Updated Thursday, 11:45 a.m.
Jake Burton is officially visiting this weekend.
-- The official visit list for the weekend, so far:
Jake Burton, DL, committed, El Cajon Granite Hills
Garrett Rand, DT from Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton
Jake Raulerson, OL, transfer from Texas
Alex Akingbulu, OL, Committed, Harbor City Narbonne
Updated Thursday, 8:50 a.m.
-- We're hearing that the addition of quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo is already having an impact on recruiting. UCLA's chances have dramatically improved with two elite 2017 prospects, QB Tua Tagovailoa and the #1-ranked RB, Najee Harris. Tuiasosopo is related to Tagovailoa, and is very close to people close to Harris.
-- UCLA head coach Jim Mora has reached out to contact Stanford decommit Beau Bisharat, the athlete from Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit.
Arizona DT Garrett Rand will officially visit UCLA this weekend.
Texas WR prospect Quartney Davis said he will visit Ole Miss this weekend. We had heard he was planning to visit UCLA. He's supposed to visit Texas A&M next weekend, so it looks unlikely UCLA will get an official visit from Davis.
It's high recruiting season, so it's the season of craziness, with things changing constantly.
UCLA got two commitments in the last two days, and they were pretty significant. Quarterback Devon Modster definitely helps with the UCLA quarterback outlook after Josh Rosen, and defensive lineman Jake Burton was a much-needed addition to the defensive line ranks.
Burton gives UCLA its fourth DL commitment, after JC transfer Nick Terry, along with high school seniors Marcus Moore and Osa Odighizuwa, and it goes a very long way to improving the 2016 DL class. With UCLA needing some players on the DL, especially if it goes more to a 4-3 alignment, if it had brought in just Terry, Moore and Odighizuwa that would have been disappointing. But now, with Burton, that one added recruit gives UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure the reinforcements he needs for 2016. Of course, you'd like to see McClure sign a high-profile prospect, like Concord De La Salle's Boss Tagaloa or Garrett Rand from Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton, but with these three in the fold it, at least, it gives the Bruins a solid DL class.
Burton's commitment was another instance in which McClure was relentless in his recruiting. Burton was verbally committed to Arizona since last summer, but McClure kept at him. Burton then had a secret, clandestine unofficial visit to UCLA Monday and McClure's work paid off with a flip and a verbal commitment.
Tagaloa is still very much a real possibility. The long-time UCLA lean will officially visit Michigan this weekend, and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh is pulling out all the stops. He visited Tagaloa and Devin Asiasi, who will also visit Michigan this weekend, at Concord De Salle Tuesday. We're hearing that UCLA is still the leader for Tagaloa, but it will be interesting to see if that remains the case after the Michigan visit.
McClure and Jim Mora were in Arizona Tuesday for an in-home visit with Rand, who is verbally committed to Wisconsin. It's heating up with Rand, with McClure having visited him last week and now UCLA pulling out the big gun in Mora. With Wisconsin still without a defensive coordinator, UCLA is taking advantage, and if Rand does, in fact, officially visit, you'd have to like the Bruins' chance to get him to flip.
If UCLA could finish off DL recruiting for 2016 with Tagaloa and Rand it would be an excellent class.
We've learned, too, that defensive end Semisi Lauaki from Lawndale Leuzinger will more than likely officially visit UCLA during one of the last two recruiting weekends.
It looks like UCLA and Nahje Flowers, the defensive end from Los Angeles Dorsey, have cooled a bit.
Going across the line of scrimmage, there aren't many offensive line targets left for 2016, but they're pretty important. UCLA has two commitments, from Mike Alves and Alex Akingbulu, and those are solid gets, but if you project out the UCLA OL for the next couple of years, it needs depth and, well, talent. It makes it pretty key to get, at least, a couple of other prospects who project to starter-level.
Texas transfer Jake Raulerson, then, is a big target, since he's already proven he can play at this level, as a graduate transfer would be immediately eligible, and have two years of eligibility remaining. Michigan is probably UCLA's biggest competition; he visited there last weekend, and it was very encouraging that he got through the visit without verbally committing to the Wolverines. He'll visit UCLA this weekend, and the word is that, if UCLA can lay out an appealing graduate program for him, UCLA would be in the driver's seat. UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is entirely the reason Raulerson is considering UCLA, with Klemm having established a relationship with the Raulerson family going back years.
Raulerson will visit Oregon the weekend of Jan. 29th.
Francisco Perez, the prospect from Baldwin Hills who is verbally committed to Cal, took an official visit to UCLA this last weekend, and the word is that it's likely the Bruins get a flip from Perez.
UCLA is still recruiting Donte Harrington, the prospect from San Clemente, who had a great senior season, which got him recruiting attention. He hasn't been offered yet, but we think it could happen, especially if UCLA misses on Raulerson and/or Perez. Watch for Harrington to possibly visit the last weekend of January if that's the case.
We had said that UCLA had a chance with Tramonda Moore, if some things broke well in terms of his academics, but it appears UCLA now won't be able to take Moore.
If Klemm can secure Raulerson and Perez to go along with Alves and Akingbulu, it would be a pretty impressive recruiting job, given he was unable to recruit for four months or so due to his suspension last spring.
A big development Tuesday was Corona Centennial cornerback target Kentrell Love indicating publicly that he's sticking with his commitment to Washington after visiting UCLA last weekend. Everything we heard was that there was a very good possibility Love could flip.
While UCLA's future secondary depth looks pretty good, losing Love was a pretty big blow. The only other cornerback still on its board is Jack Jones, the five-star prospect from Long Beach Poly, and it's entirely uncertain if UCLA has a legitimate shot with him. We continue to hear Texas A&M may lead, and there are still sources that say USC will be there in the end.
We'd still say that UCLA is leading for safety prospects Brandon Burton from Gardena Serra and Keyon Riley from Anaheim Servite. Both are slated to visit UCLA on the last weekend in January. We've now heard that UCLA is fading for Khaleke Hudson, and that Penn State or Pittsburgh are the leaders.
At linebacker, it's still all about Mique Juarez, the five-star prospect from Torrance North, and we continue to hear UCLA leads. Juarez will visit Alabama this weekend, having already seen Ole Miss, and then finish it off with his official visit to UCLA Jan. 29th.
Juarez will visit BYU Jan. 29th. That would be his fifth and last possible official visit. He could only visit UCLA unofficially then. From what I gather, UCLA is still in good shape here, but Juarez is LDS and his mom would like him to visit BYU. I'd imagine it's because he's been to UCLA so much, he doesn't feel any particular need to go on an official there.
At receiver, it's still Damian Alloway, Adewale Omotosho, and Quartney Davis. It's still thought that Alloway has pretty much indicated he's coming, and that he's officially visiting Jan. 29th. Mora was in Alloway's home Tuesday night, as was Notre Dame's Chip Kelly (not at the same time). Also visiting that weekend will be Omotosho. It looks more and more like Davis likely will stay close to home, with Texas A&M putting the hometown squeeze on him. Given that, the likely scenario is that UCLA gets Alloway and Omotosho, but we've been told to not count out the Bruins completely for Davis just yet -- that he might be the rare Texan that actually defies the local schools. It appears he’ll officially visit UCLA this weekend. Here's something to watch: Omotosho is visiting Texas A&M this weekend. Whether or not the Aggies push Omotosho for a commitment this weekend could be an indication of if they're waiting on Davis or not. If they don't push and don't get a commitment, you can probably assume they're prioritizing Davis; If they do, and Omotosho actually commits, that might open the door a bit for UCLA with Davis.
Then there is Aaron Hansford, the Washington D.C. athlete who UCLA is recruiting as a receiver first, linebacker second. We've heard from sources that he and his parents loved their visit to UCLA last weekend, and that it went a long way to allay the mom's fears about her son being safe so far away from home. He still has a visit to Texas A&M this weekend, while having already visited Michigan State and Oregon. At this point, people close to his recruitment think UCLA has a couple of things going for it. 1) He wants to have a shot at receiver, and UCLA was the only program recruiting him as one; so if A&M pitches him at receiver this weekend, it will be new to Hansford. 2) There really isn't a school that presents the option of staying close to home. He'd have to get on a plane to go to any of his options, and because there’s no hometown pressure, all the out-of-town programs are on the same footing.
Then there are the tight ends. UCLA is probably going to more of a pro-style offense, so tight ends are needed, and it appears UCLA wants to stock up. It already has a commitment from Jordan Wilson, who visited officially last weekend and, from what we've heard, was impressive both physically and in the way he handled himself. Then there are Devin Asiasi, the elite prospect from Concord De La Salle, and Thaddeus Moss, the son of Randy Moss, from North Carolina. We keep hearing from sources back east that UCLA leads for Moss, over North Carolina State and Texas A&M (whom he visited in November). He'll visit NC State this weekend and then UCLA next weekend.
UCLA's Angus McClure is again expected at De La Salle to see Tagaloa and Asiasi this week.
Also, with Beau Bisharat, the four-star athlete from Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit, now back on the market after decommitting from Stanford, you can expect UCLA to thoroughly check into and potentially start recruiting him. He's an intriguing prospect -- being a typical Stanford type of big, rugged running back, but he also could project as a linebacker. Bisharat told Scout's Greg Biggins he was very interested in UCLA.
As is always the case this time of year, there are some prospects UCLA still has a chance to get that we can't mention -- at a number of positions.
One Note: UCLA coaches are spending a great deal of time this week going out to high schools to see many 2017 prospects, especially OL coach Klemm. We''ve heard that Klemm was in Texas Tuesday, in fact.
Another Note: With USC's coaching staff still not completely filled out, USC has Mike Tuiasosopo, who is essentially working in the USC football program as an intern, recruiting USC's Polynesian recruits. Tuiasosopo was fired from UCLA a year ago.