Like we said in the defensive tackle story, this will be a very good defensive line class out West, with three four-star ends in the state of California. UCLA got a jump on the competition, with the Bruins already taking a commitment from one of those four-stars, Hunter Echols.
Echols has made it no secret that UCLA is his favorite school and runaway leader for his services, and, naturally, he committed about as soon as he was able, the day after Signing Day. While Echols has said he'll take some visits and may go through the process, we see some Breland Brandt in him, in that UCLA was his dream school, and the school he wanted an offer from for some time. He actually was trying to commit for a while, but the coaches wanted to wait until right after Signing Day. Echols has spent the days since his commitment recruiting, and he has said he thinks the 2017 class could be one of UCLA's best. He's one of the best pass rushers in the country, with almost 20 sacks, and one of two Cathedral commitments on defense with Rhedi Short.
Jaelan Phillips is another prospect that UCLA identified early and has been on for some time. It's early, but he's fond of the Bruins and he's a good student too. Of course, that means that Stanford will be pursuing Phillips, but UCLA has gotten a head start on him.
D.J. Johnson camped with UCLA last summer and was offered that day and is now one of the most heavily pursued players in the West. He's from Sacramento, so Angus McClure is probably related to him.
Donovan Jeter is from Pennsylvania and Tom Bradley is recruiting him but he'll be hard to pull from Big Ten country.
From the next tier, UCLA will see and evaluate Jacob Callier this spring. He hails from St. John Bosco, where UCLA has had some success of late. And Alden Tofa figures to get attention from McClure and Marques Tuiasosopo (UCLA's Utah area recruiter) and will be one of Utah's top prospects.
Hunter Echols, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral
Jaelan Phillips, Redlands (Calif.) East Valley
D.J. Johnson, Sacramento (Calif.) Luther Burbank
Donovan Jeter, Beaver Falls (Pa.)
Jacob Callier, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Alden Tofa, West Jordan (Utah)
Other Names to Watch:
Aliki Vimahi, 6-4, 245, Kahuku (Hawaii)
Keenen Brown, 6-2, 245, Sacramento (Calif.) Luther Burbank
Victor Jones, Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, 6-4, 270, Kapolei (Hawaii)