UCLA Prospects at The Opening -- Update

Jul. 1 -- Like a year ago, the Bruins will again have a loaded group of prospects they're recruiting at the biggest recruit event of the year...

The Opening Finals are July 5-10 at the Nike Campus in Beaverton, Oregon, and it’s now well accepted it’s the preeminent event of the year in high school football recruiting.

It’s the one event nationally where the truly elite players get together to compete. If a recruit gets an invitation to The Opening, “gets open,” it signifies that he’s among the best in the country.

In the first few seasons of The Opening, UCLA didn’t have too many prospects participating. It was a reflection that the Bruins just weren’t serious players for the best recruits in the country. Under Jim Mora that has changed. Last year, UCLA had 34 prospects it was recruiting at The Opening. This year, for the 2015 edition of The Opening, there are 33 prospects with invitations to The Opening that UCLA is recruiting.



Recruiting:
Burton got a late invitation to The Opening. He's an interesting prospect, mostly being recruited as a safety, but we think he projects as a big possession receiver in college. UCLA is on his list, and probably has a chance, but it's thought he wants to go away for school, with Florida State, Oklahoma or maybe Arizona being the destination. He does have an offer from Alabama.
Recruiting:
Asiasi is a nice athlete for his size, and while he's getting recruited as a tight end, we think he ends up on the offensive line, already being 275-ish. It's where his athleticism would really have an impact. He lists UCLA, and says he's going to be visit UCLA's campus, but it's well accepted he's a strong USC lean.
Recruiting:
Hayes wasn't just invited to The Opening, but we've added him here since we're hearing that UCLA is involved in his recruitment, despite him being a long-time verbal commitment to USC.

Recruiting:
With UCLA having a commitment from one elite cornerback, UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin has a bit of a luxury to stretch and take shots at some national prospects. Hamlin is one of those guys, but the Bruins are probably on the outside looking in. They have a shot at a visit, but Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State are probably the leaders.

Recruiting:
Jackson is an interesting athlete, at 6-2+ and 205ish pounds. He played various positions at his high school as a junior and is getting recruited as a safety, but he has the makings of an outside linebacker, especially with the way his body is going, and a very good one, who could drop into coverage easily. UCLA is thought to be among his leaders at any given time, and it will probably end up a UCLA/USC battle.
Recruiting:
Sterling-Cole is a talented quarterback prospect with some nice upside, with a live arm and athleticism. UCLA already has a commitment from one quarterback for 2016 (Matt Lynch), but with the departure of Asiantii Woulard could be in the market for a second, and Sterling-Cole is probably the highest-ranked 2016 QB UCLA is involved with at this time. He has said that Arizona State, Houston, Florida, Texas A&M (where his father played), Mississippi State, Boise State and UCLA are the schools he's considering.
Recruiting:
Tagaloa is the #1-ranked defensive tackle in the west and a high priority for UCLA. The Bruins look good for him, too, with him having unofficially visited this spring and planning to take an official visit to Westwood -- while he also publicly says he's not sure what other schools he'd like to visit. The word is that UCLA is his leader and his theirs to lose.

Recruiting:
Barnes committed to UCLA in March, and it was a big one, given that he projects as an inside linebacker and UCLA missed on its targets for 2015.
Recruiting:
Betiku might be the biggest prize left uncommitted on UCLA’s board right now. It was well-known that UCLA was his leader, and he admitted recently that he came close to committing, but he now wants to take some visits. It’s one of the biggest challenges of this recruiting cycle for UCLA – to secure Betiku.

Recruiting:
It was surprising in April when Crawford said that UCLA was his local favorite over USC. The thought, however, is that he intends to leave the area for college, with Stanford, Washington and Michigan as distinct possibilities, even though he might not have the academic profile for Stanford.

Recruiting:
Even with UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm suspended, UCLA has continued to stay in the game for Davis, along with Michigan, Maryland, Florida State and Alabama. UCLA might have been the co-leader with Maryland before Klemm’s suspension, so if they can hang in now, it should bode well for when Klemm returns.

Recruiting:
Eifler was considered a good prospect, but then blew up at the The Opening Oakland in May. UCLA is in his top 5, and UCLA coaches are supposed to visit him this week.
Recruiting:
UCLA was the leader for Eletise before Klemm’s suspension, and now have probably fallen back to the pack, along with Michigan, Washington and Oregon.

Recruiting:
Fulton is one of the elite cornerback propects in the nation, and recently said UCLA was on his narrowed-down list, along with Florida, LSU, Mississippi, Texas, Texas A&M and USC. UCLA could very well get an official visit out of him, but he's considered a longshot.

Recruiting:
He’s the younger brother of current UCLA receiver Devin Fuller and, while that helps some, it appears the younger brother has a mind of his own. He first thought he didn’t want to go far away from home, but how the word is that Stanford is appealing to him.
Recruiting:
The #1 overall prospect in the nation, Gary’s recruitment is a circus, with all the biggest-named programs involved. It’s believed, though, that UCLA will get an official visit from him.

Recruiting:
The 2017 running back prospect will probably be the #1 overall prospect in the class at some point. He verbally committed to Alabama this spring, but it’s early and Harris has said he wants to consider other schools. National programs will be involved, and UCLA and USC are on him hard.
Recruiting:
Howard verbally committed to Oregon in March, and has emerged as potentially the #1 receiver prospect in the west in a loaded year. While he’s pretty solid to the Ducks, UCLA has continued to try with him.

Recruiting:
Hansford's a very good athlete, who projects at probably linebacker. UCLA just offered him in June, and there's a chance they'll get a visit, but the likes of Ohio State, Penn State and Georgia are probably the leaders.

Recruiting:
UCLA is on Robertson's short list, and the word is that he plans to visit, but the versatile athlete, who probably projects as a receiver, has Georgia leading, with interest in Alabama (one-time commitment) and Stanford.
Recruiting:
A candidate for the top target on UCLA’s board, Jones is one of the best corner prospects we’ve seen in recent years, and that doesn’t diminish his potential as a receiver. He said in March that UCLA was his leader, and has since backed off that, but he continues to indicate that privately. It will be a long way to Signing Day for this one.

Recruiting:
One of the more interesting recruitments in this cycle, Juarez committed early to USC, but has since openly professed his love for UCLA, and he’s not trolling. He hasn’t de-committed from USC, however. He apparently wants to take some visits, but the thought is that he won’t leave town for college, and it’s between UCLA and USC.

Recruiting:
The #1 prospect in the west, Kelly has been recruited by UCLA for a long time, and now has more ties with the Bruins, with his teammate, Darian Owens, having committed to UCLA. It’s thought to be between UCLA, Oklahoma and Michigan are thought to be the frontrunners, but there will probably be some names added to that list by Signing Day.
Recruiting:
UCLA has a good rep in Louisiana, but the problem is that it’s recruiting against LSU. Lawrence is going to be an interesting one, since we’ve heard he has a legitimate interest in UCLA. In fact, he himself contacts the UCLA coaches pretty regularly, and he’ll definitely take an official visit. But LSU looms.

Recruiting:
The #1 offensive tackle prospect in the nation, Little is verbally committed to Texas A&M, but has said he has interest in some other schools, including UCLA.

Recruiting:
A great athlete who ran a 4.4 flat at the The Opening Oakland, Long had UCLA as an early leader, but now Stanford and childhood favorite USC are on him.

Recruiting:
McCulloch's list includes LSU, Texas A&M and Alabama, but he’s also shown an interest in UCLA and plans to visit.

Recruiting:
Murphy is a bid dude, at 6-7 and 250, and is very intriguing, since he's quick enough to be a defensive end, but if you reasonable project out his body, could end up an ofensive tackle. UCLA is definitely in the mix, with ASU, Oregon, Michigan and USC.


Recruiting:
A solid cover corner, Murphy is thought to be a lean to Texas A&M, but has a connection to UCLA through former high school teammate and current UCLA DB Priest Willis.
Recruiting:
Among the few best cornerback prospects in the west, Parker verbally committed to UCLA April, somewhat unexpectedly, after taking an unofficial visit to the campus. It was thought the verbal wasn’t completely solid, but he says it’s gotten more solid since his announcement. Other programs keep trying, and he says he intends to take some official visits.
Recruiting:
A great athlete who could excel on either side of the ball, Sidney has had various leaders at different times in his recruitment. It was UCLA early on, now it seems to be USC. It’s thought it will ultimately be one of the local schools, and whoever pulls ahead at the end gets him.

Recruiting:
Vaughns has been thought to be a long-time lean to USC, but we’ve heard that might not be as solid as it was previously thought. Vaughns has visited UCLA’s campus, but there are some questions about academics that could preclude UCLA from getting very serious with him.

Recruiting:
One of the hottest prospects in the west, Winston is a great-looking athlete, with size, quickness and length. UCLA is recruiting him hard, but the thought is that local Oregon and Stanford lead.

Recruiting:
UCLA just recently offered Valentin, who reports offers from Michigan, Arizona State, and Virginia Tech, among others. He might officially visit UCLA in the fall, though it's too early to say with certainty.






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