Recruitment: Francisco Perez was thought to be one of the casualties of the Adrian Klemm suspension, with Perez, one of the top offensive guards in the West, committing to California last July. Interestingly, when I interviewed Perez prior to the Cal commitment in June, he said that he hadn't heard much from UCLA, and we left it there. As I was walking away, though, he shouted to get my attention to say he'd be very interested to hear from UCLA still. When UCLA did begin recruiting him in earnest about halfway through the 2015 season, he was receptive, and over the course of the next few months, he warmed to the idea of going to UCLA. He officially visited UCLA in January and then took another unofficial the weekend before Signing Day, ultimately flipping on Wednesday from Cal to UCLA.
Evaluation: Perez is a very solid guard who has all of those attributes you want in a run-blocking offensive lineman -- he's tough, physical, and plays with a mean streak. He's more than willing to block a defensive lineman into the dirt. Perez played tackle in high school and he has very good feet. If you watch his film, his high school actually had him pulling from the tackle position quite a bit, so he should fit nicely in at guard given how much UCLA has liked to pull its guards over the last four years. He'll need to continue to improve as a pass blocker, but, again, the experience of having to play left tackle should serve him well when moving inside to one of the guard positions. Overall, he has a very good motor and plays hard every play.
Impact for UCLA: Perez pretty obviously projects as a guard at the next level, with a shorter, thicker frame than you'd expect from a college tackle. That same frame, though, helps to make him a tenacious run blocker, and we'd imagine that he'll see the field pretty early on in his career. Of the linemen coming in, aside from Jake Raulerson, Perez probably projects as the most college-ready. In an ideal world, UCLA would still redshirt him, but if there were a few injuries or something strange happens (this is UCLA after all), we could see a scenario where Perez plays this season. Either way, he'll be one of those guys in the mix to start at guard by his second year, and we could see his tenacity and motor really appealing to Adrian Klemm and Kennedy Polamalu.