Official Visit Preview: Keisean Lucier-South

Jan. 30 -- Five-star outside linebacker Keisean Lucier-South should immediately improve the UCLA pass rush...

Keisean Lucier-South (6'4, 211)
Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
No. 4 OLB, No. 29 Overall

Introduction: UCLA's pass rush was an eye sore to start the 2014 season. UCLA lost three of its most natural pass rushers from 2013 in Anthony Barr, Cassius Marsh, and Keenan Graham, and for the early part of the season, it really didn't seem like the Bruins had any significant candidates to replace them. As the season wore on, UCLA blitzed more and Deon Hollins started to come on as a legitimate threat, but heading into 2015, getting or developing some great individual pass rushers is a critical piece to the puzzle. Securing Keisean Lucier-South, the five-star OLB/DE who's been compared to Barr, is a great start to that effort.

Recruitment: As far as five-star recruitments go, this one was fairly ho-hum. Lucier-South made no secret as far back as last spring that UCLA was his favorite, and while he tried to disguise that at various points throughout the process, the Bruins have led pretty much wire to wire for the athlete. He finally committed on November 22nd, but it was basically a foregone conclusion by that point. While there was some talk that he could take a long look at Michigan with Jim Harbaugh's hiring, he's stayed solid to UCLA, and he'll probably spend this official visit weekend trying to recruit the uncommitted guys to UCLA.

Evaluation: Lucier-South is probably ill-served by the comparison to Barr. He's not quite that level of athlete -- after all, Barr played safety in high school, and kept that flexibility, speed, and quickness even when he bulked up. Lucier-South is different, looking more like a pure pass rusher and defensive end. He has very good quickness off the snap, with the speed and quickness to beat most offensive tackles. To really maximize his natural athleticism, he'll need to get bigger. He doesn't have a huge frame, but the hope is that he can get into the 240 range at some point in his career. At any rate, he'll immediately provide a boost to the pass rush his first year, and as he fills out he projects as an impact player at that pass-rushing defensive end position.


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