Stephan Zabié picked up a UCLA hat instead of one from Texas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State on ESPNU just a few moments ago.
Zabié is a unique recruiting story. He was ineligible for his senior season at Austin (Tex.) Westlake, because of transfer issues (he's originally from Maryland). Before he was deemed ineligible, he was a highly-sought four-star tackle prospect, which is a high commodity in football recruiting. But because of his ineligibility he was forgotten a bit over the last several months, until perhaps the lost month when programs realized Zabié's academics looked good to get him qualified to play in college.
Programs began recruiting Zabié aggressively in January, many of whom had previously recruited him.
Being local to the University of Texas, the new Longhorn staff targeted him, and it appeared Zabié was destined for UT. UCLA coach Jim Mora and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch visited Zabié for an in-home visit, and he opted to officially visit UCLA Jan. 20th and cancelled his visit to Texas that weekend.
Coming out of his UCLA visit all signs were pointing to UCLA. But he visited Texas mid-week and Ole Miss last weekend, and the picture was more uncertain, with many sources in Texas believing he had decided on the Longhorns.
It's a big commitment for UCLA, with offensive line recruiting being a long-suffering aspect of the 2017 class, especially with the firing of OL coach Adrian Klemm and hiring of new OL coach Hank Fraley late in the cycle. Zabié, the Lone-Star prospect, is the one one four-star offensive lineman in UCLA's 2017 recruiting class, joining three-star prospects Kanan Ray, Jax Wacaser, Zack Sweeney and Sean Seawards.
Scout's Greg Powers had this to say about Zabié: He has an extremely high ceiling as 2015 was his first year playing football and he emerged as one of the top offensive line prospects in the state despite his limited experience. He is long and agile and carries his weight extremely well. He could add 30 pounds and you would not notice it much at all. He is an edge-setter in the run game and is solid in his pass protection. Zabié was ruled ineligible for his senior season, so he's had time off, but as long as he stayed in the shape we saw him during the spring camp circuit, there shouldn't be anything to worry about from that standpoint. He can improve technical aspects of his game, such as hand placement, but Zabié is a high-ceiling offensive tackle with very little football under his belt, meaning he should really take off as a player once he's immersed in a high-major football program.