It has been an interesting spring for UCLA, to say the least.
Instead of adding commitments during the spring evaluation period, UCLA actually lost commits, three of them in all, all on the defensive side of the ball.
That said, they're still in on several top prospects, especially on offense, they just aren't ready to make commitments just yet.
With the spring eval period done and the satellite camps as well as the UCLA camps on campus next week, we reset UCLA's offensive recruiting board as it stands in mid-June.
UCLA was in a precarious position last spring with quarterback recruiting, largely because of the large shadow that incoming freshman Josh Rosen was already casting. When Devon Modster chose Arizona over the Bruins, UCLA scrambled but was able to land Matt Lynch from Colorado and then Dymond Lee, who we still think ends up at receiver, committed to the Bruins. And once Marques Tuiasosopo returned to UCLA, the Bruins ended up in a good spot with quarterback recruiting when Modster ultimately signed with UCLA, thanks to a late push by Tuiasosopo. Now UCLA is doing well for the fastest-rising quarterback in the West, who UCLA didn't hastily offer, but instead, was deliberate in their approach and it may have enhanced their chances.
Jack Sears, San Clemente (Calif.)
Instead of UCLA just throwing an offer to Sears without seeing him when it looked like Tua Tagovailoa was headed elsewhere, Marques Tuiasosopo waited patiently, choosing to see Sears throw once the eval period started just to make sure. And Sears impressed Tuiasosopo that day, landing an offer from the Bruins. UCLA is doing very well with Sears right now and some think they're the favorite for him. Washington and USC also factor into the mix for Sears out West and he plans to visit Tennessee, Texas A&M and Duke before finalizing his decision. Sears has been terrific all spring, earning QB MVP honors at The Opening Oakland and making the Elite 11 Finals and ultimately locking up a spot in The Opening Finals. He's the third straight quarterback from San Clemente to make it to the Elite 11 Finals and some think he has more upside than either of his two predecessors for the Tritons.
Next Tier to Watch:
Tua Tagovailoa, Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis
Tagovailoa committed to Alabama last month and seems like he'll stick with the Tide, but he's also talking about taking official visits and UCLA and USC are two of the schools still recruiting him, though it's uncertain how hard UCLA is recruiting him at this point, with Sears clearly their top target. He was also offered by Oregon over the weekend, the same school another former St. Louis quarterback starred in Marcus Mariota.
Chase Garbers, 6-3, 210, Corona Del Mar (Calif.)
Garbers has had a good spring too and was QB MVP at The Opening Los Angeles and making it to the Elite 11 Finals, just missing a spot in The Opening Finals. UCLA has watched him this spring, but he's still probably down the list and they wouldn't make a move on Garbers until they know what Sears is going to do. Washington is actually doing well with Garbers and if Sears picks UCLA, it wouldn't be a surprise to see USC try with him too.
Nick Sipe, Villa Park (Calif.)
Sipe has been overshadowed a bit by Sears and Garbers early on and also because he's coming from school that doesn't necessarily churn out a ton of talent. But he's a gifted passer in his own right and should end up with a number of offers when schools come watch him throw. He's probably even further down UCLA's quarterback list, though.
Other Names to Know:
Jake Haener, 6-0, 195, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista
Michael Bonds, 6-2, 185, La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis
RUNNING BACKS (1)
With UCLA making a switch to more of a power back focus it helps that two of the best in the country are both in California. The downside is both are committed elsewhere. But UCLA is trying with both Najee Harris and Stephen Carr. Getting Brandon Stephens late in 2016, to follow up the Soso-Bolu signing from the year before, and combining him with Jalen Starks, gives UCLA some much needed depth at running back. But with Harris and Carr, you have the top two backs in the country, so staying on them both is critical, especially if you can land one of the two.
Najee Harris, Antioch (Calif.)
Harris visited UCLA in March then was back for UCLA's first spring practice and had a good visit with the Bruin coaches, talking with Kennedy Polamalu, Adrian Klemm, Marques Tuiasosopo and Jim Mora. He's been committed to Alabama for over a year, but it's not a done deal he's headed to Tuscaloosa and the Bruins are working on him hard. Harris is the No. 1 overall player in the 2017 class, a true program difference maker and UCLA has been recruiting him hard for almost two years, so they're not going to give up. The more they can get him on campus, the better chance they have to flip him, no matter how big an obstacle Alabama appears to be, thanks to being in the same state. He's visited Washington and Ohio State this spring and was in Alabama last week for their camp and from what we've heard, the visit did go a long way for the Tide since Harris enjoyed working with fellow 'Bama commit Tua Tagovailoa. Still, the inside word is -- if he flips somewhere from Alabama, right now it'd be to the Bruins. But there is a long way to go until Signing Day and plenty of time for Alabama to lock him up.
Stephen Carr, Fontana (Calif.) Summit
Carr is a soft commit to USC but it would be a surprise if he didn't end up there. UCLA won't give up, having signed six of his travel 7v7 teammates from a year ago from Ground Zero. USC is also trying with Harris, so should the Trojans be the ones to flip him, Carr could decide to be the man somewhere else. While he has national offers, UCLA, like USC, has the close to home advantage, not to mention several familiar faces on the roster, including his 7v7 and prep teammate Damian Alloway. So while Carr is a bit of a longshot, the Bruins won't stop trying. He is more open to national programs though, having visited a couple of national schools during the spring. And with UCLA focusing on Harris, it doesn't appear that Carr to UCLA is likely.
Drake Beasley, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola
Beasley was a freshman at Loyola when Polamalu was coaching there, so there is a familiarity between the two and UCLA was the first school to offer Beasley. UCLA will stay on Beasley while focusing on Harris and Carr, and they'll have a chance with him because he has stated his desire to play in Southern California. The spring netted quite a few more offers for Beasley. While UCLA focuses on Harris, Beasley may be on their second tier, but they'll keep him warm, especially with Polamalu's relationship with him.
Bruce Jordan-Swilling, New Orleans (La.) Brother Martin
Jordan-Swilling has long ties to Jim Mora, with his father having played for the Moras in New Orleans. The two families have known each other for quite some time. Like many big time prospects from the Bayou, Jordan-Swilling has a lot of national attention, including offers from two playoff semifinalists in Alabama and Oklahoma, so even family ties will be tough to bring him West.
Other Names to Watch:
Chris Brooks, 5-9, 170, Newbury Park (Calif.)
Marcus McElroy, 6-1, 200, Denver (Colo.) Mullen
It seems like a yearly discussion that UCLA needs to sign receivers and there usually seems to be a good core group of pass-catchers from the West. This year will be no different, with a good number of receivers (albeit, not of the same skill level of the 2016 class) available. After signing a big class in 2016, UCLA will probably just be looking for two 2017 receivers, but could probably go for more if they were elite. That said, because of how many receivers UCLA lost to graduation and the NFL, most of those receivers will be expected to play right away, so there isn't the chance to space out receivers, making the 2017 class again an important one to land a few. With UCLA having gotten more speedy slot types, we expect UCLA to target more of the bigger, possessions types for 2017.
Joseph Lewis, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins
The No. 1 receiver prospect nationally, the Bruins were one of the first schools to offer Lewis and the Bruins and USC have had the hometown edge. But Lewis is blowing up even more nationally and is at least listening to the idea of playing outside of the West. He had the infamous unofficial visit with the rest of his Hawkins teammates earlier in the spring, but we've heard that Lewis likes UCLA more than the picture would justify. So it will be a matter of how hard does UCLA push for Lewis, who is coached by a former Bruin in Mil'von James. The talent, though, should make that an easy decision. Having said that, right now, UCLA is probably behind a handful of Pac-12 schools like Arizona and USC and Nebraska is also doing really well with him.
Osiris St. Brown, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
St. Brown is more gifted than his older brother, Equanimeous, who UCLA lightly recruited before he eventually signed with Notre Dame. While St. Brown may be a bit of a long shot, since he's more interested in national programs, the Bruin coaches will stay on him much more than they did his brother.
Tarik Black, Cheshire (Conn). Academy
Black, a Connecticut product, already has a who's-who list of national programs in pursuit of his services, but UCLA has offered and the Bruins will earn an unofficial visit from the four-star this summer. It's always difficult to assess how serious out-of-state kids are about leaving home, so that visit should give UCLA a useful gauge of his interest. He actually told Scout last week that his top five continues to include UCLA and he'll visit UCLA and Stanford in the coming weeks.
Emmanuel Greene, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
The Florida speedster is going to be difficult to pull out of Florida, as he grew up a Miami fan and is also heavily looking at Ohio State, but UCLA is in his second tier with Clemson, Louisville, Penn State, Tennessee and West Virginia.
Ceedee Lamb, Richmond (Texas) Foster
Lamb was offered in late May, not long after he made his top ten. But the offer from UCLA was significant enough for Lamb to say that UCLA will be in his top ten and on his short list, an offer he'd long coveted. A former commit to Oklahoma, his top schools includes a handful of Big 12 and SEC schools but the one Pac-12 school on the list is UCLA.
Next Tier to Watch:
Jamire Calvin, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.
Calvin is our pick for smaller receivers that UCLA should stay on and eventually offer. He said that UCLA told him they're looking for bigger receivers in this class, but they also told him they're still going to keep watching him, that his talent may be too great to pass on. He has one teammate committed to UCLA in Hunter Echols and UCLA has the hometown advantage too. But he's in the 20's in offers, so they may not get to wait too long before he moves on.
Bryan Thompson, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde.
Thompson comes from the same program current offensive lineman Poasi Moala and Tevita Halalilo came from and he played with Halalilo as a sophomore. He's the type of receiver, physically, that UCLA is looking for and was one they watched in the spring and could camp with UCLA but right now, Arizona and Oregon seem to be the frontrunners for Thompson.
Other Names to Watch:
Kevin Davis, 6-0, 170, Oak Hills (Calif.)- Offered
Omar Manning, 6-2, 208, Lancaster (Texas)- Offered
Warren Jackson, 6-5, 165, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
TIGHT ENDS (1-2)
UCLA needs tight ends, not just in this class, but, really, on the roster in general. With just one true tight end signing last month, and a dearth of traditional tight ends on the roster, combined with the offense moving towards using traditional tight ends more in its scheme, it's crucial that the Bruins sign at least one tight end in 2017, if not more. The Bruins have one true tight end coming in the 2016 class in Jordan Wilson. Fortunately, the West has a number of tight ends still on the board and UCLA has offered several of them.
Josh Falo, Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum
Falo is the best receiver of the group but needs to add more weight, still being a little slight of build. We loved what we saw from him in Las Vegas at the Pylon Elite 7v7, since that is in his wheelhouse, being a pass-and-catch event. But blocking isn't his strongest suit and UCLA wants tight ends that can do both effectively. Still, since he's the top pure receiver of the bunch, they will stay on him. Oregon is doing really well with him right now and you can't count Colorado out- both of his older brother's signed with Mike MacIntyre, one at San Jose State and another currently at Colorado. He visited UCLA for the Spring Showcase, but the Bruins seem to be in his second tier.
Jimmy Jaggers, Roseville (Calif.)
Jaggers is a nice blend of blocking and receiving and UCLA offered him after seeing him play in its 7v7 tournament last June and he's looked good so far this spring too. He's a better blocker than receiver, but he's still gifted in catching the ball. But because blocking is more of his strength, he could be UCLA's top target at the position and the interest is reciprocated. USC offered him in April, though, and the Trojans are now making a big push for him so UCLA has their work cut out in staying at the top. In fact, Washington is also in the mix for Jaggers and it appears those three Pac-12 schools plus Florida and Texas A&M are the primary schools that Jaggers is looking at.
Tyler Johnson, Gilbert (Ariz.) Highland
Johnson has a Bruin offer amongst a host of other offers, including both the in-state schools in Arizona and he has national offers from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska, so UCLA will have to keep working with Johnson.
Erik Krommenhoek, 6-5, 237, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista
Krommenhoek has had a tremendous spring and landed offers from UCLA, USC and Arkansas among others during the evaluation period and may not be done. Washington and Michigan will have him at their satellite camps in the Bay Area and he's certainly considering all of his bigger offers. He has long family ties with UCLA, both his mother and father are UCLA grads and the Bruins were his childhood favorite. But as more offers roll in, Krommenhoek is pumping the brakes to go through the process. Still, UCLA is in a good spot since they need tight ends and the depth chart isn't as log-jammed, but it's not a done deal that Krommenhoek follows his parents' footsteps.
Moses Robinson-Carr, Antelope Valley (Calif.)
Robinson-Carr is a bigger tight end who can catch the ball decently well but is more that physical tight end that UCLA is looking for. He's landed offers from Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC so the secret is out on him. He was at a practice in April and got the red-carpet treatment from Jim Mora, who spent a good deal of time with him and even left practice for a bit with Robinson-Carr. UCLA will stay on him and he's very interested in the Bruins. But he's also talked about leaving Southern California for college and said Oregon and Oregon State have left significant impressions on him.
Next Tier to Watch:
Carson Terrell, 6-5, 225, Lehi (Utah)
Terrell has a handful of offers, mostly from the Mountain West as well as BYU but UCLA is a school that Terrell likes and he could be a second tier tight end prospect that UCLA goes to if they miss out on some top tier prospects.
Other Names to Watch:
Powers Warren, 6-4, 230, Minnetonka (Minn.)
OFFENSIVE LINE (4+)
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 in 2016, so getting some tackle prospects will be important in the 2017 class and UCLA got that going on the same day, when both Will Farrar and Kanan Ray committed to UCLA in early March within hours of each other,. But then Farrar ended up decommitting a month later. And last week wasn't a good week for UCLA offensive line recruiting, with Farrar opting to commit to Texas Tech plus three others they had been on, Andrew Vorhees and Alex Forsyth, committing to USC and Oregon respectively. So UCLA and Klemm need to get things rolling here quickly to get momentum back on their side.
Kanan Ray (OT), Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon COMMITTED
Ray can play either tackle spot and has tremendous versatility with his position, a Klemm calling card. Ray got an offer from UCLA not long after Signing Day and the Bruins were able to get past his offer from his childhood and family favorite, Tennessee. He took an unofficial visit earlier this month and not long after that trip, was ready to end his recruitment and he committed in early March.
Wyatt Davis (OG), Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Davis may be UCLA's top offensive target, period, in Southern California. The top offensive guard prospect nationally, the five-star Davis comes from St. John Bosco and UCLA is doing well with him and he and Adrian Klemm have a great relationship. Having said that, Davis has offers from coast-to-coast and Alabama was actually his first offer, and that wasn't lost on Davis, who is high on the Tide and their track record with lineman is something that will give them a big advantage. And Stanford is also heavily involved with Davis, and he's sincerely interested in the Cardinal. And then there is also Ohio State staying in the mix for him. UCLA and USC have the proximity advantage and while USC is going to be tough to recruit against, the Bruins are playing up the immediate playing time need.
Foster Sarell (OT), Graham (Wash.) Kapowsin
Sarell is the No. 2 prospect in the West behind Najee Harris and he's the most coveted tackle prospect in the region. UCLA could get an unofficial visit from him in the summer, but Stanford and Washington will be their toughest competition and Notre Dame will get an unofficial from him at the conclusion of the school year. Klemm went and saw him in the fall and UCLA offered him early in his sophomore year, so he's been a high priority for a while, netting two visits from Klemm during the eval period But it is looking like a longer and longer shot to get him away from either the Cardinal or Huskies.
Austin Jackson (OT), Phoenix (Ariz.) North Canyon
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. He's just behind Sarell as the top tackle prospect in the West. Klemm is trying, though, and Jackson is very open to UCLA and isn't tipping his hand one way or the other on where he wants to go.
Alijah Vera-Tucker (OT), Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd
Vera-Tucker is 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. But UCLA is making a push for him and he visited UCLA earlier this spring with USC. Still, its looking like a Washington-Oregon battle for him though Klemm was back up there in late May to keep in contention.
Aaron Banks (OG), El Cerrito (Calif.)
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. Banks plans to visit UCLA this summer (he'll check out USC as well), and the two Los Angeles schools are both doing well with him. In fact, its likely that one of the L.A. schools will be where he signs and from what we're hearing, UCLA could be the team to beat.
Jalen McKenzie (OT), Concord (Calif.) Clayton Valley
The four-star tackle from the Bay Area is coming off a knee injury that he suffered on the second play of the first game of the season, but he is now 100% and after a strong showing at The Opening Oakland, Arizona State offered and Klemm was back in the Bay and reconfirmed the offer to McKenzie. McKenzie's mom attended UCLA while his father went to Tennessee, where his older brother, Kahlil, is a sophomore. But McKenzie said that visits to UCLA with his brother two years ago left an impression on him and that is a big reason why UCLA is heavily in the mix for him. He'll visit UCLA this summer and likely will take an official visit in the fall, but if Tennessee turns up the heat on him, the family ties could be tougher to beat.
Jaxson Kirkland (OT), Portland (Ore.) Jesuit
Kirkland was offered by UCLA in the spring and that was an offer he had been hoping to get. Kirkland is a big-bodied tackle who can play either tackle spot, but might be better suited for the right side. His top schools include Washington State, Oregon State, Texas Tech, Cal and UCLA and he's planning to visit the two California schools in the summer and UCLA is doing well with him.
Henry Bainivalu (OG), Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline
Bainivalu was offered by UCLA last fall but it's only been during the spring that they've ramped up their efforts. Klemm was by Skyline twice during the evaluation period to see Bainivalu and while we initially said that Bainivalu was unlikely to leave Washington for college, we're hearing more and more that he's talking about getting out of state. He's visited USC this spring (he attends the same school that Max Browne, USC's quarterback, did), but he's talking about visiting UCLA this fall. He's a tackle for Skyline but we think his best position in college is guard.
Jason Linden (OT), Arizona Western (J.C.)
Linden is an intriguing prospect who is more raw than anything, but at 6-8, 340, he's someone to watch. He has an offer from New Mexico State as well. If UCLA can lock up prep prospects, then they'll probably focus on them and not go the JC route, but Linden is someone they'll continue to monitor.
Next Tier to Watch:
Massaman Bagayoko (OT), Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
Bagayoko is a new name to this list and is a newer name to recruiting boards. He's another intriguing lineman, having only played football for a year after coming to the U.S. and during the spring, he landed a handful of offers. His film is good so he could be one of those players that could come to UCLA's camp and impresses or uses the first few games of his senior year to make an impression. His new head coach at Alemany is former Bruin James Washington and there are several former Bruin coaches on the new staff at Alemany so you can bet that his coaches will be keeping UCLA abreast of his progress.
Other Names to Watch:
Walker Little (OT), 6-7, 301, Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal- Offered