Another passing tournament in the area this weekend, with several UCLA prospects showing well on Day 1 of the IMG 7v7 event.
Here are a few notes and observations:
• Defensive end Jaelan Phillips made it out again and had a tremendous pass break up on his final rep of the morning, recognizing a seam route at linebacker and backpedaling to the spot before reaching up to knock away the pass. He is a great athlete that moves well in open space and has the frame to bulk up and be a force at the next level. On the recruiting side, Phillips told me he’s set to visit UCLA next Friday along with commits Hunter Echols, Rahyme Johnson and Kanan Ray, with plans to spend the night with a couple current players. On Saturday he’ll watch practice before unofficially visiting campus with his parents, and it's expected they'll get the full experience. It’s undoubtedly going to be a big two days for UCLA, which probably has some ground to make up on Stanford, with USC now lurking in third.
• Tight end Hunter Bryant, the four-star prospect from Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic that visited UCLA on Thursday and landed an offer hours later, made the trip with a Seattle-based team and shined. He’s a bit of a hybrid at the position, moving fluidly down field but also showing good physicality in the red zone and in tight spaces, and he showed great awareness as a route runner. On one play, Bryant went up for a jump ball in the end zone and made a great grab, displaying strong hands and leaping ability. He said he was wowed by his trip to campus and that the UCLA offer is a major one. Bryant likes the Los Angeles weather and his father actually trained Marques Tuiasosopo back in the day, so there is a prior connection that could work in the Bruins’ favor. Washington is also recruiting Bryant pretty hard so it's shaping up to be a battle.
• Five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes was not at the event, but a source close to him told us he would be surprised if Holmes didn’t choose the Bruins in June when he’s set to announce a commitment...
• Jimmy Jaggers, one of the top priorities at tight end in this cycle, added an offer from the Trojans this week and has started to hear from Alabama, so it's looking more and more like it will be a national battle there, with Washington and Michigan also mentioned often. He said he's excited to check out UCLA later this month and its spring showcase.
• Olaijah Griffin, the 2018 four-star cornerback from Mission Viejo, Calif., and son of music artist Warren G, visited campus Thursday and said the Bruins are up there for him early on. He and his father toured campus and like what the school has to offer academically, with proximity being another plus.
• Three-star athlete Jordan Genmark-Heath from San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic has a couple Pac-12 offers and legitimate interest in UCLA, with a stop at campus probably coming at some point this offseason. He is set to take trips to Oregon, Oregon State and Washington next week, and his stock only figures to go up over in the months to come.
• 2018 QB Brevin White, the brother of ASU’s Brady White, visited UCLA on Saturday and his father, a Bruin alum, said they both had a good time catching up with Tuiasosopo after practice. The Whites know 2018 is a crucial year for UCLA on the QB front, and it’s expected they’ll camp there this summer to earn a scholarship offer.