Toailoa is a Bruin

Rialto (Calif.) Carter linebacker Lokeni Toailoa narrowed his choices to six last month and just announced he'll play his college ball at UCLA...

Lokeni Toailoa is the highest rated player on his loaded Ground Zero squad, coming in at No. 69 in the Scout 100. He's one of the nation's top inside 'backer recruits and has a nice combination of size, toughness, hitting ability and better athleticism than given credit for.

And on Monday, the four-star was one of two Ground Zero players to commit to UCLA, alongside Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak running back Demetric Felton.

"I was torn between USC and UCLA and woke up this morning with UCLA," said Toailoa. "UCLA had been recruiting me the hardest for a long time. I have the best relationship with them."

Toailoa also became the second linebacker from Ground Zero to commit to UCLA, joining teammate Krys Barnes from Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty linebacker Krys Barnes in picking the Bruins.

"The biggest factor was I took football out of the equation and wanted to be at UCLA," said Toailoa.

Just like Barnes, Toailoa cited his relationship with new linebackers coach Scott White as a big reason for the Bruins getting his pledge.

"I had a great relationship with Coach White," said Toailoa. "He's a great coach and a great guy."

He recently cut his list to a final seven of Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington. In that group, the only schools he visited were the two local options so it was expected he would be staying close to home to play his college ball.

There was a lot of buzz of late that USC had made up ground and emerged as a real suitor, but UCLA, where Toailoa had been leaning for quite some time, ultimately won out.

"Football wasn't the biggest factor here, it was more about comfort level," said Toailoa.

Toailoa is the fourth Scout 300 commitment from the Bruins in this class, all on defense, joining Barnes, five-star defensive end Breland Brandt and four-star safety Michael Pittman.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories