Though we're still 18 months from National Signing Day for the 2018 class, UCLA hasn't hesitated to offer a number of 2018 prospects.
But there are still a few prospects without an offer that, should they start their junior year strong to follow up on excellent springs, we think UCLA should and will offer early on.
Here are five 2018 prospects on defense who could get an early junior year offer from the Bruins.
Omari Harris, OLB, Antioch (Calif.)
Harris has a handful of offers as an athlete and figures to land even more with schools flocking to Antioch this fall to see his teammate Najee Harris (no relation), the No. 1 player in the country. Omari will replace him at running back his senior year, but in the meantime, he'll play his trade as an outside linebacker/safety for the Panthers and UCLA watched him this spring and had him on campus a couple of times and there is mutual interest. The Bruins just want to see him in action this fall, which they will do when they go see his highly touted teammate.
Merlin Robertson, OLB, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Robertson has a handful of offers from national programs and UCLA is a school he's interested in. The talent is certainly there but the question UCLA will have to ask themselves is, is it worth recruiting another Serra prospect who has a USC offer and a lot of interest in the Trojans? We've seen how that movie has played out historically. From a talent standpoint, Robertson is an offer guy. But UCLA will need to feel like they have a legitimate shot for them to make the effort because traditionally, it's never played out in their favor.
Marcus Johnson, CB, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins
Johnson has double-digit offers, including from across town, but he's said for a while he'd like an offer from the Bruins. His older brother, Greg, had UCLA as his runner up before he picked Arizona, and the younger Johnson likes the Bruins. UCLA could end up with a surplus of corners in the 2017 class so cornerback recruiting may not be as big of a priority next year, but if they do offer another 2018 corner early, we think it could be Johnson.
Elijah Wade, DE, Las Vegas (Nev.) Arbor View
Wade is the top defensive prospect in Nevada in the 2018 class and will play next to 2017 four-star Greg Rogers this fall. The two are close friends and with Rogers being a big UCLA target, it wouldn't be a surprise to see UCLA offer Wade early. He's a basketball player by trade so he has the athleticism and quickness a defense wants in an end, now he just needs to fill out, but the skill set is there and he already has an offer from USC, who is also recruiting Rogers.
Aashari Crosswell, S, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins
Crosswell is the No. 2 safety in the West behind Jaiden Woodbey and has been getting offers for over a year. In fact, Crosswell has over 20 offers, including from much of the Pac-12, but he's hoping for an offer from the Bruins. Being at Hawkins, and playing for former Bruin DB Mil'von James, he's been to UCLA a number of times and we think when it's all said and done, the Bruins will offer him this fall.