Profile: Breland Brandt
Position: Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
Location: Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward
Weight: 214 pounds
Ranking: Five-star defensive end, ranked #3 nationally and the No. 12 overall player in the class of 2016.
The Scouting Report: Brandt plays a standup rush end spot for Windward, with the occasional drop into pass coverage, but his main job for Windward is to get after the quarterback. He also plays tight end, and will play that throughout his high school career, but defense is his future. He's fluid in coverage and active around the ball, so dropping in to coverage won't be a problem for him. When it comes to rushing the passer, his quickness and speed will be his biggest asset. He's still somewhat on the slight side, but looks to easily be able to add 25-30 pounds and potentially grow into a defensive end in a 4-3 while being a 3-4 outside linebacker. Also a gifted basketball player, Brandt is one of the better two-sport stars in the Southland, but he'll give up AAU to just focus on football (though he'll still play basketball for Windward).
Overall Analysis: Brandt has long been a UCLA fan, growing up watching the Bruins primarily in basketball before also favoring the football program. He was one of UCLA's first 2016 offer recipients, getting one early in the spring after he visited. He's the highest ranked commitment UCLA has ever received a verbal from this early in their junior year (doing so a couple of months before Alize Jones did at the same point in his recruitment). More importantly, he's an elite national prospect, a top 15 player in his class, who's the No. 2 ranked prospect overall in the West. A kid who grew up a UCLA fan, didn't need to go through the whole process and chose UCLA early, still somewhat of a new concept for the Bruins. Adrian Klemm and Jeff Ulbrich recruited him early on and often and Jim Mora also jumped in with Brandt and he didn't see the need to drag it on. In Brandt, it gives UCLA a versatile player who's forte is pass rushing, even if they'll have to wait two more years for him to suit up in a Bruin uniform. It's also the second big 2016 commitment for the Bruins in the past two days, with Brandt following athlete Michael Pittman in committing early to UCLA. With Brandt and Pittman, UCLA has gotten two terrific commitments to start their 2016 efforts, with still 16 months to go to round out their class.
Check out film of Brandt from Thursday's game against Los Angeles (Calif.) Brentwood.