UCLA recovered nicely on the offensive line front in the 2016 class after not having a great start with Adrian Klemm off the recruiting trail
The Bruins locked up a couple of interior prospects but only one true tackle, so getting some tackle prospects will be important in the 2017 class.
There is no denying that offensive line will be a heavy emphasis in this class, especially at offensive tackle. UCLA has enough interior guys, but they need some tackles badly.
Fortunately the 2017 offensive line class out West will be one of the strengths of the class.
In odd years, Klemm usually does his best work. The 2013 class had two three-year starters in Caleb Benenoch and Alex Redmond, who both left for the NFL, Scott Quessenberry, who's been a multi-year starter and Kenny Lacy, who's started a number of games.
The 2015 class was also a highly-rated one for Klemm, though losing Fred Ulu-Perry hurts now and in the future.
Now, with Klemm having a number of offers to extend and bring in, and a chip on his shoulder after having missed the eval period last spring, expect UCLA to emphasize their offensive line haul in 2017 and for Klemm to be turned loose.
Interestingly, as much as UCLA needs tackles, the premier lineman in the state is a tackle who we're projecting will end up at guard in Wyatt Davis. The St. John Bosco lineman is a five-star and the top ranked guard prospect nationally. Klemm and Davis have a good relationship and the Bruins will be in it till the very end with Davis. He may be the most important recruit in California for the Bruins in this class, at least on the offensive side of the ball.
Foster Sarell is the top lineman prospect in the West, and Klemm has been high on him for a while, offering him early in his sophomore year. The Bruins will have to battle hometown Washington and Stanford for him, and it could be difficult to pry him from Stanford. Austin Jackson is the top prospect in Arizona and UCLA is trying, but he's got family ties to USC plus the in-state schools after him.
Chuck Filiaga is starting to really see his recruitment take off and UCLA offered him last fall. He's got a high ceiling too, but he's still a bit raw, so he'd be more of a project if UCLA were to emphasize him.
Kanan Ray was offered by UCLA the day after Signing Day and while Tennessee is his dream school and just offered yesterday, he checked out UCLA yesterday and the Bruins are definitely a contender for him. He's from SoCal, even with family ties to Tennessee, so it'll be interesting to see how this one shakes out.
Alijah Vera-Tucker may be the top tackle prospect in NorCal and he's seen his recruitment really take off too. Washington will have a good chance at him as well, with his teammate, Camilo Eifler, having signed with the Huskies and his coach being a former Washington legend in Napolean Kaufman.
Aaron Banks will contend with Vera-Tucker for NorCal's best line prospect and while he plays tackle for El Cerrito (where he played with Adarius Pickett as a freshman), he'll likely slide inside in college.
Brett Neilon is one of Orange County's top line prospects this year in a pretty good crop of players.
Henry Bainivalu was offered by UCLA last fall, but he's unlikely to leave Washington so the Bruins probably won't put much emphasis on him.
Andrew Vorhees is one of the top prospects regardless of position in Central California and will be a focus for Klemm.
Edward Ingram and Hyrin White are teammates at DeSoto in Texas while Walker Little and Will Farrar are also from the Lone Star State. UCLA and Klemm have recruited Texas well in the last four years, so you have to assume they'll be in the mix with a couple of those guys.
Jason Linden is a JC prospect UCLA offered that the Bruins will keep an eye on.
From the next tier, Jalen McKenzie is the younger brother of Tennessee defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie and the son of former Vol Reggie McKenzie, but his mother is a UCLA alum so UCLA will keep an eye on him. He tore his ACL last year, so the Bruins will monitor him to see how his recovery has gone.
Wyatt Davis (O6), Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Foster Sarell (OT), Graham (Wash.) Kapowsin
Kanan Ray (OT), Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon
Andrew Vorhees (OT), Kingsburg (Calif.)
Chuck Filiaga (OT), Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta
Austin Jackson (OT), Phoenix (Ariz.) North Canyon
Alijah Vera-Tucker (OT), Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd
Aaron Banks (OG), El Cerrito (Calif.)
Henry Bainivalu (OG), Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline
Brett Neilon (OG), Santa Margarita (Calif.)
Edward Ingram (OT), DeSoto (Texas)
Hyrin White (OT), DeSoto (Texas)
Will Farrar (OT), Richmond (Texas) Travis
Jason Linden (OT), Arizona Western
Walker Little (OT), Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal
Jalen McKenzie (OT), Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley
Ryan Nelson (OT), Buena Park (Calif.)
Other Names to Watch:
Alan Ali (OT), 6-5, 275, Fort Worth (Texas) Timber Creek
Jacob Wilson (OG), 6-6, 340, South Pasadena (Calif.)
Ben Holmes (OG), 6-4, 310, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Zelan Tupuola (OG), 6-3, 280, San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra