The Opening Regional: UCLA Preview

Mar. 7 -- A number of UCLA recruits and targets will be at Redondo Union on Sunday at The Opening Regional...

Several of the West’s best prospects, and key UCLA targets, will be in Southern California on Sunday for the The Los Angeles Nike Football Opening Regional at Redondo Union HS in Redondo (Calif.).

Scout will be on hand to check out the top prospects from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.


Last year's quarterback MVP was Josh Rosen, who earned a spot in The Opening after his performance in Los Angeles.

This year, only one 2016 quarterback in the event has a UCLA offer, as does one 2017 prospect, but two 2016 passers could be in the mix for an offer from the Bruins.

While it is certain Santa Margarita (Calif.) quarterback K.J. Costello will end up elsewhere, he's the lone 2016 quarterback in The Opening with a UCLA offer.

But two passers UCLA is watching closely will be there with Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro four-star Devon Modster, who visits UCLA on Saturday and Glendora (Calif.) four-star Matt Fink.

Other 2016 quarterbacks that UCLA is keeping an eye on that will be in Los Angeles include Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds' Kevin Davidson, Thousand Oaks (Calif.) three-star Max Gilliam, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills' Dakota Miller and Los Angeles (Calif.) Hamilton three-star Armani Rogers, who committed to Cal last week.

Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis 2017 quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who has a UCLA offer, is the highest profile 2017 passer expected and he visited UCLA this week.


It isn't a great year for running backs in the region, so the crop of backs in Los Angeles will be down.

Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star Sean McGrew is the highest rated back expected and Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete four-star Melquise Stovall will join him.

La Verne (Calif.) Damien running back Dylan Thigpen, the younger brother of former UCLA running back Damien Thigpen, will be in attendance as will Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame three-star Leo Lamber, who covets a UCLA offer.

Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak running back/receiver Demetric Felton plays running back for Great Oak, but a lot of schools like him as a slot. He'll work with the running backs, though, on Sunday.

Two of the top 2017 backs in the West will be there in Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins' Greg Johnson, who has a UCLA offer, and Fontana (Calif.) Summit four-star Stephan Carr.


The most stacked position in the region for the 2016 class will live up to it on Sunday.

Even with Westlake (Calif.) four-star Theo Howard (foot) and Corona (Calif.) Centennial four-star Javon McKinley (back) out, the group will have plenty of star power.

The headliners are from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat: five-star Tyler Vaughns, the region's No. 1 receiver and Trevon Sidney, who was the WR MVP at last year's Oregon NFTC.

They'll be joined by their 7v7 teammates and fellow four-stars David Long from Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola and Dylan Crawford from Santa Margarita (Calif.), who both have a UCLA offer.

Fontana (Calif.) Summit receiver Damian Alloway, who UCLA is doing very well with, is coming off an MVP performance at the Pylon ELite 7v7 and is one of the top receivers expected.

Long Beach (Calif.) Poly receiver Jack Jones and Gardena (Calif.) Serra receiver/safety Brandon Burton, both players UCLA doing well with, will be there this weekend.

A number of top underclassmen will also be participating, including Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins 2017 four-star Joseph Lewis and 2018 star Jalen Hall, who both have UCLA offers. The Anaheim (Calif.) Servite trio of Terrell Bynum (2017), Osiris St. Brown (2017) and Amon-Ra Brown (2018), will all be there.

The tight end position won't be as stacked, but two Orange County tight ends to watch there will be Huntington Beach (Calif.) three-star Nick Crabtree and San Clemente (Calif.) three-star Cole Fotheringham.


The one lineman we're the most excited to see is easily Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne three-star Alex Akingbulu, who UCLA offered right after Signing Day. The Bruins are doing well with the newcomer to football, who's only played for one year, and this will be a good opportunity for him to show he's one of the region's best.

Two Hawaiian's will look to replicate what UCLA signee Fred Ulu-Perry did last year- win MVP. UCLA had both visit too, one being Honolulu (Hawaii) Kaiser four-star Michael Eletise, the region's top guard who UCLA has offered and Ulu-Perry's St. Louis teammate, tackle Nate Herbig, who the Bruins are evaluating.

Two other Southland natives the Bruins have offered will be there in Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star Frank Martin, who visited UCLA unofficially on Friday and Murrieta (Calif.) Mesa four-star Nathan Smith.


If Akingbulu is the player we're most looking forward to seeing on the offensive line, on the other side, Gardena (Calif.) Serra defensive lineman Oluwole Betiku earns that nod. The four-star Scout 100 prospect visited UCLA this week and his legal guardian, Lavar Arrington, played for new UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.

And Betiku can play too- in fact, he had never played organized football before the 2014 season, but it was at the Washington DC NFTC last year he introduced himself and later earned an offer from Maryland.

Two Arizona prospects who put themselves on the map last year were Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton four-star tackle Garrett Rand and Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe defensive tackle Justin Holt, and both will be back.

Bishop (Calif.) defensive end Hunter Kampmoyer, who UCLA offered this week as a defensive lineman, but who committed to Arizona State as a tight end, will be on hand.

Two of Nevada's top prospects regardless of class, and two of the West's premier 2017 defensive lineman, Las Vegas (Nev.) Centennial four-star Greg Rogers and Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman defensive end Haskell Garrett, headline the underclassmen.


The West is loaded with linebackers in 2016 and a few of UCLA's primary targets, plus a couple they're watching closely, will be there on Sunday.

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star Curtis Robinson is a fast-rising prospect who's had a terrific spring so far, and he'll be working with the linebackers this weekend and is a prime candidate for an invitation to The Opening Finals. UCLA offered last month and the Bruins are doing well with the son of a UCLA professor.

Rialto (Calif.) Carter middle linebacker Lokeni Toailoa, who UCLA has been after for over a year, and Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty middle linebacker Krys Barnes, who the Bruins are evaluating, will both be there and they'll both visit UCLA unofficially next week.

Another linebacker to watch is Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos outside linebacker Bryce Youngquist, who was the SPARQ MVP last year.


With all the talented receivers coming to The Opening, there will be a need for talented defensive backs, and fortunately, there are a few.

One of UCLA's newest offers went out to San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills safety Troy Warner, and he was teammates with last year's DB MVP Dechaun Holiday, who signed with the Bruins in February.

Chandler (Ariz.) athlete Chase Lucas, who has a UCLA offer as a running back, will work with the cornerbacks this weekend.

Some other defensive backs that UCLA is evaluating but haven't offered yet include Etiwanda (Calif.) four-star cornerback Treyjohn Butler, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco teammates Traveon Beck and D.J. Morgan, La Mirada (Calif.) safety Micah Croom and Rialto (Calif.) Carter safety Leni Toailoa.

Four 2017 prospects with UCLA offers that will be there are Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian cornerback Deommodore Lenoir, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) cornerback Jaylon Redd, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt cornerback Thomas Graham and Saratoga Springs (Utah) Westlake safety Chaz Ah You.

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