How UCLA Could Finish (Version 3)

Jan. 30 -- With Signing Day just days away, we take one final look at the scenarios for how UCLA's class could finish...

With the tumult of the last week — T.J. Simmons decommitting, Ryan Newsome shocking the world by committing to UCLA, and a variety of other shakeups — we though it’d be a good time to once again look at where this class could rank, given a few different scenarios.

Right now, UCLA has 17 commitments with an average star ranking of 3.88, good for second best in the country. The class overall is ranked 13th with 3290 points and is the only team in the top 13 with fewer than 20 commitments. Right now, there are really just a handful of realistic prospects left on the board for UCLA, and no, we’re not including Iman Marshall.

As it stands, we don’t think there’s much possibility for the 2014 scenario where UCLA closes poorly down the stretch and gets just one commitment on Signing Day — the Bruins are in too deep with too many realistic prospects for that to happen. That said, though, we do want to set a baseline, so here’s our guess for the worst possible case scenario for how UCLA could finish the class (we won’t discuss possible decommitments, because it’s just too many variables).

UCLA closes with:

CB Dechaun Holiday (6'2.5, 208) No. 11 CB, No. 76 Overall (209 points)
S Nathan Meadors (6'2, 180) No. 62 Safety (78 points)(Pictured above)

Total commitments: 19
Final point total: 3577
Where that ranked in 2014: No. 9

Dechaun Holiday
So, that’s the worst case scenario at this point, in our estimation, and the class would still be (most likely) ranked in the top ten. UCLA would have hit on some significant needs, with a five-star quarterback, a significant boost to the pass rush, a good offensive line class, and a good defensive back class. The lack of an instant impact running back would be a knock, and not landing an interior defensive lineman would be a worry, but it’d overall be a good class and a step in the right direction after last year.

But, again, we don’t really see that as likely. Our most realistic scenario would include one of the five-stars UCLA is still recruiting (since we think there’s a better shot with him, we’ll go with Chris Clark), three of the remaining four-stars (we’ll name them for sake of argument, but you could exchange Josh Wariboko for one of them if you’d like), and Meadors. That class would finish like this:

TE Chris Clark (6'6, 247) No. 1 TE, No. 23 Overall (300 points)
CB Dechaun Holiday (6'2.5, 208) No. 11 CB, No. 76 Overall (209 points)
DE Joseph Wicker (6'2, 275) No. 11 DT, No. 93 Overall (209 points)
WR Cordell Broadus (6'2.5, 195) No. 42 WR (178 points)
S Nathan Meadors (6'2, 180) No. 62 Safety (78 points)

Total commitments: 22
Final Point Total: 4264
Where that ranked in 2014: No. 5

Joseph Wicker
In our realistic scenario, UCLA lands a true tight end for the first time since Ian Taubler, which could change the dynamics of the offense, pulls in a very good defensive tackle in Joseph Wicker, shores up receiver depth with Broadus, and closes with the two guys from the worst case scenario. This would fill a ton of needs, with the most significant miss simply being an impact running back. While it might not be the uber-elite class that 2013 was, this class would go a long way toward giving UCLA plenty of talented depth to replace the departing 2013 class over the next two years.

So, that’s a fun, good finish. But what if things end up a little better than that, and UCLA closes with anyone who’s been perceived to be a lean at one time or another in the last few weeks? That class, the really good finish class, would look like this:

TE Chris Clark (6'6, 247) No. 1 TE, No. 23 Overall (300 points)
RB Sotonye Jamabo (6'2.5, 203) No. 1 RB, No. 18 Overall (300 points)
OG Josh Wariboko (6'3, 305) No. 10 OG, No. 163 Overall (210 points)
CB Dechaun Holiday (6'2.5, 208) No. 11 CB, No. 76 Overall (209 points)
DE Joseph Wicker (6'2, 275) No. 11 DT, No. 93 Overall (209 points)
WR Cordell Broadus (6'2.5, 195) No. 42 WR (178 points)
S Nathan Meadors (6'2, 180) No. 62 Safety (78 points)

Total commitments: 24
Final point total: 4774
Where that ranked in 2014: No. 2

Soso Jamabo
Oh boy, that class would fill basically every need. UCLA would get the impact running back, the talented defensive tackle, the impact receiver (Newsome), the tight end to change the offense, a ton of cornerbacks, plenty of offensive linemen, and good, solid linebackers. That would be an elite class, the kind that Huffman might be writing about in five years as one of the best ever for UCLA.

But, let’s be honest: 24 commitments just doesn’t sound right. Shouldn’t it be 25? Yeah, I think so too. So, here’s the 25-man class, where things get silly and UCLA closes on basically anyone they’ve ever had a realistic chance with.

TE Chris Clark (6'6, 247) No. 1 TE, No. 23 Overall (300 points)
RB Sotonye Jamabo (6'2.5, 203) No. 1 RB, No. 18 Overall (300 points)
MLB Roquan Smith (6'1, 209) No. 1 MLB, No. 62 Overall (220 points)
OG Josh Wariboko (6'3, 305) No. 10 OG, No. 163 Overall (210 points)
CB Dechaun Holiday (6'2.5, 208) No. 11 CB, No. 76 Overall (209 points)
DE Joseph Wicker (6'2, 275) No. 11 DT, No. 93 Overall (209 points)
WR Cordell Broadus (6'2.5, 195) No. 42 WR (178 points)
S Nathan Meadors (6'2, 180) No. 62 Safety (78 points)

Total Commitments: 25
Final Point Total: 4994
Where that ranked in 2014: still No. 2

There we go. That’s better. That class would be super-elite, with plenty of instant impact types to go along with players who will fill out the depth chart at basically every position for years to come. In the same way that the 2013 class should fuel the next two years, this class would fuel the next four, and help Jim Mora sustain, and continue to improve, the program he’s built in Westwood.

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