Commitment Analysis: Rick Wade

At 6-6, 235 pounds and athletic, UCLA's newest commit, Rick Wade from Santa Margarita, has some Dave-Ball-esque potential...

Profile: Rick Wade
Position: Defensive End
High School: Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita
Height/Weight: 6’5.5”, 235
Ranking: Three star, #50 Defensive End

Recruiting: Wade wasn’t that well known coming into spring, but the word started to get out that he was getting quite a bit of recruiting attention and then he performed very well at various camps. By May he had offers from the likes of Wisconsin, Boston College, Washington, and California. An offer came from Oregon, and then he participated in UCLA’s camp in late June and showed very well, and UCLA offered a short time later. At that time Wade made it pretty clear UCLA was his leader and he expected to commit to the Bruins fairly soon. He, though, grew up a USC fan and his father attended USC, so it was thought a USC offer would change things. By the second week in July USC did indeed offer and it was assumed, again, that that would change Wade’s recruitment. But the word quickly surfaced that UCLA was still his favorite. Wade and his mom visited UCLA’s campus Thursday and he committed to UCLA Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure.

Scouting Report: Wade measured 6’5.5” and weighed 235 pounds at the UCLA camp, and ran an impressive 4.8 40. He has a great body, one you could easily see get to 260+ comfortably, without Wade losing any quickness or mobility. He is a David Ball type of defensive end, quick for his size, but utilizes his size and length to get around blockers. He’s very good at creating space with his arms and utilizing that with good hand work to duck inside or outside a blocker. He was also recruited as a tight end (by USC, among other) because of his good get-off and smooth running ability, but his pass-catching is a little shaky. It’s difficult to project perfectly which way a recruit’s body would go with still a year of high school remaining, but if Wade really filled out and got up over the 280-pound threshold, he could easily project as an offensive tackle, and would project as a very good one, with his very good feet, quickness and long arms. In other words, when you have a prospect who’s 6-6 and a good athlete there are plenty of places he could end up playing in college. He’s rated a three-star prospect right now, but with his size and athleticism, if he has a good senior year he could easily gain a fourth star.

How He Fits at UCLA: UCLA wants its defensive ends to be long and athletic, and Wade is that. They also want them to be 250+ pounds, and the way Wade’s body looks now, with wide shoulders, a good base and a slim waist, you could easily see him add 20 pounds, minimum, through probably just average physical development. UCLA is looking for specialists on its defensive line, and with that kind of physical make-up Wade definitely fills a role UCLA currently doesn’t have filled – again, that David Ball-type of defensive end that can physically match up against the increasingly bigger offensive tackles in college football but out-quick them around the edge. In terms of depth, UCLA wants to bring in at least two defensive-end types in 2015, and now, with Wade’s commitment, they have the luxury of being really picky and waiting for some really big fish to possibly jump in the boat, like Rasheem Green or Takkarist McKinley – or both.

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