UCLA's camps are this week, and the Bruins have had a relatively productive start to the recruiting cycle, with 14 commitments in the 2016 class and eight of those 10 commitments coming since the beginning of the eval period.
Of course, UCLA did lose one commitment in that time frame and was also without arguably its best recruiter the entire spring.
Thanks to recruiting much of 2015's class at least early on with the mindset it would be a smaller class, there had been an earlier focus than usual by UCLA on the 2016 class. Five of UCLA's current commitments are on offense, with six on defense and three on special teams.
UCLA clearly signed a considerably talent-laden class for 2015. Plugging that into the existing talent in the program, UCLA is definitely at its most talented point in quite a long time.
It clearly is a new era in UCLA football recruiting, with UCLA not just being mentioned among the elite in California and the West, but also nationally, and beating some of the national powers for guys in their own backyard.
Here is a current look at UCLA's recruiting board heading into the camps this week.
The good news is that UCLA has Josh Rosen on campus and in contention for the starting job as a true freshman this fall. The bad news for recruiting over the last few months was that made it difficult to recruit from the top tier, because those players didn't want to sit behind Rosen for two years. But in a bit of a whirlwind recruitment, UCLA evaluated, recruited, and earned a commitment from a 2016 quarterback in early May in Matt Lynch. Then on the heels of Asiantii Woulard transferring, got a commitment from an athlete who could play quarterback, Dymond Lee, in June, with Lee coming in and having a crack at quarterback.
Matt Lynch, 6-4, 185, Broomfield (Colo.) Legacy- COMMITTED
Lynch was an early commit to Colorado State but when Jim McElwain left for the Florida head coaching gig and Mike Bobo was hired as the offensive coordinator, Lynch opened up his recruitment. UCLA went to see him throw late last month and then had Lynch on campus for an unofficial visit the first week in May. They offered him on the unofficial and he committed an hour later. Lynch is an intriguing prospect who we got our first chance to see this month at The Opening Eugene regional. And Lynch actually had a good day and alleviated some concern that he can make the jump to the next level. There will likely not be an immediate need for Lynch to play in his first two years in the program. His commitment got the position filled with at least one quarterback in this class, in what could have been a tough year to bring in a passer.
Dymond Lee, 6-2, 175, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade- COMMITTED
Lee was offered by UCLA in early March after patiently waiting for some time. UCLA had been watching him for two years and finally extended the offer. It was a big one for Lee, who had double-digit offers from around the country, including from Colorado, where his older brother, Donovan, plays. So it wasn't a surprise when Lee committed to UCLA. The surprise, though, was that he did so as a quarterback. With Woulard leaving, UCLA wanted to bring in an athletic, dual-threat quarterback and Lee appears to be their guy there. He's a terrific receiver but hasn't taken a lot of snaps as the starter at Chaminade- though he will this fall. Should quarterback not work out for him at UCLA, though, he can fall back on receiver, and unlike other quarterbacks-turned-receivers like Devin Fuller and Aaron Sharp, Lee is more of an experienced and talented receiver.
Dillon Sterling-Cole, 6-2.5, 183, Houston (Tex.) Westfield- OFFERED
Sterling-Cole was offered by UCLA earlier this spring, and the Bruins made the cut on his recent list, but it's uncertain whether, or how seriously, UCLA will pursue him now with Lynch and Lee both committed. Sterling-Cole looked pretty good at the Elite 11 in Los Angeles, and we'll get another long look at him at The Opening next month, and we'll be better able to gauge how interested he'd be in UCLA, given that the Bruins now have two ostensible quarterback commits.
It's again not a great running back class out West, which has been an issue the past couple of years. That's part of the reason why UCLA stockpiled a bit at the position in the 2015 class, with two backs coming in, Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi.
Jalen Starks, 6-1, 240, Encino (Calif.) Crespi- COMMITTED
Starks didn't waste any time at all in jumping on the UCLA offer. The Bruins offered in the afternoon and by that evening, Starks committed to the Bruins. He's the No. 2 fullback nationally by Scout, and tops in the West, and is a big power back who Kennedy Polamalu is well aware of, having coached against him when he was at Loyola and got a chance to see again when his son played against Starks last year. He's the physical back that Polamalu wants in his offense and Starks had been high on UCLA's board for a while.
D'Vaughn Pennamon, 5-11.5, 195, Manvel (Texas)- OFFERED
Pennamon visited UCLA in April when he was out for the IMG 7v7 West Regionals with his Texas team. UCLA is on his short list, but Arkansas appears to be the favorite for him, having visited earlier this month. He's had a great spring and moved in to the Scout 300 so his stock is on the rise with more and more schools coming after him. UCLA did sign a teammate of his in February, William Lockett, so they're hoping that at least gets them a visit.
The receiver class out West is a deep one, but UCLA isn't just offering a bunch of guys in the region, they're offering a number of receivers nationally. The Bruins already have commitments from Felton and Owens, who UCLA wants as a receiver. UCLA was the first offer for McKnight and one of the first offers for Alloway. This is a strong position across the country and UCLA is already getting after several but a lot of the top Western prospects are still wide open or not listing the Bruins. There is also a chance that Dymond Lee ends up back at receiver, sooner rather than later, though he's listed with the quarterbacks since that will be his first stop at UCLA.
Darian Owens, 6-0, 180, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West- COMMITTED
Owens looked to be a USC lean last summer but UCLA made up a ton of ground and prioritized him which was big for Owens. Eric Yarber was key in Owens' recruitment and he said their relationship was a big part of his reason to pick the Bruins. Owens is also close with teammate Caleb Kelly, one of UCLA's top defensive targets. Owens is ranked as a top ten athlete on Scout, with some schools liking him for defense, but UCLA wants him specifically for receiver and that was a big thing for Owens too.
Demetric Felton, 5-10, 195, Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak- COMMITTED
Felton plays running back for Great Oak, but he projects as a slot receiver for the Bruins, and will be used like UCLA used Damien Thigpen, on wheel routes, jet sweeps, and any other way to get the ball in his hands in space. He committed to the Bruins in March and he is a great get because his recruitment was really beginning to take off when they offered. The local factor played a huge role in their ability to get him.
Damian Alloway, 5-10, 170, Fontana (Calif.) Summit- OFFERED
Alloway nearly committed to Cal over UCLA the same day Felton committed but held off from committing. That was big for UCLA, because they still want him badly and Alloway deciding to hold off kept them from losing him to an in-state/in-conference foe. Alloway said there was something about UCLA that kept him from pledging to Cal. He was going back and forth between the two often but now other schools are making a push. Wisconsin offered last month and is making a move and Notre Dame offered, which was an offer he had long wanted. With Cal getting a number of receiver commits (albeit, different types of receivers than Alloway), he's looking at more schools too. He and Felton could be used in similar roles, but Alloway is more of a pure receiver than Felton.
Dylan Crawford, 6-1, 175, Santa Margarita (Calif.)- OFFERED
UCLA is still trying with Crawford, and he's said of the local schools, UCLA is the leader, but there's a good chance he leaves Southern California to play his college ball. He's close with K.J. Costello, moving to Santa Margarita for his senior season to play with his 7v7 quarterback and so he can graduate early. Stanford, where Costello is committed, is on Crawford hard and the Cardinal are doing pretty well with him, but UCLA is still trying and made his top ten list last week, so if he does plan to stay local, the Bruins have a shot.
Marquis Lawson, 5-9, 165, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian- OFFERED
UCLA offered Lawson recently. He didn't test particularly well at the Nike Camp in Los Angeles, scratching his 40 and running a 4.55 shuttle, but it wasn't, overall, a very good testing day, with windy conditions. He definitely fits that slot receiver mold, and could be a fit in case Damian Alloway goes elsewhere.
Steffon McKnight, 6-1.5, 165, San Diego (Calif.) Mira Mesa- OFFERED
McKnight got his first offer from UCLA over a year ago but he really never mentioned them much before. However, of late, he's talking a little more about the Bruins. UCLA had him on campus during spring ball and are now back on his short list.
Tyler Vaughns, 6-2, 185, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat- OFFERED
N'Keal Harry, 6-3, 210, Chandler (Ariz.)- OFFERED
Devin Duvernay, 5-10, 175, Sachse (Texas)- OFFERED
Dee Anderson, 6-4, 175, Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite- OFFERED
Binjimen Victor, 6-4, 170, Coconut Creek (Fla.)- OFFERED
Clyde Leflore, 6-1, 165, New Orleans (La.) Warren Easton- OFFERED
Mykel Jones, 6-0, 185, Patterson (La.)- OFFERED
A.J. Morris, 6-1, 205, Smyrna (Tenn.) Lancaster Christian Academy- OFFERED
Simi Fehoko, 6-4, 183, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton
J.J. Wills, 5-11, 161, Clovis (Calif.)
Devin Asiasi, 6-5, 230, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle- OFFERED
Asiasi is similar to Clark, too, in that he's a well-rounded tight end. Clark is a better athlete but Asiasi is a better blocker and a little more physical. Asiasi plays in the vaunted veer offense at De La Salle, which is great if you're a running back or linemen, but not so great when you want to catch passes. But it has helped Asiasi's blocking greatly and he's used the 7v7 circuit to show just how good of a receiver he is, with soft hands and pretty good ability to run. USC is the team to beat for him, but the Bruins will keep trying and he's planning to visit this summer. He released his top eight on Sunday and the Bruins made the list.
Noah Fant, 6-4, 210, Omaha (Neb.) South - OFFERED
Fant really opened some eyes at The Opening Regional in Eugene, looking like one of the most athletic tight end prospects in the class. He's currently ranked as a defensive end, where he has some real potential as well, but currently UCLA likes him as a tight end. He is definitely more of a receiving tight end than a blocking type, so he's not quite in that Chris Clark mold, at least not yet. He has the potential to get significantly bigger, though, with a nice frame. UCLA (mostly Angus McClure) has been recruiting him for a few months now, with the offer coming in a few weeks ago. UCLA is thought to be doing fairly well with him, but the hometown school, Nebraska, is also in the mix.
Cary Angeline, 6-7, 230, Exton (Pa.) Downington East- OFFERED
Angeleine was offered by UCLA in the spring and he made his way out to Westwood for a spring practice, but all indications are that he's staying put closer to home, with in-state Penn State one of the favorites. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan State are also making a push for him.
Michael Eletise, 6-3, 270, Honolulu (Hawaii) Kaiser- OFFERED
Eletise is the top offensive guard in the West and UCLA had been doing well with him, with the four-star citing his relationship with Klemm as one of the major factors in his interest in UCLA. With Klemm out, Oregon and Washington have both started to make serious in-roads with him. As a player, Eletise is every bit the prospect he's ranked, earning an invitation to The Opening Finals after the Los Angeles Regional, where he showed his great punch, physicality and good footwork. His recruitment has really taken off, with nearly 40 offers, including several from national programs, but his top ten, named earlier this month, still had UCLA on it, and he cited his relationship with Klemm, who's now back, as a big reason why.
Alex Akingbulu, 6-6, 240, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne- OFFERED
Akingbulu is still somewhat of a project, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. He's only played football for a year, being a basketball player turned offensive lineman. He lost a ton of weight during hoops and weighed in at The Opening Los Angeles at 230. He acknowledged then that he knows he needs to get to at least 260, and when we saw him a few weeks ago at spring practice with Serra, he looked like he was gaining some weight. He moves pretty well and is light on his feet with good length, but he'll absolutely have to add some considerable weight to be serviceable in college. UCLA is the hometown favorite for Akingbulu and his sister is a student there too. He hasn't visited any school but UCLA and even with Klemm gone for the past few months, the local angle and his affinity for the Bruins hasn't created any wavering from him towards UCLA.
Willie Allen, 6-7, 270, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian- OFFERED
The No. 2 tackle nationally by Scout, Allen is a long and lean athletic offensive tackle, essentially what you draw up as a tackle. He's nasty too and not just an athletic lineman, but a bruiser. The early word was that UCLA had a realistic shot at him, as he was a sophomore when Kenny Young played at JCC and Young had been working on him for some time. But with Klemm absent for the spring, and not getting a chance to get down to Louisiana to see him during May, UCLA may be fading a bit in the pack. If there is a national guy we could see UCLA jumping back in on strongly now that Klemm is back, however, it'd be Allen.
Greg Little, 6-6, 285, Allen (Texas)- OFFERED
Little is the No. 1 lineman in the country and has been committed to Texas A&M for a while. Interestingly, he told Scout at The Opening Regional in Dallas that UCLA was recruiting him the hardest and he planned to visit unofficially and potentially officially. The next day, Klemm was suspended, so we'll see how much that affected Little, who also cited his relationship with Klemm as a reason for his interest. it could be a case that Klemm can't pull out this one.
Mike Alves, 6-5, 318, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine
Alves was planning to camp with UCLA in hopes of getting an offer, but after they saw him in the spring, they didn't see the need to wait until then and they offered Alves in the early part of the month. The Bruins are in a group that included schools like Wisconsin, Oregon, Boston College and Washington, all schools who offered earlier, but being local could help some, though Alves said it won't be a huge factor. UCLA likes him as an offensive guard, but he could play right tackle in college.
Logan Bathke, 6-6, 260, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Bathke was somewhat of an unknown when UCLA offered him, not doing any camps this offseason. But watching him on film, you can see why several Pac-12 schools, including Oregon and the Arizona schools, have offered him. He's an athletic right tackle with a lot of nasty. UCLA nearly got a commitment from him earlier this month but then he visited the Arizona schools and Oregon threw their hat in the ring, and now Bathke wants to take his time and not rush into a decision and plans to take some visits. The Bruins are still in a good spot for him and his former Orange Lutheran teammate, Keisean Lucier-South, is all over him.
Henry Hattis, 6-6, 265, Rio Rancho (N.M.) Cleveland
Hattis was, in our opinion, the best offensive lineman at The Opening Oakland regional. In fact, the only offensive lineman who could stop Wole Betiku was Hattis, who beat him twice in the 1-on-1's. He's a big and athletic tackle, with massive hands (biggest measured hands at The Opening Oakland) who comes from an athletic family- his sister played both volleyball and basketball at Texas. Hattis was seen on film by the UCLA coaches in late May and soon after they jumped in with an offer and it was a big one for him. He's still hoping to add Stanford and Oklahoma offers to the mix, but the Bruins are definitely on his short list.
At one point UCLA might have been the leader for Davis, but now, in the absence of Klemm, has fallen to the back of the pack. But we've heard that Davis is still very open to UCLA, and while Michigan, Maryland, Alabama and Florida State have surged ahead, the Bruins still have a chance.
Other offensive linemen:
Scott Lashley, 6-7, 295, West Point (Miss.)
Jauan Williams, 6-6, 270, Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll- OFFERED
Clarence Henderson, 6-3, 250, Dallas (Texas) Skyline- OFFERED
Francisco Perez, 6-5, 300, Baldwin Park (Calif.)
Sean Auwae, 6-4, 290, Kapolei (Hawaii)
Nate Herbig, 6-4, 335, Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis
UCLA already has a commitment from two players at defensive end -- Breland Brandt and Marcus Moore -- and would love to add the top pass-rusher from the Southland in Oluwole Betiku. From an athleticism standpoint, you wouldn't find a better 1-2 punch anywhere outside the Southeast than Brandt and Betiku while Moore has a significant amount of upside.
Breland Brandt, 6-4, 220, Los Angeles (Calif.) Windward- COMMITTED
Because he's played basketball, he's not been able to keep the weight on, but he still projects to end up as a defensive end in college. And with UCLA's linebacker recruiting, Brandt as an end allows them to pick up the two remaining outside linebacker targets they covet. Brandt is still new to football, only having played for two years, going to Windward to play basketball, and in a short time has become one of the most intriguing defensive prospects in the country. Brandt hasn't played much 7v7 this offseason because of hoops, though we did see him at Passing Down in April running some tight end (instead of linebacker) and at the B2G Camp earlier this month. He's still raw, but he's ridiculously athletic and has more upside than he knows what to do with. Brandt was a frequent visitor to UCLA's spring practices in April.
Marcus Moore, 6-3, 250, Encino (Calif.) Crespi- COMMITTED
Moore was one of the top performers at The Opening Los Angeles regional and immediately got on Scout's radar there. But he had been on UCLA's radar for a while, having played at Crespi, where Bruin defensive line coach Angus McClure's son plays. So McClure had seen plenty of Moore, who looked good in the spring and grabbed a few more offers. It looked like Moore would need to come to UCLA's Big Man Camp to get an offer, but his spring performances expedited that process. He was offered by UCLA a few weeks ago and committed to the Bruins the next day, the day after his Crespi teammate, Jalen Starks, committed to the Bruins.
Oluwole Betiku, 6-4, 240, Gardena (Calif.) Serra- OFFERED
When it comes to recruiting Betiku, there are some significant helping points and some obstacles to overcome. First the bad news: he goes to Serra, and UCLA has consistently struggled at Serra against USC when the Trojans prioritize someone. The good news? His legal guardian is LaVar Arrington, the former Penn State All-American who now lives in Los Angeles, working for the NFL Network. And one of Arrington's closest mentors is Tom Bradley, who just happens to be UCLA's new defensive coordinator. So if there was ever a Serra prospect that would help UCLA grab some Serra momentum, it would be Betiku, who also happens to be Serra's top prospect this year. Betiku had an offer from Maryland a year ago, before he'd ever played a down of football. Coming from Nigeria, he was new to the game, but you couldn't ignore the physical tools and neither could the double-digit programs that have offered him. UCLA has had Betiku on campus several times since Bradley was hired and Arrington joined him. He is easily one of UCLA's top and most important targets in the 2016 class, for a number of reasons, but the key ones being that he's a talented defensive lineman and that he's a realistic possibility from Serra. Betiku attended a handful of UCLA's spring practices and was at the UCLA Spring Showcase, so the Bruins are doing pretty well with him and when he named his top six last month, UCLA was the only Pac-12 school on it -- notably, USC did not make the cut.
Carlo Kemp, 6-3.5, 258, Boulder (Colo.) Fairvew- OFFERED
Kemp is the top prospect in Colorado and he's being recruited by UCLA as a defensive end. There are some connections with UCLA. His uncle is John Pagano, who Jim Mora tried to hire as his defensive coordinator when he first got the UCLA job, but Pagano took the DC job with the Chargers, where he was the linebackers coach. He's also being recruited by graduate assistant Taylor Embree, whose father played and coached at Colorado, so there are plenty of connections. Kemp has the hometown Buffs in his top two with UCLA and the Bruins would love to bring the versatile four-star in, but he's also starting to emerge more nationally, with Michigan also offering him. Still, UCLA is prioritizing Kemp.
Bryson Young, 6-5, 220, Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan- OFFERED
Still a bit of an unknown because he hasn't done many camps, Young's film has helped his recruitment take off, with UCLA and Michigan offering him in February and he's one of the top prospects in Central California. He's long and lean with room to still add more weight and he's a terrific pass rusher. He lived in Los Angeles for a time as a child and has spent time in Los Angeles since. USC was his favorite school growing up but Young said he's open minded now that he's being recruited and the Bruins are on his very short list. He has said he'll be in town for the camps this week.
Noah Fant, 6-4, 220, Omaha (Neb.) South- OFFERED
UCLA offered Fant as a jumbo athlete, able to play both tight end and defensive end. Most schools like Fant as a defensive end more than a tight end, but UCLA is actually saying tight end could be a quicker trip up the depth chart. UCLA offered Fant in May after checking in on him during the eval period and we saw him at The Opening Eugene regional working as a tight end and liked what we saw of his athleticism and speed. Fant said the Bruins are on his short list of four schools, which includes the home-state Huskers.
Amani Bledsoe, 6-4, 260, Lawrence (Kan.)- OFFERED
Bledsoe is the No. 1 prospect in Kansas and plays in the backyard of the hometown Jayhawks. He's obviously a high priority for Kansas, but many feel he's headed out of state. He visited UCLA earlier this spring and spent almost a whole day on campus with his mother and the visit went very well. It looks like Bledsoe will be returning in the fall for an official visit and Angus McClure was out in Kansas in May to check in on Bledsoe.
Maxs Tupai, 6-2.5, 250, Murray (Utah)- OFFERED
Utah's top prospect, Tupai has blown up in the last couple of months and has offers from all over the country. UCLA is definitely in the mix for Tupai, who has said that he wants to play on the West Coast in college. He's hoping to take an unofficial visit to UCLA sometime in summer. USC will also likely get an unofficial visit from Tupai when he comes to Los Angeles. Tupai, though, has said that he's needing to spend a good chunk of the summer tightening up his academics to make sure he's qualified.
Connor Murphy, 6-7, 250, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep- OFFERED
One of Arizona's top prospects, Murphy has good bloodlines, with his brother Trent a former all-Pac-12 defender at Stanford before going to the NFL. Murphy has a slew of offers from all over, but Arizona State and Oregon seem to be the front-runners for Murphy. The four-star was outstanding at The Opening Eugene Regional this month, earning DL MVP honors and punching a ticket to The Opening Finals.
Other defensive ends:
Shavar Manuel, 6-3.5, 255, Tampa (Fla.) Blake- OFFERED
Erick Fowler, 6-3, 210, Manor (Texas)- OFFERED
Malik Barrow, 6-3, 250, Tampa (Fla.) Catholic- OFFERED
Tomon Fox, 6-3, 220, Suwanee (Ga.) Collins Hill- OFFERED
Jake Burton, 6-6, 235, El Cajon (Calif.) Granite Hills
Anthony Smith, 6-3, 250, Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines
The defensive tackle crop isn't great in California this year. The good news is that UCLA is doing well early with Tagaloa and he figures to be their top interior prospect on their board. And with Odighizuwa they obviously have some ties that helped land him.
Osa Odighizuwa, 6-3, 255, Portland (Ore.) David Douglas- COMMITTED
The first five days of May were a pretty memorable time for the Odighizuwa family. On May 1st, UCLA defensive captain Owa Odighizuwa was drafted by the New York Giants. Five days later, the youngest Odighizuwa, Osa, committed to UCLA, continuing the family legacy in Westwood. Odighizuwa was offered by the Bruins back in January and was a virtual lock to commit from the day he was offered. The No. 3 player in Oregon (in what is a pretty good year in-state), Osa is much more raw than Owa was at the same stage, but Owa was a physical freak at the same age. Osa, though, is a pretty physical player in his own right and is a two-time national heavyweight champion wrestler. While he's probably a lock to redshirt, he's a hard worker (much like his older brother), who figures to contribute down the line at UCLA. We saw Osa at The Opening Eugene earlier this month and he showed a great motor and quickness, but just needs to get stronger, football-wise.
Boss Tagaloa, 6-3, 250, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle- OFFERED
Tagaloa has a chance to be a rare four-year varsity letterman for the vaunted Spartans program. He's the top defensive lineman in the West and one of the best in the country and UCLA has made him a heavy priority for some time, offering him over a year ago. Tagaloa is getting a lot of attention from Michigan too and they're very much a factor in his recruitment. But the Bruins are going to do everything to keep him in-state and will pursue him vigorously till the end. Tagaloa came down to Los Angeles in April and spent a couple days on campus with the UCLA coaches and taking in a practice. He'll be at The Opening Finals next month and UCLA would love to see him end his recruitment then.
Rashan Gary, 6-4, 280, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic- OFFERED
Gary is the No. 1 ranked prospect in the country in the 2016 class. And being on the East Coast would probably make him a long shot, but we've heard he and the UCLA coaches have been in consistent contact, that his mom values the UCLA education and he and Angus McClure have hit it off. Gary is hoping to take an unofficial visit to Westwood this summer and UCLA would love to get him back on campus for an official visit. They'll have their work cut out for him, but it's not unrealistic to think UCLA could end up on Gary's short list.
Rashard Lawrence, 6-3, 305, Monroe (La.) Neville- OFFERED
Lawrence has mentioned UCLA a number of times as a school he's seriously considering and one that he anticipates visiting officially in the fall. Like with Gary, UCLA will have their work cut out in recruiting Lawrence, the No. 3 defensive tackle in the country, especially with a number of national suitors after him, but the five-star has gone out of his way to mention the Bruins and that has to bode well for UCLA's chances in staying in the race for him.
Garrett Rand, 6-3, 275, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton- OFFERED
The DL MVP at The Opening Los Angeles, Rand is another talented defender from Arizona. UCLA has offered him and he mentioned trying to get back out to visit during the spring, but Stanford, Arizona State and Michigan State have been the schools he's mentioned more prominently
Soape Tupou, 6-3, 290, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant- OFFERED
Tupou was one of the first prospects to get an offer from the Bruins after Signing Day. We actually saw him play last fall when we scouted Darrin Paulo, with Tupou playing left guard next to Paulo. He was a solid offensive guard but UCLA wants him as a defensive lineman, where he could play inside. Still, with some of the other defensive lineman that UCLA is doing well with, he may not be a guy UCLA gets to.
Jabari Watson, 6-3, 255, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
Watson will be one of the main defensive linemen at the Big Man Camp with a chance to earn an offer with a big day. Part of the Ground Zero training program, which UCLA already has three commitments from, Watson is their best line prospect. He was solid at The Opening Oakland Regional working at both end and tackle and his positional versatility could help him.
Other defensive tackles:
Mike Williams, 6-3, 270, Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal- OFFERED
Christian Colon, 6-3, 300, Charlotte (North Carolina) Independence- OFFERED
Malik Walker, 6-1.5, 260, Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County- OFFERED
New linebackers coach Scott White hasn't wasted any time recruiting, picking up commitments from the top two inside backers in the West. Their inside linebacker recruiting looks to be done already and the focus is on a SAM backer.
Lokeni Toailoa, 6-2, 225, Rialto (Calif.) Carter- COMMITTED
Toailoa is a big hitter who's gotten bigger since he was first offered by UCLA a year ago. Toailoa picked the Bruins in March over USC, which was the family favorite, and he had offers from 11 Pac-12 schools and several national programs. It was a big recruiting win for White and UCLA because of who they beat, but also because of the player that Toailoa, one of the more gregarious players in this class, happens to be. Toailoa has been working hard on Caleb Kelly and on offense, his 7v7 teammate Damian Alloway.
Krys Barnes, 6-2, 215, Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty- COMMITTED
While Toailoa had an offer from the Bruins for a year when he committed, Barnes had one for just a couple of minutes, and his commitment was just as big, if unexpected. Barnes had offers from LSU, USC, Oklahoma and Nebraska among others, but the Bruins hadn't offered him to that point, wanting to do so in person. When Barnes finally visited UCLA in mid-March, he was offered and committed on the spot. More importantly, he said he was shutting down his recruitment and wasn't just trying to save a spot. Barnes may have more upside than Toailoa, but the two can complement each other well. In fact, they play on the same 7v7 team, Ground Zero, and that team won the Pylon Elite 7v7 National Tournament. Barnes said he's also working on Kelly, who is also from the Central Valley. Barnes was the Linebacker MVP of The Opening Los Angeles and earned an invitation to The Opening Finals.
Other inside linebackers:
Devin White, 6-2, 260, Springhill (La.) North Webster- OFFERED
Dontavious Jackson, 6-2, 237, Houston (Texas) Alief Elsik- OFFERED
Devin Bush, 6-0, 207, Pembroke Pines (Fla.) Flanagan- OFFERED
Sammy Duarte, 6-2, 220, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite
White wants at least two outside linebackers in this class, and with Brandt able to play defensive end, it gives him the freedom to bring in two more at this spot.
Caleb Kelly, 6-2, 220, Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West- OFFERED
The top prospect in the West, UCLA is on the very short list for Kelly, who's named a top ten, but its really more like a top three. He visited Michigan in March and had a great visit, with the Wolverines making a big impact and possibly now considered the frontrunner for him. Oklahoma and UCLA, though, have been the two constants from the beginning for Kelly and it's likely going to come down to those three. What UCLA has going for it is the obvious proximity to home. Oklahoma has had great success in Fresno of late. UCLA will be in this one until the end, though, and with White's energy and ability to recruit already on display, the Bruins will be a factor for Kelly no matter what. And given teammate Darien Owens' commitment to the Bruins, you can bet Kelly is getting a healthy dose of Bruin recruiting from Owens. If we had to call it, we'd say this is really a two team race for Kelly: Michigan and UCLA, with Oklahoma running third.
Mique Juarez, 6-2, 210, Torrance (Calif.) North- (USC commit)
Juarez committed to USC before Signing Day and before USC got commitments from Osa Masina, Porter Gustin and John Houston. Not that those were unexpected, but the Trojans did stock up on linebackers. UCLA is still trying with Juarez, who, like Barnes, earned a spot in The Opening Finals. They'll continue to pursue him and he's one of the more versatile 'backers in this class, able to play inside or outside. Juarez has said numerous times how much he likes UCLA and was a couple of UCLA spring practices and at the Spring Showcase at the Rose Bowl, in a UCLA shirt. And while he's yet to decommit from USC, that's what Scott White is working on before flipping him entirely. Juarez has been less verbal of late about looking elsewhere, so UCLA is just having to work that much harder.
Camilo Eifler, 6-2, 210, Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd- OFFERED
Eifler named a top six earlier this spring, and it was heavy on Pac-12 schools, with Oregon, Washington and Arizona State joining UCLA in it. Eifler's coach is legendary Washington running back Napolean Kaufman and the Huskies are pursuing Eifler as well. He visited UCLA unofficially, loved his time in Westwood. After earning LB MVP at The Opening Regional in Oakland, UCLA has picked it up a little more, and we've heard they could be right there with Washington and Oregon in his top group.
Lamar Winston, 6-3, 205, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic- OFFERED
Winston is the No. 2 player in Oregon and one of the more versatile players in the West. He also plays receiver for his high school team, but his ceiling is higher at linebacker and he's added 25 pounds from last spring, when we saw him for the first time. We went and saw him for a game in October and he had a sack, forced a fumble, tipped an interception and had a touchdown reception, so he makes his presence felt on the field. All of the Northwest schools have offered, including Oregon, who already has a commitment from his teammate, Brady Breeze, and they were the heavy leader but then Stanford offered, and they signed his good friend and teammate Cameron Scarlett in February. He named a top three of UCLA, Oregon and Stanford, then expanded it to four, with Washington, but this could be a Stanford-Oregon battle for him.
Jeffrey McCulloch, 6-2, 225, Houston (Texas) Davis- OFFERED
He's the No. 1 linebacker in Texas, and UCLA has had some success there under Mora. McCullough might be more of a DE/LB hybrid, and UCLA could actually add him to the mix there, like Brandt, if they got four other true linebacker types. McCulloch is planning to visit UCLA this summer. He has already been invited to The Opening Finals.
Michael Divinity, 6-3, 200, Marrero (La.) Ehret- OFFERED
Divinity is the No. 1 linebacker in Louisiana and, of course, he's a high priority for LSU. UCLA has some good connections in Louisiana, especially with linebackers, namely Kenny Young. In fact, UCLA coaches have spent some time at Ehret, when it recruited 2014 running back Darrel Williams. From what we've heard, Divinity has an affinity for UCLA, and intends to unofficially visit, which is always a good sign but we've heard Oregon is the Pac-12 school doing the best with him right now.
Marvin Terry, 6-2, 230, Dallas (Texas) South Oak- OFFERED
Terry probably projects to that LB/DE spot, being a prety big kid, possibly now 6-3, and a body that looks like he could get bigger. He has consistently said UCLA is among his leaders.
Aaron Hansford, 6-2.5, 210, Washington (D.C.) St. John's- OFFERED
UCLA offered Hansford earlier this month and the linebacker has punched a ticket to The Opening Finals. He's had a great spring and offers have started to fly in, including from Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State and Notre Dame among others.
Troy Dye, 6-3, 195, Norco (Calif.)
Dye doesn't have a UCLA offer, but he's plenty familiar with the Bruins, his brother, Tony, a three-year starter for UCLA at safety when Rick Neuheisel was the coach. Dye plays safety for Norco, and is a decently good athlete, but likely will grow into an outside linebacker in college and if he comes to camp at UCLA and works at linebacker, he could land an offer.
Other outside linebackers:
Maciah Long, 6-2, 200, Galena Park (Texas) North Shore- OFFERED
Dominique Ross, 6-3, 203, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy- OFFERED
Andrew Pryts, 6-2, 200, Hermitage (Penn.) Hickory
Davir Hamilton, 6-3, 200, Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei
Its a strong corner year in the West, but not a deep safety pool so the pickings are a bit slim here.
Lamar Jackson, 6-3, 210, Elk Grove (Calif.) Franklin- OFFERED
Franklin played a little bit of everything for Franklin, including quarterback, before finally settling on safety. He has double digit offers from around the country, but the Bruins have some connections, namely Marcus Rios, who trained with True Grit Sports, where Jackson trains, and Franklin said Rios has talked up UCLA to him. Jackson could be the #1 in-state safety target. USC has also offered Jackson, and they're probably the leader, so UCLA will have some more work to do. Jackson did take two visits to UCLA this spring, including for the Spring Showcase, so they're on the short list.
Eric Monroe, 6-0, 180, Galena Park (Texas) North Shore- OFFERED
While UCLA is probably a long shot for Monroe, the No. 2 safety nationally, the Bruins are still going to try. Monroe played with Najee Toran at North Shore when he was a sophomore and he told Scout earlier this month that UCLA is a school he wants to visit at some point, whether that is unofficially or officially.
Leni Toailoa, 6-1, 190, Rialto (Calif.) Carter
On the same day UCLA got commitments from Lokeni Toailoa and Demetric Felton, Toailoa's under-the-radar brother Leni committed to San Jose State, his lone offer at the time. But now Lokeni's brother is becoming a big time recruit himself with a number of Pac-12 offers coming in. Toailoa will camp at UCLA this week and if the Bruins offer, they could be tough to turn down, especially with the opportunity for the two brothers to play together.
Probably the top priority with the class of 2016 is to find a great cover corner. The five guys UCLA brought in for 2015 are talented, but you wouldn’t necessarily say there is an elite lock-down corner among them. Fortunately for UCLA, they're on the short list for three of California's best and have a commitment from one of them.
Jordan Parker, 5-11, 175, Pittsburg (Calif.)- OFFERED
Parker got his first offer from UCLA back in October, as mentioned above, when Angus McClure went to see Shurod Thompson play. Since then, Parker has only gotten better and is the top cornerback in the West and still may be underrated. He was terrific in Vegas at the Pylon Elite 7v7 and showed why he's a double-digit offer guy. He had said that Arizona State and USC were his top two, with UCLA right behind them, but backed off that. Then out of the blue, when he was in Southern California for the Passing Down Best Of the West, he visited UCLA unofficially and committed to the Bruins. That was a huge pickup for the Bruins, and along with Barnes, was probably the least expected at the time. Parker has said he'll still take some visits and other schools are going to pursue him, but he was a big get for the Bruins early on. Now they just have to hold on to him.
Jack Jones, 5-11, 175, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly- OFFERED
Few players have exploded this spring like Jones. He was already a Scout 300 prospect, so it wasn't like he was a secret. But he was originally a four-star receiver, and UCLA was the first to offer him, doing so after their camp last summer. Since then, he's played a lot of cornerback, including at The Opening Los Angeles, and was the DB MVP and earned an invitation to The Opening Finals. He was stellar at The Opening, showing all the makings of an elite cover corner. He said earlier in the month that UCLA was his top school, but now he's saying he's still pretty open. Wherever he stands, he's a priority of the Bruins, as he should be as the West's top cornerback and could be an elite receiver too. He's ranked as an athlete, and just recently was elevated to a five-star prospect.
David Long, 6-0, 175, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola- OFFERED
Like Jones, Long was originally in the Scout 300 as a four-star receiver. Like Jones, it was at The Opening Los Angeles where he showed that he is a potentially elite cover corner. Long can play on either side of the ball but UCLA has prioritized him at corner, with UCLA defensive backs Coach Demetrice Martin, who's a Pasadena native like Long, doing the heavy recruiting for Long. He took an unofficial visit to UCLA and it went really well and it looked like UCLA was No. 1 with a bullet. Then Stanford offered. Since that offer, the Cardinal have shot up and they may be the team to beat, though USC also offered and has made a little noise too. He played 7v7 with K.J. Costello, a Stanford commit, and Dylan Crawford, a Stanford target, which helps the Cardinal as well. But UCLA won't stop with him.
Kristian Fulton, 6-0, 172. Metairie (La.) Archbishop Rummel- OFFERED
LSU is the heavy favorite for Fulton, but he will visit Los Angeles this summer, visiting both UCLA and USC, before he makes a decision later in the summer.
Byron Murphy, 6-1, 180, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro- OFFERED
Murphy is the top corner in Arizona and has a number of offers from all over, including Texas A&M, where his good friend and teammate, Christian Kirk, is now playing. The Aggies are the team to beat, but UCLA will try for Murphy.
Jordan Fuller, 6-2, 190, Old Tappan (N.J.)- OFFERED
Fuller is the younger brother of receiver Devin Fuller, who's heading in to his senior season and third year as a starter for the Bruins. While UCLA is a longshot, they'll continue to recruit him given their connections and Fuller did visit unofficially during the spring. Stanford, though, could be the West Coast team to beat for him.
Damar Hamlin, 6-1.5, 175, Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic- OFFERED
Hamlin has been off the radar a bit, but UCLA has been out to Pittsburgh to see him this spring and he's in a region that defensive coordinator Tom Bradley knows well, so he's the point man on his recruitment. While Hamlin will be somewhat tough to get out of the East, UCLA is one of the only schools mentioned that is of significant distance to Pittsburgh that he's considering.
Trayvon Mullen, 6-2, 180, Coconut Creek (Fla.)- OFFERED
Nigel Knott, 6-0, 170, Madison (Miss.) Germantown- OFFERED
Jared Mayden, 6-0, 190, Sachse (Texas)- OFFERED
Malek Young, 5-10, 173, Coconut Creek (Fla.)- OFFERED
These are guys that UCLA will just take and figure out their best position later. They did lose their first commit, Michael Pittman, from the athlete category.
Brandon Burton, 6-1, 180, Gardena (Calif.) Serra- OFFERED
Like Betiku, UCLA will have their work cut out for Burton, being that he's at Serra, but Burton visited UCLA in March and said he enjoyed his time and Demetrice Martin has been doing the heavy lifting with Burton. He's stepped it up this spring after a so-so junior year and he could also end up as a receiver. UCLA is recruiting him as an athlete and receiver could end up being where he plays.
Trevon Sidney, 5-11, 175, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat- OFFERED
Sidney was the WR MVP at the Oregon NFTC last year. At The Opening Los Angeles, he was terrific at both corner at receiver. His heart is at receiver but his higher ceiling may be at corner. He's a guy you take all the way and, like Pittman, you plug him in where you need him, but you get him on campus first. UCLA was his first offer but USC followed suit not long after and the Trojans could be the leader, but the Bruins will make him a priority throughout, with Martin using his Pasadena ties to keep on Sidney.
Chase Lucas, 6-0, 180, Chandler (Ariz.)- OFFERED
Lucas is now listed as an athlete, with many schools liking him as a corner and as a running back and UCLA recruiting him as an athlete. With two running backs entering for fall 2015 and a couple of other priorities at the position in 2016, it makes sense to recruit Lucas as an athlete, and he's open to it. UCLA has had some good success at Chandler, with Brett Hundley and Paul Perkins both former Chandler stars, and that's not lost on Lucas. He visited UCLA earlier this spring and said he had a great time on campus.
Marquis Lawson, 5-9, 165, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw- OFFERED
Lawson was offered earlier in June after UCLA saw him in the spring. He can play slot receiver or on defense in the nickel and both Eric Yarber and Demetrice Martin are recruting him to see where his body goes to really determine which position he'll play.
Tre Polamalu, 6-0, 175, La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis- OFFERED
Polamalu got his first offer, from UCLA, last week. He's a familiar name to UCLA because his dad is Bruin running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu. While his dad is a former USC running back, his mother is a UCLA alum and his grandparents have been longtime boosters of UCLA (on his mom's side), so while his dad played and coached at USC, Tre said that UCLA was actually his favorite school growing up. He played at Loyola before transferring to St. Francis, where he's mostly playing safety. The Bruins are obviously in a good spot for Polamalu but he's not making a decision just yet.
Johnny Den Bleyker, 6-0, 200, Hayward (Calif.) Moreau Catholic- COMMITTED
Den Bleyker is now considered the No. 1 longsnapper nationally by Rubio Long Snapping and he jumped on the UCLA offer the day it was given. He'll come in with the expectation he'll start from day one taking over for Christopher Longo. The last time UCLA brought in a scholarship snapper out of high school it was Christian Yount, so it speaks to Den Bleyker's ability.
J.J. Molson, 6-0, 190, Montreal (Canada) John Abbott College- COMMITTED
Molson is the top kicker in Canada and he's ranked No. 2 by Chris Sailer Kicking for the 2016 class. He coveted a UCLA offer and took an unofficial visit to Westwood twice and raved about it. UCLA offered him earlier this month, just a couple of hours after Alabama offered him, and he spurned the Tide to go to UCLA, where he dreamed of playing.
Bailey Raborn, 5-11, 195, Lafayette (La.) St. Thomas More- COMMITTED
Raborn was at the UCLA Specialists Camp, and was offered by UCLA on Tuesday and committed on the spot. He's the No. 2 punter in the 2016 class by Chris Sailer.