and cornerback Kendall Sheffield all probably fall into that category. UCLA is lined up to get an official visit from Jefferson. We’ve heard Settle might have a tough time qualifying.
Ryan Newsome, the slot receiver who is a big target for UCLA, didn’t participate in 7-on-7 Wednesday.
UCLA-committed tight end Alize Jones, too, didn’t participate due to concussive symptoms.