2017 Covington (Ga.) Newton outside linebacker Jaquan Henderson has no substantial prior connection to UCLA, and yet the Bruins were his first offer in March, he has already visited the campus, and he lists UCLA as his "dream school."
"Just everything about UCLA is great," Henderson said. "I love the campus, the area, the coaches. It would be just a great place to go to school."
UCLA linebackers coach Scott White identified Henderson as an early priority in the 2017 class and extended an offer earlier this spring. Soon thereafter, Henderson came West on an unofficial visit with teammate (and 2017 running back) Kurt Taylor and Taylor's father during UCLA's spring practice.
"It was great to see a practice," Henderson said. "It was really intense, guys were really getting after it. I didn't have a chance to meet with any of the other coaches, and I really wanted to meet with Coach (Jim) Mora, but it was in the middle of spring practice and I'm sure a lot of them were busy. I got to talk with Coach White more, and it was really good.
"I could definitely see myself going to school there."
Henderson had such a good time on his visit that he already knows he'll want to take another unofficial visit later this fall.
"I really want to get out there to catch a game," Henderson said. "I'm going to have to figure out how it'll work with the schedule, but I want to see what the Rose Bowl is like, and the game day atmosphere."
The unranked linebacker is still flying under the radar in terms of recruiting attention. He said that Kentucky and Indiana are probably the two schools recruiting him the hardest besides UCLA right now, but that he could earn some big offers pretty soon.
"I think Auburn could be close to offering," Henderson said. "I've been talking to them a little bit. We'll see how the rest of the spring goes, but I think more offers could come in."
Despite being a 2017 recruit, Henderson sounds like he could make an early decision.
"I know I want to at least get through this spring," Henderson said. "But I could commit sometime over the summer or in the fall. I'm not sure yet."