UCLA's Top Five Recruiting Battles for 2018

May 18 -- BRO takes an early look at the five top recruiting battles that UCLA will be involved in for the 2018 class...

Recruiting moves fast these days, and UCLA has landed a number of commits from players early in their junior years, sometimes even before.  

Of course, holding on to those recruits is half the battle, but with the 2018 class potentially being loaded top to bottom out West, UCLA is already making a big push for a number of juniors-to-be. 

While we don't think any of the prospects below are going to decide early, they will have plenty of offers and schools to choose from and UCLA will be locked in heated battles for them between now and National Signing Day 2018.

And this list doesn't include any quarterbacks, though once UCLA figures out their 2017 quarterback, they will likely move on some 2018 quarterbacks soon after.

The spring evaluation period wraps up in two weeks and UCLA has been all over the country checking in on their key targets, not just from 2017, but 2018 as well, and a few of these prospects were offered since the beginning of the eval period.

So we take a look at the five biggest and potentially most impactful recruiting battles UCLA is involved in for the 2018 class- at least at this juncture.


The Recruit: Jalen Hall, WR, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins

The Competition: Everyone

The Rundown: Hall will likely be the No. 1 player in the West in the 2018 class and will probably be the No. 1 receiver in the country for his class, giving Hawkins the best receiver in their respective class between him and Joseph Lewis.  But Hall may even be better than Lewis already and he had double-digit offers before he finished his freshman year and had offers before he even took a class in high school. That's how good he is and how heavily he's already being recruited.  Hall got his first Pac-12 offer from UCLA not long after Miami gave him his first offer- two years ago.  But he's also racked up offers from coast-to-coast, schools like Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas A&M have all offered, while out West, USC and most of the rest of the Pac-12 have offered.  Hall will be a long recruiting battle and he'll be worth UCLA recruiting up until the end.

Recruits he could be affected by: Hall and Lewis will enter their third year as teammates. Could that continue in college?  We'll see.  They're good friends, but both are elite receivers- so do they want to share passes in college or go to different schools where they could be the featured receiver.  Lewis has the upper hand by being a year older, so we'll see if his decision on where he commits affects Hall.


The Recruit: Jaiden Woodbey, S, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco

The Competition: AlabamaFloridaLSUMichiganNotre DameOklahoma and USC.

The Rundown: Woodbey may be the top safety in the Southland in his class and he's already got a number of bigtime offers.  He was previously at Upland but now that he's at Bosco, which is loaded with prospects, more schools are becoming aware of him and more offers are following.  He's had a great spring playing with Ground Zero and that too could factor into his recruitment, being a part of Ground Zero.  His dad went to USC and they were a school he grew up watching but he's not hidden the fact that he's high on UCLA so the Bruins will be in it for him for a long time and Demetrice Martin is already doing a great job of recruiting him.

Recruits he could be affected by: If Thomas Graham ends up at UCLA then Woodbey could follow his Ground Zero teammate's lead.  Of course, being at Bosco with other guys there, he could be swayed by them too.


The Recruit: Olaijah Griffin, CB, Mission Viejo (Calif.)

The Competition: ArizonaArizona StateCaliforniaMichigan and Oregon

The Rundown: Griffin, already a four-star by Scout, has a handful of offers but he will probably end up with a lot more when it is all said and done.  UCLA is a school he's very fond of and one of his early offers too.  Much has been made of him being the son of the rapper Warren G, who is tight with Snoop Dogg, who is the father of Cordell Broadus, a UCLA receiver.  And UCLA appears to be the mecca for the son of rapper's.  But Griffin is the most talented of the group and a kid who would be a highly touted recruit regardless and he's shown it this spring.  He likes Michigan and Oregon too but UCLA is close to home and has some ties for him.  He's another Ground Zero player too, so keep that in mind.

Recruits he could be affected by: The return of Cordell Broadus to the program probably doesn't hurt, but Griffin could see UCLA locking up a couple corners in this class and it could have him pump the brakes a bit with a logjam in front.  But if Thomas Graham ends up elsewhere, that may make it easier for him to pick the Bruins.


The Recruit: T.J. Pledger, RB, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade

The Competition: GeorgiaMichiganOhio StateOklahoma and USC.

The Rundown: Pledger is the top back in the Southland and has been terrific this spring, especially for a running back playing a lot of 7v7.  He got his first offer from USC almost a year ago but he long coveted a UCLA offer and the Bruins gave him one early in the spring and that was a big one for him.  He's a national recruit too, with offers from Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma, schools that have had some gifted running backs recently, but he's also big in Southern California, so the Bruins and Trojans figure to be involved all the way to the end for Pledger.  He's playing for Pro Way with Darnay Holmes (Holmes' father, Darick, is the coach), so that could be a factor too.

Recruits he could be affected by: While they play different positions, Pledger and Holmes are tight and playing together this spring, where Holmes goes could have somewhat of an impact on what Pledger does.


The Recruit: Brevin Jordan, TE, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman

The Competition: OklahomaTexas A&M and USC.

The Rundown: It is still early so expect Jordan to have double-digit offers when it's all said and done.  But the offer he had long wanted was from UCLA and that one came last week when Marques Tuiasosopo came to Gorman to watch him work out.  We saw him last fall and even then, he impressed us.  And he's had some good showings this spring.  He's a natural pass-catcher and a good athlete.  Now, UCLA did get a commitment early from a tight end from Gorman a couple years ago, but it didn't stick.  That said, Jordan doesn't have any teammates going to Notre Dame yet that we know of that could influence that decision.  The Bruins are in a very good position for him.

Recruits he could be affected by: If Tate Martell ends up at UCLA, does Jordan follow him?  Or if Martell ends up elsewhere and UCLA offers Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the future, are they a package deal?  That will be a key storyline to watch.


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