As we've said in previous Recruiting Resets, initially the thinking was that UCLA football recruiting for 2015 would a bit different than it's been in Jim Mora's first three recruiting classes, since there were seemingly so few scholarships available. Now, however, it looks much more likely that UCLA will take a full class of 22 to 25 players. Perhaps, though, there will be somewhat of a change in the makeup of the class.
In the past under Mora, UCLA just needed talent. The theory was – get the most talented and plug them into a position later. Now, with UCLA having established some defined roles on both offense and defense, it can target recruits for more specific needs. For instance, it's clear that UCLA is pursuing pass rushers, specifically five-technique types of rush defensive ends (think Cassius Marsh). It's also specifically targeting rush outside linebackers (of course, think Anthony Barr). On offense, it's looking for speed and elusiveness at wide receiver and in the slot.
These lists aren't comprehensive, but are comprised of the prospects UCLA has offered that they have a legitimate chance to get, prospects UCLA is fairly close to offering, and those we feel have a good chance to garner a UCLA offer.
In analyzing UCLA's defensive recruiting needs for 2015, the recruiting efforts have gotten more specific at defensive line and linebacker but, interestingly, more general in the secondary. UCLA is targeting specific types of player in the front seven, but looking for the two or three best elite defensive backs who want to jump on board regardless of their specific positioning. Both of these developments come from UCLA having a good amount of talent on all the defensive units and how UCLA's defends against a spread. On the front seven, UCLA is looking to enhance various packages, mostly its pass-rush package. In the secondary, since it uses nickels and dimes and various other looks, UCLA wants versatile prospects who can do it all – be strong in coverage when they line up as a cornerback but also roam the field and move forward against the run as more of a safety type.
This is how it is when UCLA wins – it can be far more selective and pursue such a higher-caliber of prospect.
UCLA has 14 commitments (not counting Takkarist McKinley, who has enrolled at UCLA and is playing, and essentially took Kylie Fitt's scholarship when he transferred out), and looks to, like we said, have a class of 22 to 25 on National Signing Day.
Needs at Position: 1-2
As we said, UCLA's recruiting needs have changed for 2015, and gotten more specific than in past years, which they can afford to do since they have a good deal of talent in the program. That impact might be the most felt in defensive line recruiting, where Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure has a strong depth chart and can almost pick and choose the types of DLs he needs to plug into his crew. Defensive tackle, or the nose guard spot in the 3-4, is always hard to find, so almost every year any program is in the market for one. There's also a decent chance that UCLA's current DTs are talented enough to jump early to the NFL, so getting one in 2015 is a priority. UCLA is being selective so far and has only a limited number of offers for DTs out.
Ranking: #39 DT COMMITTED
UCLA made a late run at English in the summer and it turned into a commitment for the Bruins. A commit to Texas when Mack Brown was still head coach, English opened up things, saying he didn't feel like Texas was the best fit for him not long after Charlie Strong was hired. UCLA hadn't been recruiting English very long but Adrian Klemm stopped by the school in the spring, with DeSoto being a loaded program. English then started to become really interested in the Bruins and then Angus McClure joined the mix and he and Klemm helped spur the interest. During the spring, he visited Arkansas and Texas Tech and then in July, he visited Arizona State and UCLA, leaning towards the Bruins even before his visit. He then committed on local television to UCLA, their first of two commits from the Lone Star State. English isn't very tall, under 6-feet, and has some weight he could shed, but he's really effective at the position, racking up 30+ tackles for loss last year. English is a pure nose, a zero or one-tech. At times so far in his senior season he's looked explosive.
Tim Settle, 6-3, 310, Manassas (Virg.) Jackson
Ranking: #65 Overall, #8 DT OFFERED
Settle's dropped a little after he put on some bad weight in the spring and then was just OK at The Opening, but he's still worthy of a Top 100 billing. He had a top 15 in the summer, and the lone West Coast school was UCLA. In August, he said he had trimmed it up a bit, internally, but said four schools were still standing out to him, and UCLA was one of those, saying he'd officially visit UCLA. Since then, whether UCLA is still on the short list -- and the official visit list -- is a bit fuzzy. He recently officially visited Oklahoma State and will visit West Virginia. He has said he intends to also visit Virginia Tech, UCLA, Florida State and Penn State, but the math doesn't work since that would be one more than his allotted five visits. UCLA will keep trying with him, though, and would love to get him out for that visit.
Joseph Wicker, 6-4, 275, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Ranking: #231 Overall, #23 DE OFFERED
Wicker had an impressive summer, and garnered a great deal of interest. UCLA was on him, but didn't offer until a couple of games into his senior season when he looked absolutely dominating. A significant development for Wicker was moving from playing mostly defensive end to being more of an inside guy, a three-technique. He's gotten bigger physically and he's very strong, and the type of explosiveness he had at defensive end now is devastating with that size/strength inside. We've heard that when UCLA offered Wicker came close to committing. He's a pretty clear UCLA lean, but will visit Arizona State(Nov. 8) and Texas Tech (Nov. 15), and intends to visit Washington. It's uncertain if he'll officially visit UCLA because he's so close, but we ultimately think the UCLA coaches will compel him to take one.
Kyon Clark, 6-1, 360, Rialto (Calif.) Carter
Ranking: #90 DT
Clark is the younger brother of current UCLA defensive lineman Kenneth Clark, and attended the UCLA Lineman Camp in June. He's clearly got some weight loss ahead of him, but he has shed some, and for a guy his size he can really move nimbly, to go along with natural strength. A UCLA offer is unexpected at this time, but with some further body-sculpting we could easily see UCLA projecting him to play at the Pac-12 level, and opting for Clark as a gray shirt, or possibly even a mere redshirt. He came to a couple of UCLA practices in San Bernardino, and still looks like he needs to drop a lot of weight, but with UCLA targeting his teammate, 2016 linebacker Lokeni Toailoa, they'll continue to keep an eye on Clark to see how he develops this fall and then determine late if he'll get an offer of any variety. If UCLA has some scholarships available in the end, and they don't get Settle, there's a good chance they offer Clark.
Neville Gallimore, 6-3, 300, St. Catharines (Ontario, Can.) St. Catharine's
Ranking: #89 Overall, #10 DT OFFERED
UCLA looked like it would be part of Gallimore's official visit list, but the Bruins were recently left off it. Right now he expects to officially visit Ohio State, Florida, Oklahoma, Florida State and Oregon. UCLA has continued to recruit Gallimore, but it's looking like a considerable uphill battle at this point, even with UCLA having the connection -- current UCLA defensive tackle Eli Ankou is from the same hometown in Ottawa and knows Gallimore.
DeShawn Fortune, 6-0, 250, Etiwanda (Calif.)
Ranking: #92 DT
Fortune came to UCLA's Lineman Camp, after the UCLA staff and McClure were anticipating getting a good look at him. He didn't necessarily disappoint, being the best DL at the UCLA camp, but he didn't do enough to get a scholarship offer either. He's about 6-0 and 250, but his body type projects him as a nose tackle. At the camp, he showed good quickness and motor. He's definitely someone UCLA will watch this fall but the commitment of English could make it difficult for Fortune to get that offer, and UCLA would probably opt for Clark over Fortune.
Others to Watch:
Dillon Faamatau, 6-3, 280, Norwalk (Calif.)
Deonte Reynolds, 6-5, 325, San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa JC
Needs at Position: 2
Getting the JC defensive end prospect, Takkaris McKinley, to commit enroll at UCLA and currently be part of the team (and playing) is an unprecedented development. It's never happened before in our time covering recruiting, so we don't know entirely how to treat McKinley. Scout.com still has him listed as part of UCLA's 2015 class, but we recognize that's not ultimately going to be the case -- or shouldn't. We're not going to include him in this reset, but it needs to still be emphasized how UCLA's roster had a need for a speed rusher (as evident by UCLA's first four games of 2015) and had one drop out of the sky with McKinley. Well, with the considerable help of UCLA Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure, who made it happen (Story Here).
With McKinley in the program for the next three years, hopefully supplying that speed-rushing role, the next priority at defensive end would be a Datone Jones/Cassius Marsh/Owamagbe Odighizuwa – a guy about 6-4 to 6-6, with a frame able to hold 260 to 280 pounds, and who can rush the quarterback. With Rick Wade already in the fold, and looking pretty beastly so far in his senior season, UCLA is looking particularly good on this front right now. They are involved with a number of other elite guys and would take one if he wanted to jump in the boat.
Rick Wade, 6-5, 231, Santa Margarita(Calif.)
Ranking: #42 DE COMMITTED
A relative unknown coming into the spring, with just a couple of smaller offers, Wade started to see his stock soar after the NFTC and the evaluation period, and by summer, offers had come in from Boston College, Cal, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. UCLA started to pick it up with him and had him come to the Bruin Elite Camp, where he showed well and, not long after, the Bruins offered. Wade's father, though, attended USC, and USC came in late with an offer, but he was already too far down the road with UCLA. After he took an unofficial visit to the school in late July he committed at the end of the month. So far in his senior season, as we said, Wade has looked pretty beastly, racking up sacks and tackles for loss and looking very athletic. He has very long arms and a great body to naturally put on good weight, and a toughness and nastiness. He more than likely will move up into the four-star realm and into the Scout 300 when new rankings come out.
Rasheem Green, 6-5, 275, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Ranking: #16 Overall, #4 DE OFFERED
Rasheem is everything that UCLA wants in a defensive line prospect. And he's still relatively raw, with upside off the charts. The Bruins were his first offer, in the spring of 2013, right after he wowed at the Los Angeles NFTC but before he'd really blown up. Since then, everyone is after Green, including pretty much the entire Pac-12. UCLA has had him on campus a few times, and seemed to be doing really well with him in the spring and early summer, but we've heard they've fallen back in the pack, with USC and Stanford the leaders and Oregon possibly even ahead of the Bruins. UCLA is recruiting Green hard, and Green communicates with the staff regularly.
Canton Kaumatule, 6-6, 260, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou
Ranking: #62 Overall, #7 DE OFFERED
Kaumatule is a very good prospect, with a good, long body and athleticism. He plays defensive end in high school and most programs are recruiting him there, but some feel he's got an even higher ceiling as an offensive tackle with his physical and athletic attributes. Kaumatule told us not long ago that UCLA is on his short list, along with Oregon, USC and Vanderbilt. Stanford, where his brother Luke plays, is a longshot for him, since he doesn't quite have Stanford academics, but the family values a quality education, which helps UCLA. The Bruins also have recruited Punahou fairly well the last few years and he played with two current Bruins in high school, Isaac Savaiianaea and Kai'mi Fairbain. UCLA is recruiting his teammate, offensive lineman Semisi Uluave, who is a heavy UCLA lean.
Tyrone Wheatley, 6-6, 240, Buffalo (New York) Canisius
Ranking: #145 Overall, #16 DE OFFERED
In June, Wheatley narrowed his list to a top five of UCLA, Alabama, USC, Michigan and Miami, and he intends to take official visits to those five. UCLA has been recruiting Wheatley hard for a long time, and he showed interest when he unofficially visited during spring practice. He might want to play tight end in college, but UCLA is recruiting him as a DE. It's going to come down to his official visits, and it's probably a recruitment that won't get decided until winter. USC could be the dark horse here, with his father, former Michigan and NFL running back Tyrone Wheatley, having played with tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo with the Raiders, and USC wanting him as a tight end. The controversy at Michigan with its coach Brady Hoke doesn't help his father's alma mater.
Ranking: #197 Overall, #20 DE OFFERED
UCLA offered Potoae early, and has continued to stay on his short list. Potoae told us that his top three are Oregon, UCLA and Washington, but we've heard that UCLA may, in fact, be the leader, with some people close to him encouraging him to start his own path and play outside the state. His brother, Sione, played at Washington, so the Huskies have long been a factor, but UCLA has been on him for some time and Mike Tuiasosopo has continued to pursue him. Potoae is a motor guy, and combines perfect size and agility for defensive end in UCLA's 3-4. Despite some higher-ranked players at the position, Potoae is a very realistic get and is the type of player with the character to ultimately be a better college player than many of those ranked over him.
CeCe Jefferson, 6-3, 258, Glen St. Mary (Fla.) Baker County.
Ranking: #5 Overall, #2 DE OFFERED
Jefferson had long talked about taking an official visit to UCLA, and it could still happen, but it's highly unlikely that he's leaving the South for college, with Florida the heavy leader, though Alabama is also pushing for him. If he does visit UCLA, it will be notable, but it's unlikely any school outside the South has a chance. He'll visit Ole Miss Saturday (Oct. 4th) and tweeted that his other official visits will probably be UCLA, Alabama, LSU and Cincinnati. He also has spent a great deal of time at Florida, so they're a contender.
Porter Gustin, 6-5, 235, Salem (Utah) Salem Hills
Ranking: #47 Overall, #5 DE OFFERED
UCLA offered Gustin in the spring as his stock went through the roof, going from relative unknown to national recruit. He's a jumbo athlete who plays some linebacker, with good agility, and with a body that projects him with his hand down. He made the SPARQ Finals, impressive for his size, but looks like he'll get bigger, thus some schools liking him as a defensive end. He's already officially visited Notre Dame, and said he intends to visit Florida State, Ohio State, and USC, and possibly unofficially visit UCLA. USC is still though to be in the lead, with Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State also on the short list.
Russell Ude, 6-3, 245, Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster
Ranking: #77 DE
Ude has had a curious recruitment. He emerged this spring, and garnered a good number of scholarship offers. But then he would look good in one event and then so-so in the other. In June he had just an okay performance at the UCLA camp but then won the USC DL MVP at their camp. Ude's dream school was previously UCLA but, at this point, UCLA's offer isn't a commitable one and, while other programs seem to be recruiting him aggressively, UCLA looks like it isn't. He does still have the Bruins on his list of finalists, eight schools that includes California, Miami, Penn State, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Boston College. He'll officially visit Cal (Oct. 18) which is for the UCLA game. After that, he’s lined up visits to Oregon (Nov. 1) and Miami (Nov. 15).
RUSH LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE END
Needs at Position: 1-2
With the departure of Anthony Barr, and through the first third of the 2015 season, it's clear UCLA is missing a really big-time pass-rushing linebacker on its depth chart. If there's an element to this year's team that you would say the team lacks, that would be it. UCLA has to want to upgrade its pass-rushing, and it has the Anthony Barr position/role to sell (in fact, other programs are selling the Anthony Barr-type role to recruits). It's a case that if UCLA was able to get more than one elite prospect of this type it would definitely take them.
Keisean Lucier-South, 6-5, 220, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Ranking: #30 Overall, #5 OLB OFFERED
UCLA has long been at the top of Lucier-South's list. He has gone from emphatically saying UCLA was his leader, to saying they're one of his leaders, but we're still hearing the Bruins are doing extremely well with him. He looked great at the Los Angeles NFTC working as a defensive end but came down to earth a bit at The Opening. So far this season his performance has been a little spotty, not quite getting the penetration you'd expect from him. There is an issue of him being a tweener, not really a linebacker and not really a defensive end, which really is exactly what that defensive end/linebacker role at UCLA is. He had reduced his list to five -- UCLA, Oregon, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida -- but recently added USC since they have tried to stay in it.
Ranking: #2 Overall, #1 Outside Linebacker OFFERED
While Jefferson could be a longshot to leave Texas, UCLA continues to be a factor in his recruitment and he's indicated that he'll visit UCLA on Thanksgiving weekend when the Bruins host Stanford. He also told Scout he wants to be recruited as an outside linebacker and specifically mentioned that UCLA is recruiting him for that position, and not middle linebacker like several schools are. Jefferson will also visit Ohio State and Stanford officially, Texas has made him their primary target and Charlie Strong has indicated that to him, so the Horns, in the end, could be tough to beat.
Jeff Holland, 6-3, 230, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Ranking: #82 Overall, #8 OLB OFFERED
Holland is a pass rusher with a great motor who loves to hit people. He named his top six earlier this month and it included the Bruins along with Florida, Auburn, USC, South Carolina and Florida State. His friend and high school teammate, Victor Alexander, is committed to UCLA, so he'll help in Holland's recruitment, and Holland has said a couple of times he would like to leave Florida for college. He plans to visit UCLA with Alexander, and that will be a key trip in his recruitment. In fact, Holland has said that is one of the four official visits he knows he'll take (along with Auburn, Florida and USC). We've heard recently that UCLA, Florida and Auburn are the leaders.
Cassius Peat, 6-4, 235, Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol
Ranking: #135 Overall, #13 OLB OFFERED
Peat is similar to Barr in size and playing style, being more of a stand-up defensive end most of the time. He's one of the best pass rushers in the west, and has many programs pursuing him. Peat named his top six in July, which was Arizona State, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas A&M and UCLA. He visited Oklahoma officially, officially, and has said he will visit UCLA, Texas A&M and Michigan State officially during the season, while trying to pick among Washington, Boston College and Cal for the fifth visit. He visited UCLA unofficially in the spring, not long after they offered and he visited Oklahoma and Texas A&M unofficially also in summer. So each one of those three will be getting a second, but more serious look, on the official trip. Still, we think he's going to be tough to pry from Arizona State, literally being in their backyard.
Bo Wallace, 6-4, 210, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian
Ranking: #51 OLB OFFERED
Wallace is a bit of a sleeper, which is curious since he comes from such a high-profile high school that signs a ton of players each year. But programs got on him last spring and summer, like Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee – and UCLA. He's high school teammates and friends with UCLA freshman linebacker, Kenny Young, so that helps. UCLA is right there for him, along with Notre Dame, Texas and Oklahoma, and those are the schools he'll probably officiall visit. He's a big priority for UCLA.
Needs at Position: 2-3
In a 3-4 defense you need a good amount of linebackers, so UCLA will probably always be looking for at least 2 linebackers every year, other than the Anthony Barr-type pass-rushing linebacker. These are guys that could plug in 1) on the outside, in the Myles Jack role – the athletic guy who not only pass rushes but is capable of dropping into coverage, and 2) at the two inside spots.
Josh Woods, 6-2, 210, Upland (Calif.)
Ranking: #39 OLB COMMITTED
Woods missed all of his junior year after transferring to Upland from Victorville, so he did every camp, combine and 7v7 imaginable this summer and showed what kind of prospect he is. One of those camps was the Bruin Elite Camp, where he looked very good and put himself high on the Bruins recruiting board. He said then that UCLA told him they wanted to see the first couple of games his senior year before they offered, but then in late July, they decided they didn't need to wait and offered Woods. After spending an hour thinking about it, Woods committed to UCLA. He grew up a USC fan but specifically said watching Jim Mora and UCLA the past two years he started to like the Bruins more. So far in his senior season he's looked like a very good get for UCLA, showing off some considerable athleticism -- and also as a tailback on offense. Not that Scout.com has a look at him in real games he'll more than likely be moving up in the rankings and probably even get that fourth star.
Victor Alexander, 5-10, 225, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Ranking: #24 MLB COMMITTED
Alexander might be under-sized, but that's probably good, because it's kept many programs from offering, and gave UCLA a chance to swoop in and get a commitment from him. Despite being 5-10, Alexander is a force, with a great instinct and hitting ability, and plays exactly like you'd want your inside linebacker to play. Alexander told Scout at one point that UCLA's early belief in him is what gave them his commitment, saying they gave him his shot and he said he's 100% to the Bruins, citing his relationship with Jeff Ulbrich as a big reason. Other schools are now making plays for him, and he plans to take some official visits. Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech are perhaps the biggest threats. Alexander, though, could be part of a big contingent of Trinity Christian players (also Holland, Edwards and even Toliver) that take official visits to UCLA the same weekend, and that could go a long way in each of their recruitments.
Ranking: #22 Overall, #2 OLB OFFERED
Masina is the top prospect to come from Utah since Haloti Ngata in the 2002 class and every one in the country wants him. He was fantastic at The Opening and showed why he's so highly thought of. Masina named his final five, which includes UCLA, USC, Arizona State, Wisconsin and Michigan, and the five-star plans to visit all five. We've heard UCLA is doing very well with him, but it still won't be easy. He's getting the full-court press from all the Bruin coaches and commit Andre James said he's been working on Masina constantly for UCLA. It's a big weekend in his recruitment, with him taking his official visit to UCLA. He also plans to visit ASU, Wisconsin and USC, but some close to the recruitment believe a good trip to UCLA could end it.
Roquan Smith, 6-1, 207, Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County
Ranking: #66 Overall, #2 MLB OFFERED
With Smith, picture a more athletic Eric Kendricks. He recenlty said Florida, Georgia and UCLA are the three that have already made the cut. The Bruins got a visit from him during the summer and are in line to get an official visit too -- along with Florida, Georgia and he'll decide on the other visits from among Miami, South Carolina, LSU, Ole Miss, USC and Clemson. At one point, UCLA was the leader for Smith, but the SEC onslaught has eroded that considerably, and it's thought to be probably Florida or Georgia for him.
John Houston, 6-3, 200, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Ranking: #28 Overall, #4 OLB OFFERED
Houston is a combo of very good size and exceptional athleticism, so his physical and athletic upside are considerable. He'll have to continue to add good weight and learn to play with more of a mean streak, but he's a promising prospect. He missed most of the summer with a back injury but has looked like he has continued to improve so far this fall. USC is the heavy leader, even with UCLA being his first offer, and all the indications of him going to the Trojans could likely cool any real aggressive pursuit of him by UCLA, especially with how well they're doing with other linebackers.
Quarte Sapp, 6-1.5, 200, Milton (Ga.) Alpharetta
Ranking: #44 OLB OFFERED
UCLA offered Sapp pretty late last summer, with DC and LB Coach Jeff Ulbrich having seen Sapp in spring and liking him, according to Sapp. He's an athletic prospect, with good flexibility. It's thought that he probably won't leave the South, and Miami could be a lader, but UCLA could very well get an official visit out of him.
Kyahva Tezino, 6-0.5, 200, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
Ranking: #248 Overall, #21 OLB OFFERED
Tezino is interesting. He's undersized for a linebacker, and doesn't have a great body, but he's a guy who makes plays. UCLA offered early on, but we don't think they've been recruiting him aggressively for several months. He did list UCLA among his favorites, along with Arizona, who probably leads, as well as ASU and Miami.
Needs at Position: 4+
Other programs have used UCLA's young and talented depth chart against them in recruiting 2015 defensive backs. UCLA does look pretty good in terms of the future of its secondary, but it's not as deep as it necessarily looks, with the future of some injured guys questionable. In fact, it looked like UCLA, a few months ago would just take two DBs, but it now could take four or more. UCLA's Defensive Backs Coach Demetrice Martin is looking for the best guys available, regardless of their position – and looking for versatile guys who can fulfill different roles. We've seen so far this season how versatile DBs like Anthony Jefferson and Ishmael Adams can add dimension and depth to a secondary. With two committed, it's safe to assume if UCLA could add 2 or 3 elite guys it wouldn't hesitate.
Stephen Johnson, 5-11, 185, San Leandro (Calif.)
Ranking: #212 Overall, #28 CB COMMITTED
Johnson committed to UCLA at The Opening, putting the cap on a terrific off-season that saw his stock go through the roof. Johnson chose the Bruins over Oregon, with UCLA recruiting him as an athlete -- either a receiver or cornerback, but we think he ends up at corner. He has excellent speed, running a 4.41 at the Oakland NFTC, and is a very smooth, natural athlete. He could still end up as the speedy slot guy in UCLA's offense, but the more we've seen of him we think he'll project as a corner.
William Lockett, 6-0, 182, Manvel (Tex.)
Ranking: #70 CB COMMITTED
Lockett emerged in the offseason and garnered offers from UCLA, Michigan State, Missouri, Maryland and more. He has good size, and good speed, to go along with good cover skills. He camped at UCLA, and the word was that, as a result of his unofficial visit, UCLA had emerged as the leader. While he didn't commit right after the time in Westwood, he ultimately did in August, giving the Bruins their second Texas commitment in this class to go with English. Getting Lockett and Johnson gives Martin a good solid basis for 2015 recruiting, enabling him to go after some other elite prospects.
Dechaun Holiday, 6-2, 190, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills
Ranking: #83 Overall, #10 CB OFFERED
Holiday has been one of UCLA's primary targets for most of the recruiting process and he came up from San Diego to San Bernardino to watch the Bruins practice. He has told us that the only school he for certain will visit officially is UCLA and also said that UCLA is recruiting him the hardest of his 20+ offers. He's still considering schools like Oregon, Washington, Florida State and USC, but the Bruins are doing very well with him. He's another versatile prospect who said he wants to play corner in college and that's where his heart is, but he could eventually grow into safety, so his position versatility is key.
Iman Marshall, 6-1, 190, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Ranking: #11 Overall, #2 CB OFFERED
Marshall's recruitment will be one of the most fascinating ones to watch through Signing Day. Most feel he's headed to USC, the childhood favorite, and there is good reason to think that is the case, but Jim Mora has also been personally recruiting him and he does have a good relationship with Mora and Demetrice Martin, while spending a lot of time on the UCLA campus. Privately there have been times when there have been indications he, indeed, is destined for USC, but other times we've heard he's legitimately displayed a favoring of UCLA.
Marvell Tell, 6-2, 180, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Tell, like Marshall, will also be a fascinating recruitment to track. He has offers from all over and, depending on what day it is, some think he's a USC lean and some think he's a UCLA lean. He has, though, said he won't officially visit either. He's already visited Oregon, and plays to visit Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. But many still feel it's a UCLA/USC battle for him. Bottom line, both the Bruins and Trojans want him, and want him badly, and he's the top safety on each school's board and is being recruited as such. He spent some time in the spring on the UCLA campus and it really helped with UCLA getting to get much-wanted one-on-one time with him. His former teammate, Tyler Foreman, a redshirt freshman with UCLA, is also working on him. This one probably doesn't end till closer to Signing Day.
Kevin Toliver, 6-1, 193, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Ranking: #13 Overall, #3 CB OFFERED
Toliver is one of the elite cornerback prospects in the country and he's verbally committed to LSU. He'll almost certainly go there, but he has said that, if there's a school that could sway him away from LSU, it's UCLA. He'll probably officially visit UCLA with his Trinity Christian teammates, Victor Alexander, Jeff Holland and Ben Edwards.
Ben Edwards, 6-0, 195, Jacksonville (Calif.) Trinity Christian Academy.
Ranking: #43 S OFFERED
Edwards has been committed to both Ohio State and Auburn, but is open again. The recent word is that UCLA has a legitimate shot with him. He, at least, wants to officially visit UCLA with his teammates. The schools he's narrowed it down to are Miami (Nov. 15), UNC (Oct. 4), Stanford (Oct. 25), and UCLA (Nov. 22).
Kylan Johnson, 6-2, 205, Dallas (Tex.) Skyline
Ranking: Unranked OFFERED
Johnson was pretty much unknown before UCLA and Wisconsin offered him. UCLA assistant Adrian Klemm, who has deep ties in Texas due to his days at SMU, was the first to offer Johnson, who is billed as a big, physical prospect. He's thought to be the size of a linebacker, actually, and might project as one in college, even though he plays quarterback in high school. Kansas State, Arkansas, UCLA, Iowa State, and Wisconsin are his favorites, and we've heard Arkansas is the team to beat.
Quenton Meeks 6-1, 185, San Diego (Calif.) Del Norte
Ranking: #48 CB OFFERED
Meeks is the father of former Indianapolis Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks, who was the DC when the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006. He has very good size and good coverage ability, which makes him unique. UCLA's offer was his first, and since others have jumped on. In fact, he has said he'll visit Stanford, Cal and Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt could have a chance since Meeks is originally from the Southeast and has talked about going back down South to play his college ball. UCLA hasn't been recruiting him as aggressively as they once were in summer.
Stanley Norman, 5-10, 170, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Ranking: #138 Overall, #19 CB OFFERED
Norman has had an interesting spring. He's clearly talented, and versatile, the type of guy UCLA is actually really looking for. But he's had some incidents that have made a few schools back away, and UCLA was one of them. UCLA recently, though, has gotten back on him, and he's interested. He has visits set up to Washington State (Oct. 4) and Louisville (Nov. 29), and will pick among Utah, Arizona, Cal, Washington and UCLA for the final three. He probably won't decide until the U.S. Army Game, so that gives UCLA quite a bit of time to get back in it.
Holton Hill, 6-3, 180, Houston (Tex.) Lamar
Ranking: #119 Overall, #38 CB OFFERED
UCLA just recently offered Hill, and it's completely unknown if the Bruins have a chance with him. He recently released a top eight of Florida State, Baylor, Texas A&M, LSU, Oregon, Texas, Ole Miss and Alabama, so that's a tough list to crack. His nickname is "Hollywood," though, so UCLA has that going for it.
Jordan Miller, 6-1, 175, Oceanside (Calif.)
Ranking: #81 CB
Miller is committed to Washington, but UCLA has been showing some interest, liking his size and athleticism. The Bruins haven't offered, but went and saw him this season, and there's a possibility an offer could come.
Frank Buncom, 6-1, 180, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine
Ranking: #143 Overall, #8 S OFFERED
Buncom named a top five of Duke, Oklahoma, Stanford, UCLA and Vanderbilt, but UCLA really hasn't been pursuing him much, and he's thought to be a heavy Stanford lean.
These are the guys that UCLA is showing serious interest in, but it would really be a reach to put them into any positional category at this point.
Ranking: #170 Overall, #23 CB OFFERED
You can't say UCLA isn't trying to leave an impression on Ross. When he was on campus in July for an unofficial visit, he was there the day that the campus flooded, and his father's car was stuck in the UCLA parking lot as a result. But Ross said the visit, flood aside, was an excellent one and it really helped UCLA. USC is also pursuing him as is Notre Dame and Texas A&M. He visited Notre Dame unofficially during the summer and plans to get back there for an official visit. Some feel there is a good chance he'll leave the state, but others believe it will come down to the two Los Angeles schools. UCLA is recruiting him specifically as a corner with the occasional chance to play some receiver. He visited Oklahoma (Sept. 13), and has plans for Notre Dame(Oct. 4) and Miami (Nov. 11).
JayJay Wilson, 6-3, 228, Valencia (Calif.)
Ranking: #41 OLB
Wilson is an intriguing prospect who looked good at UCLA's 7v7 tournament. He can play a number of positions and UCLA could ultimately decide to pursue him in the same role that Nate Iese plays. He does like the two local schools, though neither have offered, with both probably evaluating him during his senior season to determined whether they'll offer.
DeAndre McNeal, 6-2, 210, Mesquite (Tex.) Poteet
Ranking: #26 OLB OFFERED
UCLA has been recruiting him since summer and he's been responsive. He actually unofficially visited in June and, from sources close to the recruitment, was very impressed. He's been recruited by schools as a linebacker, receiver and a safety, which is where UCLA told him they project him. McNeal has said he knows four of his five official visits -- UCLA, Miami (FL), Oklahoma State and Arizona State. Either Texas or Texas Tech might get the fifith visit. He's teammates with Malik Jefferson, and UCLA would certainly take the package deal.
Football Recruiting Reset: Offense - Here's the companion piece -- running down UCLA's targets on the offensive side of the ball...