Profile: Cassius Peat
Position: Defensive line
Location: Tucson (Ariz.) Pima Community College
Recruiting: Initially committed to UCLA in high school but, in somewhat of a surprise, signed with Michigan State in 2015. He spent one year at Michigan State redshirting, and left because of academic issues, reportedly. UCLA's defensive line coach Angus McClure then picked up his recruitment of Peat, and he unofficially visited Los Angeles this past weekend, taking in the game against Stanford before stopping by campus to meet with McClure. Here's Peat's commitment story, with quotes from him.
Scouting Report: Peat was part of the 2015 class coming out of high school, and Scout had him ranked as a four-star, the 166th-ranked prospect in the nation, and the #16-ranked defensive end nationally. Peat was probably around 240 pounds coming out of high school and even played outside linebacker on that level. He has bulked up considerably and appears to have the size to man one of the interior spots along UCLA's defensive front. He had earned some good reviews at Michigan State and worked his way into the two-deep at defensive tackle after redshirting his freshman season last year. A former basketball player as well, Peat has been lauded for being versatile despite his size.
Overall Analysis: Peat has very good lineage, with his father, Todd, playing at Northern Illinois before suiting up for the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angele Raiders. His brother, offensive lineman Andrus Peat, played at Stanford and is now with the New Orleans Saints. And another older brother, Todd Peat Jr., started out his college career at Nebraska. Peat certainly has the ceiling to be an NFL-caliber athlete and should get his share of opportunities down the road at UCLA, which is set to lose three defensive line starters in Eddie Vanderdoes, Takkarist McKinley and Eli Ankou after this season. It's actually a rather significant recruiting coup for McClure, who has been targeting high caliber defensive tackles such as Jay Tufele, Greg Rogers, Marlon Tuipulotu, Popo Aumavae and Martin Andrus, among others, in this class. The Bruins need to continue adding size defensively and this commitment has the potential to bring versatility. At the moment, Peat would appear to fit the mold of a Matt Dickerson type for the Bruins, with the ability to slide to any of four spots along the defensive line while bringing some natural pass-rushing ability. He said the physical nature of the Big Ten has prepared him for the defensive style UCLA hopes to continue implementing and that could also help the Bruins' efforts to control the trenches. Peat left Michigan State because of academics, so he'll need to get his AA degree from Pima. He plans to do that by March and then arrive on campus in time for spring practice, but that might be overly amibitious, and he could end up coming to UCLA later than that. Having spent his redshirt year at Michigan State and now one year at Pima, Peat would have three years to play three at UCLA.