As we reported, the three official visits -- and the one unofficial visit -- went well.
The trip to UCLA, and to Los Angeles, from what we've heard has had a big impact on the three official visitors, Connecticut tight end Chris Clark, New York defensive end Tyrone Wheatley, and Texas offensive lineman Maea Teuhema.
Sources from all three said essentially that if National Signing Day were today, they'd all three sign with UCLA.
The problem is that NSD isn't for a week and a half.
-- Wheatley is an interesting recruitment. We've heard he would prefer to go to a school in a good climate, that he'd like to get out of the cold. But perhaps the biggest element of his recruitment is what position he'll play in college. Wheatley measured 6-6 and weighed 270, and that's without being in any real weight training or having a training table. In projecting prospects, the vast majority of the time they physically only get bigger when they're in college. Physically, then, it's unlikely Wheatley will play tight end in college, but that's probably Wheatley's preferred position. USC is recruiting him as a tight end, so they're using that angle. Wheatley is a very good athlete for his size, but to be candid he also doesn't have great hands. If he did go somewhere to play tight end, it's not hard to conclude that he more than likely won't end up there. UCLA is recruiting him as a defensive end, which is a position that fits him far better, from a physical and skills standpoint. From what we've heard from sources close to the recruitment, UCLA is trying to be straight with him and not just sell him on being a tight end -- and make Wheatley understand that if goes anywhere as a tight end he'll probably be moved to another position.
The recruitment could hinge on whether Wheatley buys in to the tight end sales pitch or not.
We've heard Wheatley's mom is on the UCLA official visit and even she is trying to make him understand the situation.
No one is recruiting Wheatley as an offensive tackle, because he absolutely doesn't want to play that position, but it will be interesting to see if does actually end up there in college.
-- Clark, from all accounts, loved his UCLA visit. He visited with his father, mother and sister. He's probably the recruit that we think is most appreciating the contrast in weather between the east coast and Los Angeles in January more than anyone in recent memory. We've heard that UCLA sat down with him and showed him in video and diagrams how he'll be used in the Bruin offense. This isn't a recruitment in which an out-of-state prospect is swayed to stay local, succumbing to family pressure. Clark, being away from home for high school, is used to being away, and his parents very supportive of his choice. Right now, as we've said, the word is that he's leaning to UCLA, but it's expected that Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is going to hit him hard in the next week and a half.
-- Teuhema is another interesting recruitment. A long-time verbal to LSU, the word is that he's become a bit disillusioned with LSU over a good period of time. His older brother, Sione Teuhema, is a freshman safety at LSU, and apparently hasn't had the best of experiences. The younger Teuhema verbally committed before his brother's freshman year, so it's affected his opinion. A very good source we have in Texas has been telling us that UCLA has a legitimate chance with Teuhema, and we received word Saturday that the official visit was completely wowing him. He is about 6-4 to 6-5 and 335 pounds. His demeanor and personality have impressed people on his visit.
Josh Wariboko, the Oklahoma offensive line prospect, is in Los Angeles for today's West Coast Bowl. He's been here for most of the week practicing for the game. Last night he hung out with two of UCLA's committed players, Bolu Olorunfunmi, the running back who is also playing in the West Coast Bowl, and Colin Samuel, the Long Beach Poly defensive back. Wariboko said a couple of days ago that Ohio State was his leader, but it's pretty clear that was a smokescreen, since OSU really isn't seriously recruiting him at this point. It's between UCLA and Oklahoma, and every indication we're getting is that he's leaning to UCLA. Wariboko, though, is different than Clark, with a huge amount of pressure in Oklahoma to stay close and play for the Sooners.
-- It's been believed that UCLA was leading for Texas wide receiver Carlos Strickland, but the most recent word is that he's favoring Cal at this point. He announces Tuesday, Jan. 27th, and the prevailing sentiment is that he'll verbally commit to the Bears.
-- UCLA is still recruiting other wide receivers, having tripped in Texas Tech commit Tony Brown, from La Mirada. There is some conflicting information on Brown. Apparently on his official visit to UCLA last weekend, he was giving everyone a feeling he was going to UCLA. He was practically acting like a committed recruit, showing the other recruits around campus, etc. But a source close to Brown believes he's still torn between UCLA and Texas Tech and wouldn't be surprised if he stuck with Texas Tech.
As we've said a number of times previously, and will repeat it again: We wouldn't be surprised if UCLA and Cordell Broadus rekindle their relationship and that Broadus visits UCLA next weekend.
-- As I reported yesterday, I'm hearing there's a possibility that UCLA starts to recruit Gary Baker, the DL from Upland, more seriously.
Baker is a three-star prospect, 6-3 to 6-4 and probably 285 right now, and has a good body, not sloppy. He has good feet and good length and flexibility. Here's Baker Video.
Baker is on his official visit to San Diego State this weekend, and has a visit with Oregon scheduled for this coming weekend. If UCLA offered, he'd have to visit sometime mid-week, which is obviously possible since he's just down the freeway in Upland. Whether he gets an offer could depend on what happens with Wheatley and Joseph Wicker, the defensive lineman from Long Beach Poly that will visit UCLA next weekend.
Baker, if you remember, is the player that Oregon said they would offer if Baker's teammate, UCLA-committed linebacker, Josh Woods, would visit Eugene. So, if UCLA did seriously recruit Baker it could also help solidify Woods.
-- The next question will be -- does this mean UCLA doesn't feel confident about Wicker and Wheatley? I don't necessarily think that's the case. But after losing Benning Potoae, I believe UCLA would ideally like to bring in at least one more DL besides committed Rick Wade, and want another option besides Wicker and Wheatley.
As of now, there is nothing we've heard that doesn't lead us to believe that UCLA leads for Wicker. We've heard the Wicker family has essentially told UCLA he was coming to Westwood, now the question is whether that holds up until Feb. 4th. Wicker will visit UCLA officially next weekend and the feeling is that the visit will seal the deal.
-- There have been Twitter reports that UCLA could be starting to recruit Los Angeles Salesian DL Kevin Scott, but we haven't heard those to be true.
-- It's looking like Kyon Clark, the defensive from Rialto Clark, might not get an offer.
-- As we reported, defensive back prospect Dechaun Holiday canceled his visit to Washington. From what we've heard, it was more of a mutual canceling, with Washington getting word that Holiday is just about sewn up for UCLA. Holiday will visit UCLA next weekend and then announce on Sunday.
-- The word, too, is that UCLA still leads for San Gorgonio DB/ATH Nathan Meadors, and that he'll finish his recruitment with his official visit to UCLA next weekend.
-- UCLA-committed DB William Lockett is on an official visit to Michigan this weekend. We've heard there is a decent chance he flips.
-- As we reported yesterday, UCLA and OL prospect Kieffer Longson have gone separate ways. He's verbally committed to BYU, but had still being showing interest in UCLA. He wanted to officially visit UCLA but the visit fell through.
-- Cassius Peat, the LB/DE from Arizona who has been a soft commitment to UCLA for a long time, has been flirting with hometown ASU for a while, and some sources in Arizona have been thinking he'll sign an ASU NLI on February 4th. But lately the information we've been getting is that he's still favoring UCLA. In fact, we've heard his parents want him at UCLA, and that he'd be defying his father's preference if he went to ASU.
-- Here's something to get you all riled up about: UCLA Coach Jim Mora, assistant Demetrice Martin and more coaches did have an in-home visit with Iman Marshall last week. Apparently the visit went really well, and sources close to the situation told us that Marshall loves Mora. In fact, there has been more talk not to count out UCLA with Marshall on Signing Day, but we're still very skeptical, believe it's a smokescreen and he'll opt for USC.
Added 1:38 p.m.: We're hearing that Texas is going to pull out all the stops with its remaining targets before National Signing Day, and that means going hard after Texas running back Sotonye Jamabo. Jamabo took an official visit to Texas this weekend and we're getting some early information about it that Jamabo was duly very impressed.
Texas is trying to flip Texas A&M-committed quarterback Kyler Murray, who is apparently close with Jamabo. Texas also has a walk-on level quarterback they intend to greyshirt, and that quarterback plays on Jamabo's AAU basketball team, and is close with Jamabo. The quarterback's father is fairly wealthy and runs the AAU program, so the word is that he's helping with the Jamabo recruitment. A poster on our board also informed us that the greyshirt quarterback's private quarterback coach is Kevin Murray, Kyler's dad.
The staff will again be out this week for a few in-home visits. We know that Mora and Adrian Klemm will be in the home of UCLA-committed offensive lineman Tevita Halalilo. We have a frontpage story on Halalilo right now.
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