Things are moving fast with just 9 days left until National Signing Day.
With the commitment of Elijah Gates, UCLA could be done with defensive back recruiting. The feeling is that Utah safety prospect Chaz Ah You, since he wants to play his freshman year before going on his Mormon mission, will opt for BYU. His father coaching there also plays a big part. It wouldn't be surprising if Ah You goes to BYU, plays a year, goes on his Mormon mission, becomes a recruitable 2020 again, and UCLA, where he's always wanted to go, has a very good chance to get him at that time.
Chino Hills Ayala's Emmanuel Flowers and Texas' Sam Barnes will also look elsewhere.
There is still a chance, however, that Branden Smith, the speedster from Lancaster Paraclete, ends up a Bruin, and UCLA takes him as an athlete.
New UCLA offensive line coach Hank Fraley passed the NCAA recruiting certification test during the weekend, and was joined by offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and coach Angus McClure for an in-home with UCLA-committed offensive lineman Kanan Ray, from Chatsworth Sierra Canyon, Sunday night. Sources close to Ray indicate remains 100% Bruin.
Updated 7:51 p.m.: Fraley will now hop on a plane Thursday for an in-home visit with UCLA-committed OL Jaxson Kirkland, from Portland (Ore.) Jesuit. Washington, his father's alma mater, offered Kirkland today, and the word is that UW has a chance to flip Kirkland. Kirkland told Scout's Brandon Huffman Monday night that he has talked with Fraley, and that he still plans to visit UCLA this weekend. He'll officially visit Oregon starting Tuesday, and said he wasn't sure if he'd be able to get to Washington this week, but Washington coaches will be in his home Wednesday. We still believe there's a chance he changes his UCLA official visit to Washington for this weekend.
Sources are telling us that four-star Austin (Tex.) Westlake OL Stephan Zabié is personally raving about his official visit to UCLA last weekend and, currently, UCLA is the team to beat. We'll see if that holds up now that he's back in Texas, and the Longhorns try to get him on campus, with the University of Texas just a short Uber ride away. There was a rumor he was supposed to visit Ole Miss this weekend, but we have yet to confirm that.
We continue to hear that JC WR DeAndre McNeal is essentially a silent verbal to UCLA, but he'll take his visit to Florida Atlantic this weekend.
Rumors persist that UCLA has a chance to get an official visit out of four-star Iowa receiver Oliver Martin this weekend. He did indeed cancel his official visit to Ohio State last weekend, but it's believed Michigan is the leader. Fisch has been trying to recruit him away from his old employer.
Joshua Palmer, the WR from Florida, took his official visit to UCLA last weekend with his Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas teammate, OL Zack Sweeney, who verbally committed to UCLA on the visit. The feeling is that it's between UCLA and Tennessee for Palmer, and Syracuse, where he was once committed, is still trying. There are rumors he could officially visit Penn State this weekend and also talk Notre Dame might be involved late.
McClure is expected again to visit Popo Aumavae, the OL/DL prospect from Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's. Right now we think it's unlikely McClure flips him from Oregon, and academics could be an issue, but McClure has flipped the seemingly unflippable before.
We know that new UCLA running backs coach is trying to get in-homes with five-star running back Stephen Carr, from Fontana Summit, who is verbally committed to USC, and Oregon commit C.J. Verdell, from Chula Vista Mater Dei. The word is that Carr and his mother, however, visited USC last weekend, and his mom really wants him at USC and that apparently sealed the deal. Carr apparently cancelled all in-home visits with other coaches this week, including one with Oregon coaches. We haven't heard what kind of chance Foster and UCLA has with Verdell, but know that he officially visited Utah last weekend.
As we've said before, we've heard that Texas linebacker Levi Jones from Austin Westlake is a very hard recruit to read. We heard he came away from his Los Angeles visit impressed with both UCLA and USC. He previously visited Florida and will visit Florida State next weekend. Some recruiting experts think he's leaning to USC. Jim Mora and linebackers coach Scott White are scheduled to for an in-home with Jones in the next two days, as are Florida coaches.
UCLA just offered four-star Virginia linebacker Ellis Brooks. Brooks has visited Maryland, LSU and Oregon, and is tentatively scheduled to see Michigan this weekend. UCLA will have an in-home visit with Brooks Tuesday night. Penn State also offered recently, so the competition is on to see who can get the fifth and final visit, which could come this week.
It appears Connor Weddington, a big-time athlete from Washington, is going to follow through on his UCLA official visit this weekend, but we consider it nothing more than a free trip to L.A. Weddington's pretty much sewn up for Stanford.
Official Visitors This Weekend
ATH Connor Weddington
OL Kanan Ray -- Committed
OL Jax Wacaser -- Committed
OL Jaxson Kirkland? -- Committed?
CB Jaylan Shaw -- Committed
DB Quentin Lake -- Committed