BRO readers always want to know the truly inside story on recruitments. Well, here it is, the behind-the-scenes stuff we don't usually share. This is highly sensitive information, so please don't tell anyone this.
Included next to the recruit's name is the percentage chance we believe the prospect commits to UCLA.
Tight End Chris Clark -- 20%
The trend over the weekend is that Michigan has moved ahead with Clark, because it was revealed that Jim Harbaugh danced at the birthday party of Clark's grandmother Saturday night. At first no one at the party knew it was Harbaugh. There was a guy with blood painted on his face that crashed the party but he was unrecognizable, who then scooped up Clark's 92-year-old grandmother out of her wheel chair, smeared blood on her face, and started twirling her around the dance floor. He then tossed the grandmother aside and started twerking. It was initially thought it was a recruiting violation for Harbaugh to be there, but he later proved he had a pre-existing relationship with Clark's grandmother. The effort to do this showed the Clarks that Harbaugh is the guy they want coaching their son.
Wide Receiver Tony Brown -- 55%
We’ve heard very good things about UCLA’s chances with…wait, which Tony Brown is this? Are we sure it’s not Anthony Brown?
Tony Brown from La Mirada? Oh. Well, La Mirada is pretty close to UCLA, you’ve gotta feel good abou…wait, he committed to Texas Tech? Texas Tech in Texas, right? Huh.
I guess Texas can be pretty cosmopolitan, especially east Tex…wait, Texas Tech is in Lubbock? A kid from La Mirada committed to playing four years in a city so far removed some civilization that Amarillo looks down on it? Are you sure it’s not this Tony Brown?
Still the guy from La Mirada? Wow. Has he actually visited Lubbock? Oh, well that had to soften the commitme…he liked it, huh? Wow. And a weekend in Lubbock is not enough to cause Stockholm syndrome?
No studies on that? Ok, great, then that’s what we’ll go with: by Signing Day, the Stockholm syndrome from Brown’s visit to Texas Tech will wear off, and he’ll sign with UCLA.
Defensive End Joseph Wicker -- 95%
We're hearing that Wicker is a lock for UCLA, but not for the reasons many have made public before. Wicker verbally committed to Washington early on, and we've learned it was because he had a bit of a man crush on then-Washington Head Coach Steve Sarkisian. When Sarkisian got the USC head coaching job, Wicker called Sark 30 seconds after his introductory press conference and wanted to commit. Sark, though, balked a bit, hearing something a little worrisome in Wicker's voice. When USC's coaches went to visit Long Beach Poly, they were shown Wicker's locker, and it was plastered with pictures of Sarkisian. Not just pictures that you can find on the Internet, but clearly pictures Wicker had taken himself. Wicker was calling Sark at all hours and Sarkisian's wife thought they had seen Wicker in the bushes outside the Sarkisian house. Sark decided not to get a restraining order, thinking the best thing to do was to just drop recruiting Wicker. Wicker went through a deep depression, but then realized the next best option to being close to Sark would be to play at UCLA. On Mora's in-home visit with Wicker last week, the recruit asked Mora if he could, in fact, call him "Sarky."
Running Back Sotonye Jamabo -- 90%
For many people close to this recruitment, Jamabo’s been tough to figure out. When he came out to Los Angeles, many people came away with the same impression: he really does seem like an L.A. type of kid. And it’s completely understandable that people came away with that impression; after all, from what we heard, he spent the entire week when he was in L.A. for the B2G Elite Camp sitting at an independent coffee shop in Silverlake sipping iced vanilla lattes and working on a screenplay.
But then he went back to Texas, and we heard that the situation kind of flipped. Suddenly, he was wearing cowboy boots, speaking to the merits of Lonesome Dove as the one true Great American Novel, and referring to the United States as a separate country, so the thinking was that he was leaning toward Texas.
In the last few days, though, we’ve heard that he’s grown an artfully untrimmed beard and begun a paleo diet. With so little time for another cultural flip before Signing Day, we think he signs with the Bruins.
Wide Receiver Cordell Broadus -- 95%
We have a source who was in on the in-home visit between Jim Mora and Snoop last week. Here's the transcript:
Mora: Hey dawg, yo boi come to the U, and we gettin' supper turnt up, yo.
Snoop: Coach Mora, I reverently respect your coaching acumen. But I have some reservations and consternation about the social influences on my son, Cordell. He's led a fairly sheltered life up to this time in his up-bringing, and I'm concerned about the adverse and potentially degenerate influences of UCLA.
Mora (turning his hat sideways): Aw, come on, bro, fo shizzle ma nizzle. Lez be hardcore on the truth. Really doe, gimme a dap.
Snoop: Mr. Mora, I'm having a difficult time perceiving your communication. If what I infer is correct, you're saying I can unequivocally trust my young Cordell in your hands?
Mora: You know it, bizzatch. My hizzouse is da boi's hizzouse. I ain't no simp. Anyone move up on the boi they goin' to sleep.
Snoop: Okay, sir, I take that to mean you will protect and nurture my son. I categorically concur. Thank you so much for your time. Our family will confer over the next intervening few days, and we shall take thee into the most deliberate and judicious consideration.
Linebacker Victor Alexander -- 50%
UCLA and Georgia Tech have both taken commitments from Victor Alexander in the last few days. From everything we’ve heard from Alexander, he and his mother are going to decide based on a variety of factors, including whether or not the school is local, the school’s proximity to Florida, how easily his mother can come to see him, whether she’ll be able to drive to games, and how much a plane flight costs to see him. After figuring all of that out, Alexander and his mother are going to take a long drive — maybe even a 348-mile trip up to Atlanta from Jacksonville — to just sit and talk about life, the decision he’s making, and how difficult it would be for her to not see her son at least twice a month. As you can imagine, it’s really a tossup at this point.
Cornerback Iman Marshall -- 100%
Marshall's entire recruitment has been a ruse. Sure he was a childhood USC fan, but that changed a few years ago. When he met Mora he knew early on UCLA was his place, and Marshall actually told Mora he wanted to verbally commit to UCLA back in July. Mora, however, was bitter over the way National Signing Day 2014 turned out and swore he'd make a big splash on NSD 2015. He told Biggie they were going to orchestrate the biggest Signing Day stunner in the history of football recruiting. Biggie wasn't one for self-promotion so he had some concerns but he eventually agreed. They plotted a plan for the next 8 months, and got everyone they knew on board -- and meticulously stuck to the plan. There have been leaks, thought, and times when they thought they'd get exposed. The clandestine UCLA official visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel was a close call. When Mora snuck away from the dinner with the other official visitors to take the picture of Marshall at Benihana Saturday night he was afraid someone would see them together. We, though, have been privy to it, as has every recruiting reporter in the nation, and we've all been brought into the ruse. We've had weekly teleconferences about it to keep everyone on the same page. But the cat's out of the Biggie bag now. He's been a lock for UCLA since last spring and he'll shock the world Wednesday.
Offensive Lineman Josh Wariboko -- 0%
Our sources close to the recruitment (really, it’s just kplotts) have indicated that Wariboko is favoring Ohio State, despite Wariboko never having an in-home visit with Ohio State coaches, not being able to name the assistant coach recruiting him, not having ever received a phone call from an Ohio State coach, not knowing whether the Buckeyes just won the National Championship, not actually knowing what state Ohio State is in, and despite Urban Meyer saying, when reached for comment, “I’ve never heard of Josh Wariboko.” It’s hard for UCLA to fight that kind of momentum.
Linebacker/Defensive End Cassius Peat -- 10%
Peat had been committed to UCLA for a long time but then he de-committed and re-committed within a day or so a few months ago after ASU allegedly had come on strong in selling him on staying home. The true inside story is that ASU's Todd Graham and Peat really bonded in Graham's office on his official visit to ASU. Graham put Peat in his office chair, which swiveled curiously. Then, to Peat's astonishment, Graham touched a button on the desk and Graham's office transformed into a hair stylist's salon, with a barber's pole popping out of the ground. Before Peat even knew what was happening, he had a hair gown on with Sparky emblazoned on the front and Graham was lathering up Peat's scalp. Like Edward Scissorhands, Graham whipped out his shears and sculpted a masterpiece for Peat. If you've been wondering why ASU has been doing so well in recruiting, the word got out about Graham's hair artistry and every recruit insisted Graham cut their hair on his official visit. The word is that Peat needs a new cut and Graham won't do it unless he flips to ASU.
Defensive Back Nathan Meadors -- 100%
We’ve heard that Nathan Meadors was actually set to commit to Notre Dame as recently as his official visit, but that the visit didn’t go very well.
When Meadors arrived in South Bend the weekend of his visit, Anger McRedface picked him up from the airport and was perfectly genial and pleasant for the first few moments. As soon as he started driving away with Meadors and family, though, he was overcome with road rage, screaming incoherently at the tens of drivers on the road in Indiana. Weirdly, he had a name for every driver, calling some “Vanderdoes”, others “Dickerson”, and for the worst offenders “McClure”.
But Meadors shook it off. After all, he’d heard great things about McRedface’s coaching and the tradition of Notre Dame, and if a football coach didn’t have some rage issues, he probably wouldn’t be a football coach. After settling in, he and his family went to dinner with McRedface and his staff at a local steakhouse. Meadors, sitting across the table from McRedface, interrupted a story about how much McRedface values relationships with his players to ask him to pass the butter. Immediately, McRedface’s face somehow turned a purple hue, and he let out a titanic Irish roar, flipping over the table and shouting “there’s your ****ing butter” as it flipped into Meadors’ face.
So he’ll probably sign with UCLA.
Offensive Lineman Maea Teuhema -- 0%
Teuhema was very close to flipping to UCLA. But the biggest factor for Teuhema, from what we hear, is that he's very comfortable in his surroundings. When he came home from his official visit to UCLA his only worry was that he'd be alone in big Los Angeles, without any friends and family. On returning home to Keller (Tex.) he then learned that his girlfriend had independently been admitted into LSU, which wasn't that big of a shock since she was smart and had applied there. His younger brother received an early admission to LSU -- which was a little more curious since his brother is 6 years old. Teuhema's best friend got his acceptance letter to LSU. Teuhema's mom and dad were admitted and going to be in the dorm room next to his. Teuhema's cousin was admitted as an LSU ball boy on a full scholarship. Teuhema's mailman was named LSU Athletic Director. Teuhema then Skyped with his extended family in Hawaii, and they were all wearing LSU sweatshirts since 67 of his relatives were all accepted to LSU. Actually, half the state of Hawaii was admitted to LSU. Teuhema's deceased grand uncle was admitted. One guy Teuhema met at the Kroger's in Keller five years ago got into LSU. Teuhema then felt very comfortable with his LSU commitment and decided to stick with it.
Linebacker Roquan Smith -- 50%
Roquan Smith has had a very interesting recruitment, and it’s finally winding down. It’s actually a pretty desperate recruitment for UCLA. With Alexander looking at both Georgia Tech and UCLA right now, getting Smith is pretty imperative for UCLA. We’ve heard, actually, that every night of Smith’s official visit, Jeff Ulbrich stood outside of his dorm room window holding a boombox above his head playing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel. Smith, who was born eight years after “Say Anything” came out in theaters, was still moved by the gesture, and the thinking is that it’s a legitimate tossup between Georgia and UCLA. Mark Richt is supposed to have sent 48 letters to Smith for every hour he spent out of Georgia, and those will be waiting for Smith when he arrives home, but UCLA will apparently counter with a mixtape of all the songs Smith and Ulbrich discussed as their favorites late one evening. This one is anyone’s guess as we come to the finish line.
The Very Serious Recruiting Predictions
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