After already taking official visits to Michigan and Auburn, four-star wide receiver Tarik Black bumped up his trip to Alabama for this weekend and intends to lock in visits to UCLA and Stanford. Black, the top-rated receiver in the East region and No. 98 overall prospect for the 2017 class, plans to announce a college decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in early January, so that would appear to give the Bruins a shot to make a final impression heading into the deliberation process. UCLA held an early lead in this race way back in the spring but will now have to come from behind, particularly with the on-field success of the other suitors.
The first member of UCLA's 2017 recruiting class, Rahyme Johnson backed off that pledge to fully assess all of his options and has already visited Nebraska and Oregon this season. The four-star outside linebacker will be at Florida this weekend and has planned to stop by Texas A&M later this month, so there are some heavy hitters involved. Yet, despite all the attention, UCLA has maintained its push, with assistant coach Scott White trying to get the Scout 300 prospect back in the fold. The Bruins would appear to be in line to get the last look and could still be considered the team to beat. One thing to watch this weekend would be how Johnson's visit to Gainesville is affected by the presence of fellow Californian and Gators commit Elijah Blades, a four-star cornerback from Pasadena (Calif.) Muir.
Addison Gumbs chose Oklahoma over UCLA and others in August, and will head out to officially visit the Sooners this weekend in a trip that could either seal the deal completely or lead to the four-star linebacker setting other visits. The Bruins have stayed on the top-rated outside linebacker in the West region, with White recently seeing Gumbs in action up in the Bay Area, so it should be interesting to see how this weekend affects things moving forward. Former UCLA commit Hunter Echols, who flipped to USC, is also expected to be in Norman this weekend, so that might not be the best development for the Bruins if the two Californians decide to discuss other schools during their stay.
Popo Aumavae, who will be one of a handful of marquee prospects at Oregon this weekend, drew a visit from UCLA assistant coach Angus McClure on Thursday and the Bruins have continually kept in touch. The four-star defensive tackle is also scheduled to officially visit USC later this month and could be considered a favorite, so it would be key for the Bruins to lock in an official closer to decision time. The likes of Michigan and Ole Miss could factor into things as well.
UCLA head coach Jim Mora made sure to stop by Los Angeles High School last week to see Andrus in action before boarding the recruiting helicopter for what he would call a very productive evening on the trail, so the local product is a priority at a position of need. Andrus, a Scout 300 defensive tackle, is scheduled to be in Oregon this weekend for his first official visit and the Ducks are actually one of three schools on him the hardest, along with Nebraska and UCLA, so it could be a very important trip.
Another top UCLA target that will be in Oregon this weekend for the Ducks' game against Stanford is Buena Park (Calif.) defensive back Elijah Gates. The Ducks have been near the top of his list all year since extending the scholarship offer, and an impressive visit this weekend could be difficult to overcome, especially with Oregon presenting early playing time and already holding pledges from the likes of Jaylon Redd and Deommodore Lenoir in the secondary. UCLA, though, would still be in line to draw an official visit and Gates has said before that his family would like for him to stay closer to home.
Redd, an Oregon commit, will take his official to Eugene this weekend as the Ducks will aim to close things once and for all. The Bruins, though, continue to aggressively pursue the four-star cornerback from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.), most recently stopping by his game last Friday to see him in action. Redd was one of the recruits Mora made sure to see in his helicopter tour of the Inland Empire, and UCLA has been pitching the potential to play on both sides of the ball. Similarly to Gumbs' situation with Oklahoma, this weekend has the potential to be massive with the Bruins' chances to flip Redd in the future.
Thomas Graham has already visited Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska and Notre Dame, and will take his final official to Oregon this weekend. The Bruins would appear to be on the outside looking in at the moment, but given proximity to home, could still have a chance closer to National Signing Day if Graham is willing to stop by campus again. The Wildcats have been considered a favorite for some time and Graham could make a commitment within a month, so the Ducks could have the opportunity to make things interesting this weekend.null