This is a crucial year for UCLA coach Jim Mora and the Bruin football program.
Mora heads into his sixth year in Westwood, coming off the Bruins' worst season since 2010 and the least successful campaign under Mora.
Wholesale changes were made on the offensive staff, with a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Jedd Fisch) as well as new running backs coach (DeShaun Foster), receivers coach (Jimmie Dougherty) and offensive line coach (Hank Fraley). The edict is simple: produce on offense and recruit better.
UCLA's 2017 class was pretty solid, considering it was coming off a 4-8 season. But it was not great on the offensive side of the ball, and that follows since UCLA's offense in 2016 wasn't a great recruiting calling card. The new offense UCLA puts on the field of Fisch and Co. will hopefully change that for the 2018 class.
As of right now, though, UCLA has three commitments in the 2018 class and they're all on defense.
While some offensive recruits are in a wait-and-see mode with UCLA's offense, it's a good proving ground for Fisch and Co. to display their recruiting talents this spring and perhaps get some commitments and lay a good foundation of offensive recruiting for the 2018 class heading into the season. So far, they've done some good work, with some elite offensive recruits indicating that UCLA is at the top or near the top of their list.
Here is a look at UCLA's offensive recruiting board as spring practice approaches and the spring evaluation period begins in the middle of April.
QUARTERBACKS (1 or 2)
UCLA could sign two quarterbacks this class but it could entirely depend on who they are. At the minimum, though, they need one. Fortunately, they're on the short list for one of the best in the country, Thompson-Robinson, who's long favored the Bruins. They're also still trying with Rising and have offered McKee. Whether or not they get a second quarterback is uncertain, but they'll certainly be watching other quarterbacks during the eval period.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Thompson-Robinson has made no bones about his interest in UCLA and the Bruins have been on his short list for some time. He took an unofficial to UCLA earlier this month and it went about as well as possible and the Bruins made a huge impression on him. He's had different times mentioned for when he wants to make his decision, but he recently trimmed his list to seven and an earlier decision than summer could likely come for him. Thompson-Robinson still has yet to start a varsity football game but has over 30 offers. He patiently waited his turn to be the starter at Gorman, waiting behind Ohio State freshman Tate Martell as the Gaels won consecutive Scout national championships. The 30 offers speak to the potential of Thompson-Robinson, who was the QB MVP at The Opening Los Angeles and earned an invitation to the Elite 11 Finals. This fall, he'll finally get his turn as the starter. And he'll likely do that committed somewhere. Jedd Fisch is hoping, obviously, that somewhere is UCLA. Fisch was instrumental in recruiting Thompson-Robinson at Michigan and a big reason the Wolverines have been a factor for so long for him. And with Fisch now in Westwood, Thompson-Robinson has a familiar face at a school he's long favored. As we said above, UCLA might take two quarterbacks in the 2018 class, but if they got DTR we could see them holding pat with that.
Cameron Rising, Newbury Park (Calif.)
Rising was one of the early offer targets by then-QB coach Marques Tuiasosopo, but he too was offered by Fisch and recruited by him at Michigan. Ultimately, Rising committed to Oklahoma. But since taking the UCLA OC job, Fisch has recruited Rising just in case DTR ended up elsewhere. He visited Newbury Park a couple of times during the January contact period and Rising was reportedly on campus for an unofficial last month (though Rising wouldn't confirm). Still, Rising is saying all the right things about the Sooners being the pick for him, but if something were to change, the local school would welcome him.
Tanner McKee, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
McKee had as good a season as any quarterback in the West did last fall in his first season as the starter for the Huskies. He's a big quarterback, at 6-6, but is pretty dangerous with his legs to go with his arm. He's attracted national attention and will visit a host of schools this spring, with a number of Big 12 and SEC schools set for visits, as well as one to UCLA. BYU, though, could be the team to beat for McKee, who is LDS. But UCLA is trying with him. It is uncertain if he plans to serve his LDS mission early in his career, but McKee has talked about serving one while in college.
Next Tier to Watch:
Camm Cooper, Lehi (Utah)
Cooper visited UCLA last summer and did so again earlier this spring and would love a UCLA offer, but he's on that next tier after the three primary targets. Cooper, though, is a four-star with several options to be the primary quarterback in this class, so he may not wait around for a UCLA offer. Still, we know he does like the Bruins.
Brevin White, Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete
Like his older brother Brady, who coveted a UCLA offer while being in the same class as Josh Rosen, Brevin would love to get an offer from UCLA, the school his father attended, but right now, he's on the next tier after the big three. White threw at UCLA's camp last summer, but that offensive staff has largely changed, so it will probably take another camp performance to get back on the radar.
Jamarye Joiner, Vail (Ariz.) Cienega
A commit to Arizona, Joiner has interest in the Bruins, visiting during the season and hopeful an offer could come. He's a versatile athlete, playing a number of positions on the 7v7 circuit too, so he's not opposed to another position, though his heart is at quarterback. UCLA will likely see him throw in the spring.
Other Names to Know:
Jeff Miller, 6-6, 228, Murrieta (Calif.) Mesa
Re-al Mitchell, 6-0, 183, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Hamish McClure, 6-0, 180, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
RUNNING BACKS (2)
UCLA didn't sign a running back in 2017, but it wasn't a great year out West, after the big two of Najee Harris and Stephen Carr. The Bruins got official visits from both, but they went to Alabama and USC respectively. So new running backs coach DeShaun Foster has his work cut out for him in this class. Fortunately, the Bruins have offered a number of prospects, both locally and nationally, to improve their odds.
Chris Brown, Oceanside (Calif.) El Camino
Brown starred at UCLA's Bruin Elite Camp last summer and was offered by Kennedy Polamalu. But when Polamalu was let go immediately after the season, communication had slowed down. That was fixed, though, in January, when Foster was hired. He immediately prioritized Brown and had him up for an unofficial visit in February. Scott White, who is from San Diego and recruits that area, and Foster met with Brown and made a big impression. Brown is a similar back to Foster, a power back, between the tackles type, and Foster made that comparison to Brown, which wasn't lost on him. The Bruins are doing well with Brown and while he still wants to take some time before deciding, they have a very good shot at the four-star and would love to get a commitment from him.
Demetrious Flowers, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
One of the early mysteries was the lack of recruiting attention being paid to Flowers. The four-star back certainly proved his value last fall, taking over for Sean McGrew for the Braves and helping lead them to the CIF State Open Division title. Flowers ended up landing his first offer from the Bruins and he's definitely feeling UCLA early on. He has a handful of other offers, but UCLA is one that made an impression on him and he told Scout that he plans to take an unofficial to campus to meet with DeShaun Foster during spring football. UCLA has done well at St. John Bosco and would love to build a longterm pipeline there, considering the success they've had there. We know that UCLA covets Flowers, and he'd be a good part of that pipeline.
Andrew Van Buren, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Van Buren was offered by the Bruins in late February and it was an offer that he had hoped to get, being a Southland native. Van Buren was the backup running back at Chaminade last fall behind T.J. Pledger, who UCLA recruited but just committed to Oklahoma, but with Pledger's move to IMG, Van Buren will be their primary back. His running back coach, who also coached Pledger, said the Eagles shouldn't skip a beat with Van Buren now their back, though he's a different style back than Pledger. Van Buren also likes Colorado and Boise State, both who've had success at Chaminade in the past. We think Van Buren is probably a second-tier behind Brown and Flowers, and we're uncertain if Van Buren's offer is commitable at this point.
Keaontay Ingram, Carthage (Texas)
UCLA was one of the earlier offers for Ingram, with Foster being well aware of him when he was at Texas Tech. But the top back in Texas has attracted all the in-state programs as well as national programs like LSU, Michigan and Ohio State among others, so UCLA appears to be on the next tier for Ingram.
Lentivone Lesane, Hialeah Gardens (Fla.) Mater Academy
Lesane is planning to visit UCLA this month after being offered by the Bruins last month and has already developed a good relationship with DeShaun Foster. Lesane also has an offer from Utah out of the Pac-12 but is hoping for some offers from the South where he's from. Lesane is also a track star and plans to do both in college.
Lavonte Valentine, Melbourne (Fla.) Central Catholic
Valentine is another speedster out of Florida but he does have offers from some SEC programs, like Florida and LSU and the Gators have already had him on campus for an unofficial visit which left a big impression on him. He may visit UCLA in the summer, but looks like, for now, he's focusing on Southern schools.
Harold Joiner, Mountain Brook (Ala.)
Joiner is favoring Auburn and LSU in the early going, with the Bayou Bengals in the best shape for him, and he's indicated the SEC is where he prefers to play, so UCLA will likely focus their attention elsewhere.
Next Tier to Watch:
Toa Taua, Lompoc (Calif,)
Taua is the younger brother of UCLA junior Ainuu Taua, but he's the smallest of the family and will play running back in college. Taua was the RB MVP at the L.A. Opening but right now, UCLA isn't really recruiting him, while Cal is. Nevada is also on his short list, and his oldest brother, Vai, was one of the finest backs the Pack have ever had.
Maurice Washington, San Jose (Calif.) Oak Grove
Washington is an interesting prospect, with offers from schools like Georgia, LSU and USC, but all based on his sophomore film. He was ineligible his entire junior year because of a transfer from The Kings Academy, where he played for former Bruin offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, to Oak Grove, his home school. He may have some work to do in the classroom, though.
Travis Dye, Norco (Calif.)
Dye is also the brother of a Bruin. His older brother, Tony, started for three years as a safety under Rick Neuheisel, but UCLA didn't really recruit his older brother, Troy, who was a Freshman All-American at Oregon. Right now, they're not recruiting the younger Dye much either, and he's more of a fit for the Oregon offense (which has offered), than for UCLA, but they'll keep him on the radar.
Other Names to Know:
Chuck Wick, 5-11, 180, Ventura (Calif.)
Jermar Jefferson, 5-11, 198, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Kirby Bennett, 5-9, 210, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Richard Newton, 6-1, 185, Palmdate (Calif.)
After not signing a receiver in the 2017 class, UCLA made a change at the receivers coach position, bringing in Jimmie Dougherty as Eric Yarber left for the Los Angeles Rams. UCLA has been recruiting the receiver position in 2018, though, pretty aggressively, with Yarber before (he focused more on the 2018 class, which is deeper and more talented), and now with Dougherty. In fact, Dougherty offered a number of these receivers while he was at Oregon. So the pre-existing relationships are there. UCLA needs to sign at least three and possibly four, from this class.
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
St. Brown is the No. 1 receiver in the country, but right now, UCLA has their work cut out for them, with Stanford, where his brother Osiris signed in February, and Notre Dame, where the oldest, Equanimeous, plays, standing out along with USC. UCLA didn't really put much effort into Equanimeous (understandably so at the time) or Osiris, and that likely puts them on the outs with Amon-Ra, the best of the bunch.
Jalen Hall, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Hall was first offered by UCLA three years ago before he started his freshman year at Hawkins. But USC has two of his Hawkins teammates signed in the 2017 class, has a commitment from a 2018 teammate and a 2019 teammate. Hall is far more open to UCLA than Joseph Lewis was, but UCLA still is likely on the outside looking in for him.
Brennan Eagles, Houston (Texas) Taylor
Eagles named a top ten earlier this spring that included UCLA on it, but the Bruins are in the lower half of that top ten, with Florida State, Ohio State and USC the schools he's talked about more from outside the state, and Texas and TCU from inside the state.
Chase Cota, Medford (Ore.) South
Cota on the other hand, is high on UCLA's board, with Dougherty building that relationship with him early on in his time at Oregon, and Cota visited last month and loved his visit. He's got a number of Pac-12 offers and Notre Dame got in the mix last week, but Oregon still has the upper hand, with his father, Chad, having starred for the Ducks in the 1990's before playing in the NFL. That said, Cota has been more open to other schools in the past few months and is certainly giving other schools a chance.
Devon Cooley, Buena Park (Calif.)
Cooley is one of the receivers that UCLA is doing the best with and their offer to him last summer left a big impression. Cooley was one of the standouts at the UCLA Elite Camp in June, after starting with the younger group and then being moved to the main group. Yarber offered him after that camp and Demetrice Martin went to watch him in the fall when seeing Elijah Gates. Cooley also picked up an offer from Oregon when Dougherty was there and his move to UCLA only helped the Bruins and Cooley has said on numerous occasions, UCLA is one of his favorites. The Bruins would love an early commitment from the four-star.
Devon Williams, Lancaster (Calif.) Antelope Valley
Williams has been one of the standouts this spring after being a bit overshadowed last fall by teammates Moses Robinson-Carr and Morrell Osling. Those teammates, though, both signed with UCLA, and the Bruins were one of the first schools to offer Williams and that left a huge impression on him. So too, did his teammates signing with the Bruins. Throw in that his head coach, Jermaine Lewis, is a former Bruin running back, who split time in the backfield with current Bruin running backs coach Deshaun Foster, and UCLA has a lot of ties to Williams. All that said, on their own, the Bruins are doing well with Williams, but he's starting to blow up nationally (Alabama has offered), so he'll likely go through the process.
Khalil Shakir, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta
Shakir has been another true standout this spring, shining at just about every event we've seen him. UCLA was a big offer for him and one he coveted and UCLA is one of his two favorites (along with Arizona State, which just offered). UCLA would love to have him commit as their smaller, quicker receiver in this class. He also plays for ProWay, which is coached by Darick Holmes, the father of UCLA freshman Darnay Holmes.
Kyle Philips, San Marcos (Calif.)
Philips is another receiver that UCLA covets and has focused heavily on. He's been outstanding all spring on a loaded 7v7 roster with a number of Scout 300 receivers. He's visited Utah unofficially, and the Utes are a legitimate threat for him, with his close friend, quarterback Jack Tuttle, already having committed to the Utes. UCLA is hoping to get him on campus this month and make a bigger push for him.
Nikko Remigio, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Remigio was offered shortly after the Bruin Elite Camp and UCLA has stayed on his short list, but its uncertain how aggressively the Bruins will be recruiting him, with a couple of other slot guys emerging this spring.
Manuel Allen, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Allen was a one-time USC commit but opened things up in February and said that UCLA is one of the schools he likes a lot. However, he's got some work to do academically for UCLA to be able to continue to recruit him.
Isaah Crocker, Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum
Crocker has emerged as one of the top prospects in Northern California, with offers from all over, including USC and Notre Dame. His teammate and close friend, Josh Falo, signed with USC earlier this spring, but Crocker has said that UCLA was one of his top schools. The school to watch for, though, is Cal, which is close to home and his childhood favorite.
Solomon Enis, Phoenix (Ariz.) North Canyon
Enis was offered by UCLA in the fall after Bruin coaches went to see him play. And there is a connection with Enis too on the Bruin staff. His father, Curtis Enis, was an All-American running back at Penn State, when Tom Bradley was an assistant for the Nittany Lions. He's visited unofficially already this spring. The Nittany Lions, though, are a school he's strongly considering and he also likes Arizona State and USC quite a bit.
Andre Hunt, Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete
Hunt was offered early in the cycle by UCLA but they haven't spent as much time on him as others and Hunt is favoring USC as it is, so don't be surprised if UCLA continues to focus on others.
Kevin Austin, Coconut Creek (Fla.) North Broward Prep
Austin visited UCLA in early spring when out West for a 7v7 tournament, but Notre Dame has been the team to beat for the Florida four-star.
Next Tier to Watch:
Jalen Nailor, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Nailor was a player we've liked all spring and one we liked last summer at UCLA's Elite Camp, when he camped with his Gorman teammates, Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Brevin Jordan. With offers out to a number of other receivers, though, it may be unlikely one makes its way to Nailor, but if UCLA lands DTR and Jordan, and offers Nailor, that certainly would help.
J.R. Justice, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine
Justice also shined at UCLA's camp last summer, but the Bruins have yet to offer. Much of it is because of uncertainty where he projects at the next level. They'll keep an eye on him and he's still interested in the Bruins despite no offer.
Tuni Fifita, Milpitas (Calif.)
Fifita plays for Maurice Jones-Drew's 7v7 team and is a player on UCLA's radar, but with bigger receivers like Michael Ezekie and tight ends like Brevin Jordan already on their list, Fifita may be out because of numbers.
Other Names to Know:
Daniel Arias, 6-4, 190, Mill Creek (Wash.) Jackson
John Jackson, 6-2, 200, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Kenden Robinson, 6-3, 175, Alameda (Calif.)
TIGHT ENDS (1)
A year ago, UCLA needed tight ends badly. Then they signed Jimmy Jaggers and Moses Robinson-Carr and saw Caleb Wilson emerge as a legitimate starter type last season. And when Devin Asiasi announced he was transferring to UCLA (he'll more than likely sit out the 2017 season, depending on his appeal), the Bruins went from desperately needing tight ends to now having a surplus. They still will try to bring in at least one tight end in this class and another big receiver/Y type.
Brevin Jordan, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Jordan is the No. 1 tight end in the country and has gotten much, much bigger from last summer and now looks like more of a true tight end rather than a pass-catching one. He hasn't lost his ability to catch or run, though, as he's gotten bigger. UCLA continues to be heavily involved with Jordan and securing Thompson-Robinson could all but seal the deal with Jordan.
Michael Ezeike, Ontario (Calif.) Colony
Ezeike moved to tight end in the recent rankings and projects more there now, but he still could come in as a receiver rather than a true tight end, so if UCLA could get him and Jordan, they'd be thrilled with that 1-2 punch. Ezeike has been one of this spring's bright spots and when UCLA offered, he said it was a dream offer. He'll visit this spring and UCLA is in a good spot for him.
Camren McDonald, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
McDonald was offered by UCLA over a year ago, but they haven't put much emphasis on him, especially with the emergence of Ezeike as their bigger receiver. They'd still take him if he wanted to come, but he's not given many indicators that UCLA is on his real short list.
Mustapha Muhammad, Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point
Muhammad camped with UCLA last summer but even then, it was clear that Jordan was their priority and that probably wasn't lost on Muhammad, with the four-star mentioning the Bruins less and less of late.
Kyle Pitts, Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood
Pitts has mentioned UCLA prominently, with Tom Bradley running point on his recruitment and Pitts said he wants to visit UCLA in the summer. But a number of Eastern and Atlantic schools are prioritizing Pitts a little more right now.
John Fitzpatrick, Atlanta (Ga.) Marista
Fitzpatrick is another prospect from the other side of the country UCLA is recruiting and he's expressed a desire to visit UCLA in the spring or summer, but many of the Southern schools have him higher on their board and he's reciprocated that interest more in that region.
George Takacs, Naples (Fla.) Gulf Coast
Takacs has a Bruin offer, but right now, he's focusing on Florida, Georgia, Notre Dame and Wisconsin.
Next Tier to Watch:
Tae Le, Newport Beach (Calif.) Corona del Mar
Le was a player who we liked at UCLA's Elite Camp last summer and has looked good throughout the spring but he's undersized as a true tight end and isn't quite explosive enough as a receiver to be a priority recruit for the Bruins right now. That said, they'll keep watching him through the spring, summer and fall.
Other Names to Know:
Parks Gissinger, 6-4, 235, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade
Jake Peters, 6-5, 220, Santa Margarita (Calif.)
R.J. Stone, 6-4, 225, San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian
OFFENSIVE LINE (4+)
One of the biggest differences in recruiting between new offensive line coach Hank Fraley and former line coach Adrian Klemm has been how many more offers that Fraley has made than Klemm used to. Klemm would focus on a smaller group and recruit them more aggressively while Fraley has made more offers to cast a wider net. Both strategies could work- the development of said players is the key. So that said, there are far more offers out to linemen this year than in previous years, with the emphasis being on Western prospects as opposed to when Klemm would recruit a little more nationally. And the feedback on Fraley from recruits has been pretty positive, with players loving his long NFL career and experience in both college and in the pros. Now Fraley just needs to land a couple key linemen.
Justin Dedich (C), Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral
Dedich was offered by Klemm last summer at the Bruin Lineman Camp and Fraley quickly reiterated that offer once hired. Dedich has made a case to be the best linemen in the West, period, despite being a true center. He's easily the best center in the country but has to be considered one of the premier linemen nationally, regardless of position. He's a high priority recruit for the Bruins and Fraley and has visited campus since Fraley was hired and hit it off with him. Dedich was offered by USC recently and has over 20 offers, so as his stock continues to rise, UCLA will have to keep recruiting him hard, but they've prioritized him without question.
Tommy Brown (OT), Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Brown was also offered after the Bruin Linemen Camp last summer and he too was quickly prioritized by Fraley. He visited in February with his teammate Chris Murray and his line coach at Mater Dei is former Bruin lineman Chris Ward. That said, he's gotten a lot of national attention and he's hoping for an offer for Alabama (where his father attended) while being drawn to Auburn, which has offered and which will have him on campus for a visit this month.
Steven Jones (OT), Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral
Jones was probably the 3rd best lineman at UCLA's Lineman Camp last summer, but only Dedich and Brown left with offers. After a good junior year and a good spring, Jones visited UCLA unofficially in March and Fraley offered him then and that was big for Jones, who coveted a Bruin offer. Dedich and Jones aren't officially a package deal but the two have talked about playing together and that offer from Fraley went a long way with him.
Chris Murray (OG), Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Murray may be overshadowed a bit by his the skill position teammates at Mater Dei and even by Brown on the offensive line but he's emerged this spring as one of the better interior prospects in the Southland. UCLA offered him in February and that was an offer he was hopeful for and the Bruins are doing well with him. Of course, an offer from USC could really change things up for him, but right now, Cal is probably the toughest competition for Murray.
Max Barth (OT), Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's
Barth visited UCLA in early March and left with a favorable impression of the Bruins and with Fraley. Two of his teammates on the offensive line at St. Mary's signed with Pac-12 schools (Popo Aumavae/Oregon and Cole Noordgard/Washington) so schools got a chance to see him when recruiting those two. Barth got an early offer from the Bruins but Oregon is the school he's been talking a lot about lately.
M.J. Ale (OT), Fife (Wash.)
Ale also visited in March and enjoyed his trip and his time with Fraley and the Bruins are very much a threat for him. Despite playing in Washington, he's only been in America for two years, moving here from Australia, so he doesn't have long ties to the state. That said, Washington signed a Fife prospect in 2014, Kaleb McGary, who starts at right tackle for the Huskies, so despite not having a Husky offer, Ale is well aware of the Huskies and staying in communication with them. But from his offers, Ale said UCLA and Oregon State are standing out to him.
Matthew Cindric (OT), Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline
Cindric also is playing in Washington, and he's a Washington native who started opposite Henry Bainivalu, who signed with Washington in February, on the offensive line. But like Ale, he lacks an offer from the local school, despite having double-digit offers. A Husky offer would be hard to beat, especially being at a school that has sent a number of players there. Cindric told Scout last week he'll visit UCLA in April.
Miles Owens (OT), Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd
Owens picked up an early offer from the Bruins and it immediately stuck with him and he's said that it puts UCLA on his short list. UCLA has offered a couple of his teammates too, including Jevon Holland, so they'll be by a bunch this spring. He's an intriguing prospect who we're looking forward to seeing at The Opening Oakland next month. He's a basketball player first but started at tackle opposite four-star USC signee Alijah Vera-Tucker and has a lot of upside.
Blake McDonald (OT), Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley
McDonald had an offer from the Bruins in February and took an unofficial visit to Westwood that month and loved his time there. UCLA is doing very well with McDonald, who could play tackle or guard and an early commitment wouldn't be a surprise at all from McDonald.
Joey Ramos (OT), Glendale (Ariz.) Deer Valley
Ramos is on UCLA's short list but likely projects as an inside guy at the next level. He's visited UCLA already this spring and raved about his trip but he's getting a lot of attention from the in-state schools and they're doing better with him.
Will Craig (OT), Granite Bay (Calif.)
Craig plans to visit UCLA this spring and he's become one of the more heavily recruited prospects in the state. Angus McClure was who offered him but Fraley has followed up and stayed on him. Cal is the school Craig was most impressed with, being closer to home and being his first Pac-12 offer. UCLA is hoping, though, that a good unofficial will help them.
Matteo Mele (OT), Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic
Mele moved into the Scout 300 last week and is becoming one of the more hotly pursued offensive linemen in the West. The four-star visited UCLA in March and glowed about the trip, saying that UCLA was among his leaders and would be a factor throughout his recruitment. The Bruins are in the mix with Arizona State, Colorado and Louisville, but the big impression they made on his unofficial certainly helped.
Jacob Isaia (OG/C), Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman
Isaia is the son of former Bruin lineman Sale Isaia and has made no bones about his hopes for a Bruin offer. His grandfather, though, played at Michigan State, and the Spartans also have offered and that was a big one for him as well. It's likely a battle between those two schools, but UCLA is recruiting his two teammates pretty heavily which can only help.
Rafiti Ghirmai (OT), Frisco (Texas) Wakeland
Ghirmai is a national recruit, but he took an unofficial visit to UCLA in the spring and enjoyed his time and spoke highly of Fraley and Westwood. In fact, Ghirmai enjoyed the trip so much, he's planning to return to campus in June when he's in Los Angeles for a graduation. UCLA will have to work against schools like Alabama and Texas, but the unofficial visit earlier this spring went a long way with him.
Reuben Unije (OT), Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Unije has a UCLA offer and he told Scout last month that the Bruins have been one of the schools recruiting him the hardest and indicated that an unofficial visit could come this summer. But the SEC and Big 12 schools are the ones he said have really stood out to him.
Darian Kinnard (OT), Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius
Kinnard was offered by UCLA last month and said that it shocked him and it immediately moved the Bruins towards the top of his list. The Bruins joined Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and Purdue in his top five and Kinnard said he will likely visit in the fall for an official visit.
Next Tier to Watch:
Solo Vaipulu (OG), Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Vaipulu was one of the surprises at the Los Angeles Opening Regional and he could be a guy that UCLA watches more closely this spring but will likely be a summer camp target to see if he'll get a UCLA offer.
Other Names to Know:
(prospects included here could be guys 1) UCLA might not offer or 2) those they have offered we think are extreme long shots to get.)
Dawson Jaramillo (OT), 6-5, 310, Lake Oswego (Ore.)- OFFERED
Nick Petit-Frere (OT), 6-6, 258, Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep- OFFERED
Penei Sewell (OT), 6-5, 320, St. George (Utah) Desert Hills- OFFERED
Trey Stratford (C), 6-3, 271, Allen (Texas)- OFFERED
Jack Carman (OT), 6-6, 290, Fairfield (Ohio)- OFFERED
Daniel Faalele (OT), 6-8, 400, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy- OFFERED
Syr Riley (OG), 6-4, 302, Pacific Palisades (Calif.)
Kekaniokoa Gonzalez (OG/C), 6-2, 285, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Jarrett Patterson, (OT), 6-5, 275, Mission Viejo (Calif.)