Scenarios for Recruiting Class Finish

Jan. 19 -- We take a look at worst, reasonable, and best case scenarios for UCLA's 2015 class...

As we wrote about a month ago, UCLA is in position this recruiting cycle to finish with something on the order of a top ten class — and that’s without getting too crazy with the projections. Below is a look at what the class could end up looking like, from a few different perspectives, as well as a picture of where the class could end up ranking.

The Class Right Now: UCLA has the No. 13 class in the country with 17 commitments, for an average star rating of 3.82 (third highest in the nation). If UCLA’s class finished right now with that number — meaning no further commitments or decommitments — that class would still rate higher than last year’s (with 3,163 points to last year’s 2,921) and, if you slotted this class into last year’s rankings, it’d be 18th, right behind Arizona State. That would obviously be pretty disappointing for everyone involved, but it’d still be a better class than last year’s with one fewer commitment.

The Underwhelming Finish: Let’s say UCLA just closes with heavy leans Dechaun Holiday (209), Nathan Meadors (73), and Kyon Clark (41). That’ll give UCLA 20 total commitments, with an average star rating of 3.75. Holiday is worth 209 points in the Scout rankings, while Meadors is worth 73 and Clark is worth 41. The grand total for UCLA would then be 3486 points, which last year would have been good for the 10th ranked class in the country, just ahead of USC. The average star rating of 3.75 would probably be somewhere in the top 5. And again, that’s the underwhelming finish, where perceived UCLA leans like Joseph Wicker, Benning Potoae, Semisi Uluave, or even Sotonye Jamabo all end up going elsewhere. While the ranking for this class would be decent, there’d be some obvious misses, particularly at defensive line, that would make this class a bit of a disappointment.

The Reasonable Finish: So let’s say UCLA does close pretty well with guys who are currently favoring the Bruins, and nothing much happens to muck up each situation over the next few weeks. Let’s say UCLA lands the three guys above — Holiday (209), Meadors (73), and Clark (41) — and then adds Joseph Wicker (209 points), Carlos Strickland (206 points), Benning Potoae (202 points), and Semisi Uluave (204 points). Note, we’re not including any of the remaining five stars on UCLA’s board in this list — we’re keeping this pretty conservative. That would give UCLA 24 total commitments in the class, with one (Uluave) taking a mission straight out of high school, so there’d be little roster shuffling necessary to accommodate the 23 who’d enroll. The close to the class would be very strong, restocking both the offensive and defensive lines while also adding a potential impact receiver in Strickland. That class, which would have 4307 points in the Scout team rankings calculation, would have an average star rating of just under 3.80. That number of points would have given UCLA the No. 5 class in the 2014 cycle, and a 3.8 star average would be pretty comfortably in the top five. And, again, that’s the class where UCLA doesn’t add another five star.

The Really Good Finish: But UCLA might very well be leading for both the No. 1 running back in the country (Jamabo) and the No. 1 tight end in the country (Chris Clark). So, let’s say that UCLA’s staff closes incredibly well over the next few weeks and cleans up on all remaining leans, and even sways a couple of guys who are possibly leaning elsewhere right now. In addition to all of the guys listed above, in this scenario UCLA also lands Sotonye Jamabo (300 points), Chris Clark (300 points), Ryan Newsome (194 points), and Josh Wariboko (209 points). That class would count 28 total commitments, with two early entries (Josh Rosen and Zach Bateman) along with one sign-and-send (Uluave). Only 25 commitments count for ranking purposes, so T.J. Simmons, Kyon Clark, and William Lockett would not count in the final tally. In this scenario, UCLA’s top 25 recruits would combine for 5140 points, which would have been good for the No. 2 class in 2014, the No. 1 class in 2013, the No. 2 class in 2012, and the No. 1 class in 2011. The final star average would be 3.89, which would probably be right around No. 2 or 3 in the country. The class would have nearly everything UCLA needed, with elite impact players at a variety of positions along with plenty of talented bodies to fill up the offensive and defensive line depth charts for years to come. In terms of impact, you could project that class having a similar one to the 2013 class. Now, USC is obviously projected to finish very well, with three five-stars in Iman Marshall, Osa Masina, and Rasheem Green probably coming on board within the next few weeks, so they’ll be near the top of the rankings at the end of this cycle. But if UCLA closes with this class, they’ll be right there as well, with the two L.A. schools and Alabama having the clear top three classes in the country.

And here’s the thing — while we’d probably guess the class ends up closer to the “Reasonable Finish” than anything, even the “Really Good Finish” class doesn’t get too crazy. We’re not including Iman Marshall or Osa Masina or Jeff Holland or Maea Teuhema in any of these scenarios, because that ventures a little too far into fantasyland.

To sum up: even with the loss of Alize Jones (and his 298 points), UCLA still is in position with enough high-level recruits that the Bruins stand a very reasonable chance of getting their second top ten class of the Mora era.

Bruin Report Online Top Stories