Remaining Priorities: October UCLA Recruiting Trend Meter

Oct. 27 -- After watching UCLA's team so far this season, we shake up the Football Recruiting Trend Meter this month with some new priorities for the 2017 recruiting class...

We've re-calibrated the Recruiting Trend Meter for this month. Given the season through the first eight games, we thought it'd be more appropriate to reset the remaining needs for the 2017 recruiting class, given what has transpired on the field and in recruiting, and some re-assessment of UCLA's current personnel.  

Obviously, it's not the most conducive time for UCLA football recruiting. The program's recruiting efforts were coming off a bit of a rough summer, punctuated by decommitments and long-time leans committing elsewhere.  Now it's faced with recruiting despite a 3-5 record.  That doesn't exactly create recruiting momentum.

So how does UCLA finish off this recruiting cycle successfully?

First, winning a good portion of the remaining four games would go a long way. 

There is also always the approach that, even with a bad season result, coaches can sell recruits on the theory that there are a number of pieces in place and all they need is that one special recruit -- that one puzzle piece -- to complete the picture.  It's a pitch that can work, because recruits naturally prioritize their own opportunities for personal success.  Many times if there's an opportunity for immediate playing time at a program that commonly gets a player great exposure (programs in big media markets like UCLA), that can trump whether the team has a chance to win a National Championship. 

Again, though, winning wouldn't hurt. 

The USC game result is absolutely one that does have a big recruiting impact -- resonating in Southern California recruiting circles.  When Jim Mora won his first three games against USC it affected UCLA's -- and USC's -- recruiting.  It created the feeling that UCLA was the emerging, better, dominant program in Los Angeles, and if a local recruit wanted to stay local it was the more desirable place to be.  Given that USC has righted its ship on the field after a rough start to the 2016 season, and UCLA has gone the other direction, a win over USC in November would be a crucial selling point for UCLA recruiting.  You could make the recruiting pitch that UCLA, despite a less-than-stellar record, still is the superior program, with Mora having beaten USC four of his five seasons. And really, what a win over USC this year effectively does is prevent the alternative: providing USC the narrative that USC has beaten UCLA two years in a row, that Clay Helton has Jim Mora's number, and that USC is the emerging program in Los Angeles.  

Finishing the season with a win over USC (and one over Cal the following week) would give UCLA a positive buzz to end the regular season, and provide the UCLA staff some currency to sell on the recruiting trail.  We're not saying that they wouldn't be able to finish off recruiting the 2017 class without it, but as of right now it could be the biggest remaining factor in UCLA's recruiting for the 2017 class. 

Here's another way of looking at it: If UCLA ends the season on a disappointing note, and overall has a disappointing season, the only way remaining to even slightly salvage it is to finish with a good recruiting class. 

Given all of this, and so many of these factors still being unknown, here are the new priorities for UCLA to turn in a respectable class for 2017:

#1 Priority -- Hold on to Jaelan Phillips  

Committed Jaelan Phillips is the nation's #1-ranked defensive end, and the nation's #7 overall national prospect.  He's the gem of  the 2017 UCLA recruiting class. Keeping him is such a necessity, and just not for the p.r. hit UCLA would take if it lost him.  UCLA is going to be desperately needing an elite talent at defensive end, especially one who can pressure the quarterback, with Takkarist McKinley and Deon Hollins graduating and no clear option currently on the roster showing the capability of becoming a truly elite pass rusher.  We said that there is a recruiting pitch that UCLA could give to recruits about being the one missing puzzle piece -- well, in Phillips case it's about the closest to being true as it can be.   But going back to the p.r. hit -- it would be huge.  As of right now, the lone element that still makes the 2017 UCLA recruiting class be even slightly considered a potentially good one is the commitment of Phillips. Without it, it kind of falls off the cliff.  Phillips, too, embodies the exact type of student-athlete UCLA wants to represent its program.  He's probably the most important -- and critical -- prospect UCLA has recruited in the Mora era not named Josh Rosen.  We haven't heard anything about Phillips second-guessing his UCLA commitment, so all is good on the Phillips front. 



#2 -- Finish with Two Elite OL Recruits 

We moved this to #2 but it still remains a critical top priority.    

UCLA has commitments from  Ronald Rudd, a JC tackle prospect,  Jaxson Kirkland, the three-star tackle prospect Portland (Ore.) Jesuit, and Kanan Ray, the three-star prospect from Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon.  So far that's bordering on a solid class, if Rudd actually qualifies and is good enough to be a starter. 

The jury is still out on whether this class can be deemed a good one on Signing Day, however.  We have heard more and more that Kirkland might be a considerable steal and under-rated.  Mostly, though, It will depend on whether UCLA can reel in two more four-star prospects, Jalen McKenzie, of Concord Clayton Valley, and Aaron Banks, from El Cerrito. Both at one time were thought to be leaning to UCLA but, at this point, we don't have enough information to say that's still true.

McKenzie plans to visit UCLA, and as of right now, the Bruins are on the top of his list -- but that's among the schools that have offered him. We still get the feeling that, if Tennessee (his father's alma mater and where his brother plays) or Michigan offered him, UCLA would be seen in the rearview mirror. 

We know a couple of weeks ago Banks still felt very favorably toward UCLA, but we haven't heard how UCLA's performance on the field the last few weeks has affected that opinion. He visited Notre Dame, and there was some buzz around that visit, but Notre Dame isn't exactly lighting the college football world on fire this season either.  Banks will more than likely visit UCLA after the season, which will probably pay off for UCLA's recruiting efforts, especially if the season doesn't end on a positive note. 

There is an outside chance that Tramonda Moore, the JC prospect from Oklahoma who was an Army All-American as part of the high school national class of 2016 but then didn't qualify, actually does get all of his JC academic work done in a year's time.  He signed with Oklahoma State and he could head back there.  We've heard it's unlikely he comes in for fall of 2017 but is more likely for 2018.  

Orlando Umana, from Sacramento (Calif.) Grant, is a recent offeree, and he's garnered quite a few offers in the last couple of months, from elite programs.  He had indicated he intended to officially visit UCLA, but we haven't heard anything recently.  The feeling is that he could be leaning to Washington, who has been on him the longest.  

Priorities for the type of offensive linemen UCLA needs have probably changed a bit due to what we've seen this season. If UCLA continues to want to emphasize a downhill running game, it's going to need big, strong road-grader types, and Banks fits that bill. It might actually make him the second-most-wanted uncommitted recruit on UCLA's board (behind Darnay Holmes).  Umana, too, is the type UCLA should recruit to fit the scheme. You might think that the uneven performance of UCLA's offensive line might be a deterrent in recruiting the 2017 class, but UCLA could make a nice sales pitch to Banks that, given the style of offense they want to employ, he's the perfect guy, they don't have anyone else on the roster like him and he'd have a chance to come in and immediately start. 

http://www.scout.com/player/186114-aaron-banks?s=12


#3 -- Bring Home Darnay Holmes  

UCLA has been the long-time leader for Darnay Holmes, the nation's #1 cornerback, and we haven't heard anything to dissuade us from that opinion.  Holmes has always had a desire to stay close to home and he has a near life-long relationship with UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin.  

Holmes will officially visit Ohio State in late November, has a plan to see Michigan in December and then UCLA.  He'll  announce at the Army All-American Game January 7th.  The timing of it all probably works out well for UCLA, because we anticipate UCLA will probably get the last visit, there will be distance from any residual fall-out from a disappointing UCLA season, and Holmes will remember all the reasons why he's been leaning to UCLA for so long.  A very bright spot on the 2016 season, too, has been the play of the UCLA secondary, so Holmes has to think he'll be on a very good secondary unit, and will get a chance to play on the offensive side of the ball, with Mora and Co. having a penchant for two-way players.  

If UCLA finishes the year with a poor record, but it gets Holmes, it would bring in the #7-ranked prospect (Phillips) and the #9-ranked prospect (Holmes) in the country.  That wouldn't be too shabby for a program coming off, say, a 5-7 record. It's a testament to how UCLA is such a powerful school to recruit to, and a couple of UCLA's coaches that are very good recruiters. 

 


#4 -- At Least One Elite-Level Defensive Tackle  

One of the best developments of the 2016 season for UCLA is the play of true freshman defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa.  He has made some freshman slip-ups, but he has also played very well at times, and looks like the next Eddie Vanderdoes/Kenny Clark in the middle for UCLA. 

Now UCLA just needs to find his future partner in crime. 

http://www.scout.com/college/ucla/story/1721250-4-star-dt-rogers-sets-an...Greg Rogers, the nation's #6-ranked DT prospect, from Las Vegas (Nev.) Arbor View, is UCLA's best chance to fulfill this need but, at this stage, we're a little skeptical it's going to happen.

As we reported, Rogers surprised everyone and moved up his official UCLA visit to last weekend. He also then said yesterday that he'll announce his decision Nov. 16th and then officially visit USC  for the Notre Dame game Nov. 26th.

Everyone on the BRO premium forum has been trying to interpret what that means, but no matter which way you look at it, it's not good.  It's unlikely he'll announce for UCLA to then take his official visit to USC 10 days later. We also have some additional information:  We've heard that Rogers intends to do a Bleacher Report video announcement, and Bleacher Report wanted to do it in early November. So, speculating, the only visit he could take after his announcement would be to the school he's announcing for, and he moved up the UCLA visit so he could take it before the announcement. 

We did hear, though, some good buzz from sources close to the Rogers family after the UCLA visit, so take all of this with the type of grain of salt we've used in regard to Rogers during his recruitment.  

The nation's #7-ranked DT, Popo Aumavae, from Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's, came to a UCLA game a few weeks ago, but sources close to the recruitment think USC and Oregon are ahead. Here's the thing, though:  we'd be a little surprised if Aumavae decided to go to USC if they get Rogers, and Oregon isn't exactly an attractive place right now.  If Rogers does opt for USC, it gives UCLA a real chance with Aumavae, unless USC pulls a Pete Carroll and gets both of them.

UCLA is in the running to get an official visit from Jay Tufele, the nation's #2-ranked defensive tackle, but we think, even if UCLA gets the visit, he's a longshot. He just returned from a visit to Michigan and the word is that he loved it, while hometown BYU is a player and there is always Ohio State, who he'll visit for the OSU/Michigan game Thanksgiving weekend. 

The nation's #4-ranked DT, Marlon Tuipulotu, from Independence (Ore.) Central, a Washington commitment, had always been a bit of a threat to officially visit UCLA, but we've heard that isn't happening anymore. 

Among the defensive tackle prospects on UCLA board, there aren't any besides those mentioned that would qualify as "elite-level." It looks like it's Rogers or Aumavae as the only possibilities to fulfill this need. 


#5  -- Two Starter-Level Linebackers  

UCLA loses Jayon BrownIsaako Savaiinaea and Cameron Judge to graduation after this season.

Then, at this point, we have to come down on the side that it's unlikely Mique Juarez will ever be a significant contributor at UCLA. We're not basing this on any new inside information, just given what has transpired.  

We would have felt a lot better about the future of UCLA's linebackers, too, if Kenny Young had continued with his improved play, but he regressed some against Utah. 

Josh Woods, has looked like he has a long way to go, too.  

We're unsure at this point if Breland Brandt will be a linebacker or a defensive end. 

There is still Lokeni Toailoa and Krys Barnes, who are playing as true freshmen on special teams and will have to be prepared to play next year. But all in all, after looking pretty well-stacked at linebacker for the future and appearing like it would only need one recruit in 2017, UCLA absolutely needs two, and two starter-level ones.  And, combine that with a few little developments since our last Trend Meter, and the arrow stays down for this installment.

However, UCLA linebackers coach Scott White is involved with elite prospects across the country, and White has proven to be a very effective recruiter. 

http://www.scout.com/player/197695-rahyme-johnson?s=12

We came close to changing the arrow to sideways for this need, because everything we're hearing is that one-time UCLA commitment, Rahyme Johnson, the four-star from Los Angeles Salesian, will more than likely end up a Bruin.  We still think, though, that Nebraska is going to still be competition in the end, since the Cornhuskers have a couple of things going for them -- namely many people around Johnson that are pro-Nebraska and a good season to parlay.   

The deeper we get into recruiting season, the more skeptical we are that UCLA will ultimately have a legitimate chance with Baron Browning, the nation's #2 outside linebacker from Kennendale (Tex.).   He'll visit for the USC game, and a week later go to Ohio State, while he's already seen Alabama and Michigan.  Sources close to the recruitment are calling it for Ohio State. The UCLA trip for the USC game will be significant, though from what we're told.  

http://www.scout.com/college/ucla/story/1721414-5-star-anthony-hines-tal... The nation's #1 inside linebacker, Anthony Hines, from Texas, just took his official visit to UCLA for the Utah game. We've actually heard really good feedback on his trip from Texas sources -- even though they still don't believe he'd opt for UCLA.  He's visited Penn State, Texas A&M, and Florida, and has one more visit to take. The feeling right now is home-state Texas A&M is leading, but admittedly, the sources say Hines keeps it pretty close to the vest and knows how to play the recruiting game. 

There's also two other four-stars, Levi Jones, from Texas, and Nathan Proctor from Maryland.  There's a good chance both will officially visit UCLA but things would have to change in their recruitment pretty dramatically for UCLA to have a chance.  UICLA is also trying to get in on Monty Rice, the three-star inside linebacker prospect from Alabama. 

A prospect we thought UCLA had a decent chance with, and would have in for an official visit, Will Ignont, announced his verbal commitment to Tennessee Wednesday. 

There is still a chance, too, that Addison Gumbs, the one-time UCLA lean who verbally committed to Oklahoma, could take a UCLA official visit. 

One way to look at the possibility of Juarez not returning to UCLA: it absolutely helps with the recruitment of the elite outside linebackers on this list. 

Baron Browning Clips


#6 -- A Pac-12 Starting-Level QB 

We all have now seen this season what impact poor quarterback recruiting can have. With all due respect to Mike Fafaul, who we completely respect for the job he's done stepping in with Josh Rosen injured, it does underline how important it is to have a deep, talented quarterback depth chart. 

Even though UCLA has a commitment from Florida three-star prospect Austin Burton for 2017, the arrow has to stay down since we're completely uncertain if Burton satisfies this need.  

Burton is probably better than many assume, since he hasn't received any hype.  He's a solid prospect, and one that belongs on the depth chart of a P5 school, but you'd have to say he's probably a bit of a longshot to win the starting spot after Josh Rosen leaves UCLA.  

As we all remember, UCLA missed on its #1 prospect, Jack Sears, and since hasn't really found anyone else that fits the bill of a potential starting Pac-12 quarterback.  It's difficult to say that quarterback recruiting was anything but poor in this cycle if it only brings in Burton.

This recruiting need for a starting-level quarterback is ranked #6 here since we're speculating that UCLA might be able to find a starter in the post-Rosen era among current true freshmen Devon Modster and Matt Lynch, Burton, and probably two quarterbacks from the 2018 class.  And because the five needs above it have now become so critical.  

Austin Burton Highlights


#7 -- Elite Wide Receiver  

After watching this season, and the excruciating dropped passes throughout the wide receiver group, it's now pretty important that UCLA bring in an elite receiver in the 2017 class. We had previously thought that receiver recruiting for 2017 would be a luxury type of thing, that UCLA was deep at receiver, but getting a legitimate Pac-12 level-starting receiver has now moved up the priority list for 2017. 

The arrow remains downward, however, with nothing having happened since our last Trend Meter to nudge it sideways. 

http://www.scout.com/college/ucla/story/1720882-texas-wr-r-j-sneed-looki... Perhaps the best chance of moving the needle is that we continue to hear UCLA has a real chance with R.J. Sneed, the former TCU commitment from Texas.  I don't know if we could say UCLA is leading for him, but they're right there with Ole Miss and Nebraska, and the feeling is that a good UCLA official visit could be a big factor. 

There are a number of prospects that could officially visit UCLA: Tarik Black, the #1 WR on the east coast; two Oklahoma commits, Charleston Rambo and CeeDee Lamb; and even the #1 receiver in the country, Joseph Lewis from Los Angeles Hawkins, could unofficially visit during one of UCLA's big visit weekends.  

We continue to be stumped why UCLA won't recruit Isaiah Hodgins from Walnut Creek (Calif.) Berean Christian, the prospect who decommitted from Washington State and has had an excellent senior year.  If UCLA is looking for a bigger-type of receiver with sure hands, he'd be it. 

http://www.scout.com/player/199684-isaiah-hodgins?s=12t


#8 -- Second Starter-Level Defensive Tackle  

The need is high at the position. Looking at UCLA's future depth chart, it could definitely use two starter-level defensive tackles in the 2017 class. It's probably one of the best recruiting years for defensive tackles in the west in recent memory, so this is the year to capitalize, too.   

After watching fall practice, we feel a bit better about UCLA's future DT depth. Going into fall camp, we had thought that Osa Odighizuwa and Chigozie Nnoruka would end up as defensive tackles, and after seeing them and how they are physically, we can now pretty much confirm our projection was accurate. Odighizuwa is 285 pounds with very little fat on his body, and Nnoruka is probably about the same.  We could easily see them be on the Eli Ankou Defensive Tackle Physical Development Plan and end up 310-ish within two years.  If you take those two, who are both athletic but raw, to go with Boss Tagaloa, who has lived up to expectation, the future DT depth isn't dire.  But you'd always like to be deep at defensive tackle, and can't get enough of them.

http://www.scout.com/college/ucla/story/1716313-midseason-clips-of-dt-ma... If we had to guess who will fulfill this need, we still think it most likely will be  Martin Andrus, the Los Angeles High prospect.  He slipped down the Scout rankings after some spring/summer appearances where he looked a little too small, but he's gotten bigger and stronger since, and more recruiting attention. Michigan, LSU and Notre Dame have stepped up with offers, in fact.  We're tempted to move him to the category of "One Elite Defensive Tackle," but we're still not completely convinced.  

UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure has done a very good job of lining up candidates to fulfill the need of bringing in two defensive tackles in the 2017 class. Prospects who are slated to take visits are:  Dalyn Wade-Perry, an east-coast three-star DT; Xach Gill, the DT from Wake Forest (North Carolina), and Texas prospect Deiontae Watts, the nation's #22-ranked DT.  Any one of Andrus, Wade-Perry, Gill or Watts would fill the bill for this need.

http://www.scout.com/college/ucla/story/1710791-ucla-commitment-analysis... We moved the arrow to upward here, and those possibilities might be enough. But, there's more.  UCLA got a commitment from Cassius Peat, the JC lineman who was a top-200 prospect out of high school in 2015, spent last season on the bench at Michigan State before leaving MSU due to academics. He essentially verbally committed on an unofficial visit to UCLA early this fall, but it's still uncertain if he'll get his academics in order to enroll in fall of 2017.  Peat is projected as a three-technique, and was in line to get some playing time at Michigan State this season. It's kind of a win-win with Peat; We're pretty sure McClure is recruiting with the assumption Peat won't qualify, and if he does, bonus. 

There's also been a new development, with UCLA offering Brandon Pili, an Oregon prospect emerging in his senior season who has earned some other impressive offers, like from USC and Washington.  We've hear UCLA will more than likely get an official visit from Pili, who has visited Oregon State and has one set for USC. 


#9 -- Big, Physical Safety  

After last season this became a priority and it's only been re-emphasized as a need this season.  

We moved the arrow sideways because the fact that Bubba Bolden, the west's #1 safety prospect from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, has blown up nationally and got an offer from Ohio State, which makes UCLA getting him a bit more unlikely.  It had previously been thought that it was probably between UCLA and ASU, but the feeling now is that the Buckeyes might be the most-favored at this point.   UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin has done a very good job of staying on Bolden through it all.

Everything is just about the same with Utah's Chaz Ah You, the west's #2 safety, even though we're getting a little more skeptical about UCLA being such a clear-cut leader for him.  He has said he'll officially visit Washington, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Stanford, with probably all of those visits coming after the season.  Stanford has yet to admit Ah You and, having always been a big draw for him, if they do, we think that will still be tough to beat.  Washington has been making a strong push right now for him, and hometown BYU is now in the picture. Ah You wasn't considering them with the previous coaching staff, but the new BYU staff is making a big effort to appeal to him.  Since Ah You is LDS and plans on going on his mission right out of high school, a more-appealing BYU could be a contender in his recruitment. 

http://www.scout.com/player/185036-chaz-ah-you?s=12

The scenario could be that UCLA doesn't get Bolden but still snags Ah You, and Ah You then goes on his mission and UCLA essentially doesn't have a safety come in with the 2017 class.  The Bruins, though, have a commitment from Quentin Lake, from Santa Ana Mater Dei, who is considered a cornerback at this point, but we think, as he gets bigger, he'll grow into a safety. At the very least, he's the type of versatile swing guy that Martin likes.

What would be an absolute slam dunk in satisfying this need is if UCLA gets Bolden to go along with Lake, and Ah You commits but goes on his Mission so he then comes to UCLA in 2018.

Bubba Bolden Clips


#10 – A Second Defensive End  

UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure has been very active in recruiting another defensive end to go with Jaelan Phillips since the decommitment of Hunter Echols.  So, the number of prospect being recruited is good, but we don't see UCLA as a clear leader for any of them and that keeps the arrow sideways.

We believed UCLA was the leader for Aliki Vimahi, the four-star Hawaii prospect that made it clear how he coveted a UCLA offer -- until he just recently received an offer from USC, which he called his dream school.  

http://www.scout.com/college/ucla/story/1709586-early-clips-of-new-de-of... McClure, in the last month or so, has offered Alden Tofa, from Utah, and two prospects from Arizona, My-King Johnson and Odua Isibor.  We like all three of them, and feel they would be a great complement opposite Phillips.  UCLA, because of Echols, got in late on all three, so has some catch-up to do, but the latest we've heard is that all three intend to officially visit.  

There are a few other options out there, and some of them, in pure McClure style, are committed elsewhere, so we can't share their situations in case it would jeopardize their UCLA recruitments. 


#11 A Fast, Elusive Running Back 

This is kind of a new priority on the list, and it's directly a reaction to UCLA's running backs this season.  Sotonye JamaboNate Starks and Bolu Olorunfunmi have absolutely been limited by poor blocking, but they haven't been good either, missing many holes and unable to make something out of little or nothing.  Perhaps we were spoiled by Paul Perkins, but the performance from the running back spot in 2016 has been poor. 

UCLA, under running backs coach (and now OC) Kennedy Polamalu, has clearly recruited a type of recruit -- a bigger, stronger type.  That type also tends to be slower.  It seems that, while you might think a bigger type of tailback would be better in Polamalu's offense, this season has proven that not necessarily to be the case.  Even regardless of what type of running back is best in a certain scheme, it stands to reason that UCLA needs another option at running back -- a quicker, more elusive type.  

http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1714908-nationall... UCLA is recruiting Najee Harris, the nation's #1 overall prospect, and Stephen Carr, the nation's #2-ranked running back (behind Harris).  Of course, even though these two are bigger types they're so elite that they could probably make just about any system work.   We feel, however, it's unlikely UCLA has a chance at either.  It was always a longshot with the two of them, and UCLA's running game this season hasn't exactly helped the cause.   We think UCLA might have a chance with Sione Lund, an athlete from Utah who is verbally committed to Stanford but might not academically qualify, but then again Lund is a bigger, slower type of back. 

Luckily UCLA true freshman Brandon Stephens fell into UCLA's lap late in the recruiting cycle when he wasn't admitted by Stanford as part of the 2016 class. Stephens probably wouldn't have been recruited by UCLA because he didn't fit the mold, but UCLA took him because of the situation.  Stephens looks like the guy on UCLA's current team who has the quickness and elusiveness to exploit minimal running room and is probably the future of the UCLA tailback spot. 

So we're just throwing this out there: It might be good to get another viable running back in the 2017 class, with some doubt around the capability and future of Jamabo, Starks and Olorunfunmi. Heck, even though we like Stephens, he too is just all potential at this point.   

But we haven't heard that UCLA is aggressively recruiting a running back for 2017 beyond Harris and Carr. It could be hard, too, since UCLA is 1) coming late to the party on running backs since it believed it was pretty stocked and 2) only tends to pursue bigger backs.  We'd like to see someone like C.J. Verdell, a four-star from SoCal who is having a big senior season.  He's committed to Oregon, but that might be workable, with the season Oregon is having.  There's also A.J. Davis, from Lakeland (Fla.), who we've heard UCLA has a connection with. We haven't heard UCLA has seriously recruited Davis, and we haven't heard UCLA is recruiting Verdell at all, so even listing this as a priority here is a bit of a moot point. 

It'd be great if Carr looked at UCLA's offense this season and concluded, "I could step in and start there and create a running game."  


Honorable Mentions:

-- More Pac-12 Level Cornerbacks

The emergence of Nathan Meadors this season really goes a long way toward garnering confidence in the future cornerback outlook. UCLA has a deep depth chart, so now it just has to find another starting corner to complement Meadors and replace the departing Fabian Moreau.  If Holmes comes on board, there's a good chance it's him.  We really like Corona Centennial's Jaylan Shaw, who's committed, and think he has the talent to be a potential starter.  Demetrice Martin is also intending to bring in one more cornerback prospect for 2017, so this recruiting need looks like it will be well-fulfilled. 

 -- Second Tight End

It's clear this season that UCLA needs more tight ends that can block, and it has a commitment from a good one, Jimmy Jaggers, the four-star from Roseville.  While UCLA is pursuing a second tight end in the 2017 class, recently having offered Carson Terrell from Utah, at this point, with UCLA's depth chart and the addition of Jaggers, we think that's a sufficient amount of scholarships dedicated to tight ends. Caleb Wilson is just a redshirt freshman and Jordan Wilson is redshirting, and we'd expect them to be much improved blockers by next season after a year in the system.  

http://www.scout.com/player/198486-jimmy-jaggers?s=12

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