UCLA Notes From Pylon 7-on-7

Mar. 6 -- Check out the UCLA news and notes from day one of the Pylon 7-on-7 this weekend..

Some UCLA news and notes from Day 1 of the Pylon 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas…

• Five-star running back Najee Harris, the Alabama commit from Antioch, Calif., told our Brandon Huffman he intends to visit UCLA and USC next weekend when he’s in Los Angeles, which obviously give the Bruins another chance to make an impression. His pledge to the Crimson Tide is considered very soft at this point. Full video interview on the front page.

• Four-star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looked great in the morning session, hitting receivers in stride and fitting some throws into tight windows. He looked strong, especially in the lower half, and a bit more agile than the last time he was on the mainland. On the recruiting front, Tagovailoa once again pegged USC as his frontrunner, though he did mention that Marques Tuiasosopo has helped UCLA’s cause a bit. Still, the Trojans look like the team to beat, so the Bruins certainly have some ground to make up even with the family ties.

Darnay Holmes, arguably UCLA’s biggest defensive target in the 2017 class, picked up where he left off at The Opening Regional in Redondo Beach last weekend. He has all the traits of an elite corner, being able to keep up with receivers down field and through their breaks, but also showing a physical side near the line of scrimmage and the grit to knock passes away with contact. It still sounds like UCLA is in a great spot here.

• Four-star safety Chaz Ah You of Saratoga Springs, Utah, said UCLA, Stanford and Oregon are standing out at the moment and he continues to hear from the Bruins consistently. Ah You’s father just landed a job in the recruiting office at BYU, but he said that won’t have much of an effect on his decision. He has a visit to Notre Dame scheduled for later this month, and he said he intends to get back to Los Angeles at some point before making a decision after his senior season. Ah You added offer No. 21 from Mississippi State earlier this weekend, and showed good athleticism playing some nickel back Saturday.

• La Mirada (Calif.) three-star cornerback Elijah Hicks, one of the top performers among a loaded defensive back group at the recent The Opening Regional, said UCLA has definitely caught his attention and he hopes to get to campus soon to meet up with Demetrice Martin and Jim Mora. Interestingly enough, Hicks told me he’s very close with Jack Jones and the USC signee has helped him a lot with the recruiting process. Elijah Blades and Elijah Gates looked great at corner as well, so the Bruins should have a good pool to choose from in this cycle when considering the likes of Holmes, Deommodore Lenoir and Jaylon Redd are also a part of the local group.

Rahyme Johnson and Rhedi Short -- the UCLA commits in the event -- didn’t do much. They won’t necessarily pop in this setting but Johnson, wearing UCLA cleats, looked remarkably well in coverage for how long he is. He was able to keep up with smaller backs in space and closed well on the ball on shorter gains. Short played a hybrid nickel-backer role for his team, and hardly moved away from the line of scrimmage in the zone scheme. It would be interesting to see him cover receivers one-on-one or play a strong safety spot.

• Athlete Salvon Ahmed and tight end Hunter Bryant, two prospects out of Washington, both said they have been talking to UCLA a bit more and are hopeful to land offers. Ahmed has the versatility to play running back and corner, while Bryant has emerged as one of the better pass-catching tight ends in the region.

• Four-star quarterback Connor Neville has heard from the Bruins, so add him to the growing list of potential backup plans at the position for 2017. Like Tagovailoa, Neville made a few nice throws during his session.

• Utah wide receiver commit Ty Jones from Provo, Utah, said he’s been hearing from the Bruins lately and could eventually make his way to California this summer for a visit.

• Sherwood (Ore.) three-star outside linebacker David Morris, who has had a great few weeks with offers from the likes of Cal and Wazzu, called UCLA a dream school.

• 2018 tight end Brevin Jordan from Bishop Gorman wore a pair of UCLA gloves, while teammate Dorian Thompson-Robinson turned in another strong showing at quarterback, zipping the ball to receivers despite some gusty conditions. He could blow up next fall.

Lokeni Toailoa and Leni Toailoa were in attendance supporting their former travel team -- GroundZero -- and the brothers looked noticeably bigger already. They said the new weight lifting regimen has been an adjustment, but they’re excited to get spring ball going. Lokeni in particular mentioned he’s looking forward to welcoming Mique Juarez to campus and showing him the ropes a bit. Matt Lynch, Demetric Felton and Nick Terry are the three other spring enrollees.


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