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. And that continues to be the side of the ball that UCLA is doing well.
Here is a look at UCLA's defensive recruiting board as spring practice approaches and the spring evaluation period begins in the middle of April.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (2)
After signing a pair of Scout 300 defensive tackles in 2017, UCLA would like to follow up with another pair of tackles, and already has a commitment from one in Aaron Maldonado. They're in on the best in the West again and even have a couple of national prospects that have UCLA on their short list.
Aaron Maldonado, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat - COMMITTED
Maldonado was offered by UCLA in February and committed just a couple weeks later. A versatile two-way lineman, Maldonado will play on the defensive line at UCLA and gives the Bruins a quality prospect at the position. UCLA was his favorite school growing up and his best football is still ahead of him. What we love about Maldonado is his motor and desire to get better and better. At camps, he's usually the first in each rep and wanting to take as many as he can. He's already starting to recruit for the Bruins too.
Tuli Letuligasenoa, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle
Letuligasenoa is the top defensive tackle in the West and one of the best in the country. UCLA was one of his first offers and Angus McClure is already working hard to get him. The bad news first- Letuligasenoa said USC was his dream school and his favorite school growing up. The good news- he's close with Boss Tagaloa and Devin Asiasi, having started on the defensive line next to both of them when he was a sophomore, and Letuligasenoa said both are already recruiting him to UCLA, Asiasi picking it up since he transferred. So UCLA has that in their favor. But they'll have to work hard against USC, who signed a pair of stellar defensive tackles last year too. And Letuligasenoa is getting plenty of national attention. He is UCLA's top target on the defensive line so they'll have to really dig in their heels on him. But this is one of those recruitments right in McClure's wheelhouse.
Mykee Irving, Calabasas (Calif.)
Irving was offered by UCLA last summer at the Bruin Elite Camp. Since then, he's not added any additional offers and just looked ok at a couple of camps in the spring. In fact, some schools are recruiting him as an offensive lineman now and he may even project better as a guard. UCLA will keep watching him but with a commitment from Maldonado, may not be pressing to get him as much as before.
Niti Liu, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant
Liu is one of the top two-way linemen in Sacramento and was offered early by UCLA. He has a couple of other offers and Arizona is making a push for him, as is Utah, which signed his teammate and close friend Orlando Umana in February. Grant kids don't typically do much offseason stuff, so we may not get our first in-person look at Liu until the fall.
Tommy Togiai, Pocatello (Idaho) Highland
Togiai is the No. 2 tackle prospect in the West and UCLA was an early offer for him, but he's barely mentioning the Bruins much and USC and Washington seem to be getting the majority of his attention.
Sam Vakalahi, Salt Lake City (Utah) East
Vakalahi is actually rated as a four-star offensive guard, in fact, he's the No. 1 guard prospect in the West. But UCLA is recruiting him as a defensive tackle and he's a pretty good defensive lineman as well. And the Bruins are on his early leaderboard, a top four that includes Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Josh Walker, Bradenton (Fla.) Carrollton
The Bruins have long been the leader for Walker, but other schools are starting to get involved, like Michigan State, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Pittsburgh, so UCLA has to go against schools closer to home. Walker has also not hidden the fact that an offer from Stanford could have a huge impact on his recruitment, which UCLA has plenty of experience with. Walker is planning to visit this spring and check out the campus.
Keondre Coburn, Houston (Texas) Westfield
Coburn is the top tackle in Texas and right now, his top three are all in-state schools, Texas, TCU and Texas A&M. And the one Pac-12 school he's been talking the most glowingly about is Oregon, so UCLA is on the outside looking in right now with Coburn.
Trevor Trout, St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade
Trout is a top ten defensive tackle nationally and plays things pretty close to vest. But he told Scout this weekend in Chicago at The Opening Regional that UCLA is one of four schools in contact with him the most, along with Missouri, Oklahoma and USC. UCLA has been recruiting Trout for a year and continues to stay in the mix for him.
Masry Mapieu, York (Neb.)
Mapieu committed to Nebraska last year but UCLA, which was one of his earliest offers, hasn't stopped recruiting him. In fact, he also spoke at The Opening Regional in Chicago about the Bruins and how he's hoping to take a visit to Los Angeles to see UCLA. Mapieu cited his relationship with Angus McClure as a big reason why he wants to visit UCLA and why the Bruins are still in the mix for him. Michigan also continues to pursue the Husker pledge.
Next Tier to Watch:
Tyler Manoa, Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis
Manoa is a player we could see getting an offer from the Bruins this spring after McClure gets a chance to get up to the Bay during the Eval Period. A one-time BYU commit, Manoa's recruitment has soared since he opened things up and UCLA is a school he told Scout in the fall that he'd love to get an offer from.
Paul Maile, Salt Lake City (Utah) East
Maile has a number of offers, 15 to be exact, but UCLA is one he's consistently said he hopes he get. With UCLA recruiting his teammate Vakalahi, they'll get out to see him in the spring and that could be the determination on if he'll be offered.
Moa Heimuli, Salt Lake City (Utah) East
Heimuli, much like Maile, has talked about wanting a UCLA offer and they'll get a chance to see him too when they're out in Utah during the eval period.
Other Names to Know:
Samuela Tuihalamaka, 6-2, 280, Riverside (Calif.) Martin Luther King
Sal Spina, 6-3, 275, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Kamakani Crosby, 6-4, 250, Newbury Park (Calif.)
DEFENSIVE ENDS (2)
In 2017, UCLA signed the best defensive end in the country, and one of the best the Southland has ever produced in Jaelan Phillips. Instead of scaring off recruits, though, that has actually helped, with recruits in this class very aware of Phillips and wanting to play with him, most notably Jeremiah Martin. Plus, UCLA also has Takk McKinley getting a lot of buzz this spring with the upcoming NFL Draft, so Angus McClure has a lot going for him in recruiting defensive ends.
Jeremiah Martin, San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon
Martin was offered by UCLA last fall and has said that the Bruins are his top school. He told us at the Army Combine that he's often compared to....McKinley and Phillips. And that has stuck with him. He's gotten some national attention, mainly Michigan, but he's wanting to stay closer to home. UCLA already has a commitment from his good friend and prep teammate, Jhevon Hill and Hill said he's recruiting Martin already and Martin said that Hill has already been on him. UCLA is doing very well with Martin and will prioritize him throughout.
Elijah Wade, Las Vegas (Nev.) Arbor View
Wade is the top end in the West and a top ten end nationally. He's also close friends and teammates with Greg Rogers, who UCLA signed in February. Wade has offers from all over, including one from USC that was big for him when he was offered last summer. That was about when it looked like USC was in the drivers seat for Rogers too. But since UCLA signed Rogers, McClure and Rogers have been working on Wade and the feeling is the Bruins are on the extremely short list for the four-star as a result.
Cameron Latu, Salt Lake City (Utah) Olympus
Few players have blown up this spring like Latu have. UCLA offered him pretty early in the process, when he was still a commit to BYU (where he and his twin brother, Nathan, were committed). Since then, Latu has decommitted from the Cougars (while his brother remains a commit), and named a top ten last month that included UCLA. The Bruins are on his much more serious short list and a visit in February left a big impression on him. Latu was one of the stars at The Opening Dallas, earning an invite to the Finals.
Draco Bynum, Wilsonville (Ore.)
Bynum is one of the top pass-rushers in the Northwest and UCLA was the first school to offer him. He visited UCLA when he was in Los Angeles for the Under Armour Camp and enjoyed his visit. But the in-state schools plus USC are also on him hard and Bynum is in no real rush to make a decision. He could end up growing into a tackle down the road too and with his quickness and strength, he's the type you recruit as a general defensive linemen and see where his body grows in the next couple years.
Abdul-Malik McClain, San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) JSerra
McClain also received his first offer from UCLA back in December and the newly-crowned four-star has been very receptive to the Bruins. He said UCLA was among his favorites, but he too is in no real hurry to make a decision and he figures to land more offers once schools get a chance to see him during the spring. We liked him a lot at the Under Armour Camp and he's got some serious upside.
Eyabi Anoma, Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances
The Maryland native is one of the top pass-rushers nationally and is being recruited as such, with some of the premier programs in the country having offered him. Anoma has mentioned UCLA specifically, though, as a school of interest and talked about his relationship with McClure as a key factor in his interest. USC has also offered and Anoma said he wants to visit L.A. this spring so he can check out both UCLA and USC.
John Waggoner, West Des Moines (Iowa) Dowling
Waggoner is the No. 2 defensive end in the Midwest and has offers from coast-to-coast, with homestate Iowa making him a huge priority. But Waggoner has been open to the Bruins and told Scout last month that he plans to get out to Los Angeles in April to check out the campus and take in a spring practice.
Next Tier to Watch:
Samson Reed, Kahuku (Hawaii)
Reed is about 6-3, 240 and looks like he could still add more weight and make a slide inside to tackle. UCLA will monitor him and see him in the spring but he may have to camp with the Bruins in the summer to get a more serious look.
Other Names to Know:
Ronnie Perkins, 6-4, 245, St. Louis (Mo.) Lutheran- OFFERED
Brennan Jackson, 6-4, 220, Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak
UCLA signed just one linebacker in 2017, Rahyme Johnson, so linebacker is a big priority for the 2018 class. The Bruins already have one commitment at the position in Isaiah Johnson, but would like at the minimum, two more, if not three. And it's a very good year for linebackers in the West. USC is doing a very good job with linebackers in this class, but the depth at the position should ensure UCLA signs a pretty good crop as well.
Isaiah Johnson, Modesto (Calif.) Downey - COMMITTED
Johnson is an athletic linebacker who, physically at least, has been compared to former Bruin target (and current Stanford linebacker) Curtis Robinson, who started out as a receiver but grew into a linebacker. We're not saying that Johnson is the same caliber of player than the Top 100 prospect Robinson, but they're similar body types- former receivers who eventually out grew that position and became linebackers. In fact, that is the same route Rahyme Johnson went. Isaiah Johnson is a long prospect with room to add weight but with receiver athleticism that could grow into a pretty significant player as he develops physically.
Eli'jah Winston, Portland (Ore.) Central Catholic
Winston has been on UCLA's radar since they recruited his older brother, Lamar, who is now at Oregon. Winston has visited UCLA twice unofficially this spring and raved about the trips each time. The offer was a big one for him and he's cited on numerous occasions that his relationship with Scott White is as good as any he has with a college coach. In fact, it was White's relationship with Lamar that nearly had him flip before Signing Day, when he eventually inked with the Ducks. So the relationship between the younger Winston and White is even better and a big reason why UCLA is such a heavy factor in his recruitment.
Jack Lamb, Temecula (Calif.) Great Oak
Lamb has probably been the best linebacker from event to event we've seen this spring, a relative unknown early in the spring to now a national prospect with offers from all over. Lamb has been to UCLA a couple of times this spring and was offered by UCLA in February, an offer he had been hoping for. His older sister is a student at UCLA, so he's spent time on campus before and he's developed a very good relationship with White. Lamb visited Stanford, Cal and Washington in the last week and those trips went well for him and he's hoping Stanford offers. An offer from the Cardinal, though, could put a big dent in UCLA's chances. He'll also visit Penn State this spring, the school both of his parents attended. That said, Tom Bradley's long Penn State ties have been a big help for the Bruins, along with White's recruitment of Lamb.
Salua Masina, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton
Masina is another player that UCLA recruited a family member and built a relationship with the family early on. The youngest Masina of the bunch, Salua camped with UCLA last summer and was offered by the Bruins at their Elite Camp. He has a number of offers too but with his brother Osa, who played at USC, having off the field issues, we've heard he may be more likely to stay close to home, giving Utah the advantage.
Reggie Hughes, Calabasas (Calif.)
Hughes got his first offer from UCLA last fall and the Bruins have remained in the lead position for since. Hughes can play inside or outside and he's been very good all spring on the 7v7 circuit, showing great pass coverage ability and movement in space. He and Darnay Holmes are close and he plays for Holmes' father on the 7v7 circuit too and has made it to UCLA a couple times this spring with plans to return during spring ball. UCLA is doing very well with Hughes.
Ben Wilson, Sumner (Wash.)
Wilson is the top inside backer in the Northwest and one of the best inside prospects in the region. He's a tackling machine, with over 350 tackles the past two seasons for the Spartans. He's also a pretty gifted baseball player, but football is his priority. Wilson told Scout he'll be visiting UCLA this month and plans to take in a full unofficial visit as well as a spring practice and the Bruins are heavily in the mix for the four-star. That said, if home state Washington offers, the Huskies have to be considered the heavy favorite for Wilson.
Brandon Kaho, Reno (Nev.)
Kaho committed to BYU last summer and then blew up as a junior and this spring, with offers coming in from everywhere. UCLA was one of those offers and Kaho said that the offer from UCLA was a big one for him and he's going to give strong consideration to the Bruins. While he's still committed to the Cougars, the more offers that come in, the looser that commitment seems to be. Kaho did announce, though, that he plans to serve his LDS mission immediately after high school, so he wouldn't enroll in a school until the fall of 2020, which would give schools working with tight numbers some flexibility.
Solomon Tuliaupupu, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
Tuliaupupu was offered by UCLA at their Bruin Elite Camp last summer but USC is thought to be the heavy favorite, and a matter of when, not if, he'll commit to the Trojans.
Adrian Jackson, Denver (Colo.) Mullen
Jackson was offered by UCLA in the fall and White is recruiting him, but when he was in Southern California for the Under Armour Camp, he only visited USC (which had already offered) and not UCLA. Read into that what you will. UCLA will continue to recruit him, but he's not a priority like some of the other 'backers White is after.
Alston Orji, Rockwall (Texas)
Orji is the No. 7 outside backer in the country and UCLA is in his top three, with Michigan and Notre Dame. The Bruins are expected to get an unofficial visit from Orji this spring. LSU and Texas are also trying with Orji, who said he's looking for a combination of academics and athletics in his college choice. UCLA is also expected to get down to Texas to see him during the eval period.
Brian Asamoah, Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis DeSales
Asamoah was all set to make an announcement in April, from his top six, which included UCLA along with Cincinnati, Michigan, Penn State, West Virginia and Pittsburgh. But he recently backed off that and said he will wait and take his time to make a decision. He may also adjust his top six, so it remains to be seen if UCLA will stay in the mix, but the Bruins have been the one school not near him that he's kept under consideration.
Amari Gainer, Tallahassee (Fla.) Lawton Chiles
Gainer was one of the surprises at The Opening Orlando, earning LB MVP honors and punching a ticket to The Opening Finals in Oregon this summer. UCLA offered him and he told Scout that he plans to get out to see Westwood and Los Angeles before he makes a decision in August. Gainer, though, is a Florida State legacy who lives in the backyard of the Noles and Florida State will be tough to beat.
Next Tier to Watch:
Darien Butler, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne
Butler is a bit undersized but reminds of Jayon Brown with his style of play and ability at a powerhouse program in the Southland. UCLA has other backers higher on their board which could make it difficult for them to get to Butler, but they'll keep an eye on him.
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.)
DaShaun White, 6-1, 203, Richland (Texas)- OFFERED
Kolin Demens, 6-3, 205, Detroit (Mich.) Country Day- OFFERED
Jack Genova, 6-1, 200, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei
After signing one of the best cornerback crops in recent memory, a class that included the No. 1 corner in the country in Darnay Holmes, UCLA will focus more on safeties, but would still welcome a couple of corners in the 2018 class. There are some good ones locally and nationally, and some national corners with local ties. None, though, seem to be worried about following up the class UCLA signed, which makes it a little easier for Demetrice Martin to recruit.
Tyreke Johnson, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Johnson has long maintained high interest in UCLA and reiterated that to Scout last month at the Adidas National 7v7 Championships. Johnson said he will definitely take an official visit to UCLA in the fall and plans to be on campus this month to take in a spring practice and an unofficial visit. Of course, with any player from the South, UCLA will have to worry about the SEC schools, like Florida, Georgia and LSU, as well as Ohio State, another school that Johnson is prominently mentioning. But the Bruins have stayed in the race for Johnson for a long time and hope to stay in it even longer.
Bookie Radley-Hiles, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy
Radley-Hiles could be making a decision relatively soon and UCLA is on his short list. That said, Nebraska is the school getting the most buzz with him. Radley-Hiles played opposite Darnay Holmes last fall at Calabasas before making the move cross-country to IMG. The Bruins are still trying with him and hope to get him, but right now, the Huskers seem to be in the best position for him.
Isaac Taylor-Stuart, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine
Taylor-Stuart is one of the best looking prospects in the West, but to date, UCLA hasn't prioritized him as much and he's been focusing on schools like Michigan, Ohio State, Washington, Cal and USC. UCLA will probably check him out in the spring, but they have other corners higher on their board than Taylor-Stuart.
Olaijah Griffin, Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Griffin is another prospect that UCLA offered early but most of the buzz with Griffin is that he's a lock to USC, so UCLA hasn't spent much energy on him of late because it seems to be a matter of when, not if, he'll commit to the Trojans. He is a Ground Zero prospect, but the son of rapper Warren G grew up a USC fan and the Trojans catapulted to the top of his list when they offered.
D'Angelo McKenzie, San Jose (Calif.) Valley Christian
McKenzie is an intriguing prospect, who can play either corner or safety, and UCLA offered him early. He took an unofficial visit to UCLA earlier this spring and raved about the visit as well as his relationship with Martin. We know Martin likes players with positional versatility, able to play any spot in the secondary and that's what McKenzie can do. He'll be back on campus for UCLA's Spring Showcase at the end of the month as well.
Kyler Gordon, Everett (Wash.) Archbishop Murphy
Gordon checked out UCLA over the weekend when in town for the IMG 7v7 tournament and had a good visit. Gordon, though, is being prioritized by the hometown Huskies of Washington and there is a big push to keep him home. Notre Dame and Stanford are also heavily involved with Gordon, so if Gordon did leave the area, the Irish and Cardinal seem to be in a better position to get him than UCLA.
Verone McKinley III, Lewisville (Texas) Hebron
McKinley has maintained the Bruins on his short list for some time, and his public top nine from his 30 offers is Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Texas A&M and UCLA. He plans to decide this spring but it's uncertain if UCLA will get a trip from him during the spring in time for his decision, which likely comes at the beginning of May at the latest.
Ken Montgomery, Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough
Montgomery told Scout earlier this spring that an offer from UCLA was a huge one for him and one that he wanted. He got that offer and is now planning to visit Westwood this summer. Montgomery cited the UCLA academics as a big reason why he wanted an offer from the Bruins. Alabama has also offered him and its likely he'll land a few more offers from Southern schools before it's all said and done.
Next Tier to Watch:
Desmond Talley, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Talley is a player that UCLA has watched over the last year and they'll check him out this spring when they get down to Poly to recruit some of the underclassmen they're after. Talley has interest in the Bruins and said he'd wait for a UCLA offer in the past.
Other Names to Know:
Tariq Bracy, 6-0, 170, Milpitas (Calif.)
Level Price, 5-10, 170, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Chigozie Anusiem, 6-2, 175, La Habra (Calif.) Sonora
After such a corner-heavy class, UCLA needs to sign some safeties in 2018. Of the DB's they signed in 2017, Quentin Lake seems like the most logical to make the move to safety, given his size and skill set and overall versatility. But they'll prioritize this unit in the 2018 class. They already have a commitment from one in Jhevon Hill but want to add at least two more in this class.
Jhevon Hill, San Bernardino (Calif.) Cajon - COMMITTED
Hill was the first commitment to UCLA in the 2018 class and he was a nice, solid pickup for the Bruins. He's overshadowed a bit on his 7v7 team by Jaiden Woodbey as well as on his own prep team, by Bruin target Jeremiah Martin, but he's a talent in his own right and the highest rated three-star safety in the West. Hill was offered by Martin early and knew all along where he wanted to go and saw no reason to drag out his recruitment, making a decision in March. Hill said he plans to recruit Martin to join him as well. Hill is another Ground Zero product, a program UCLA has continued to have success with.
Stephan Blaylock, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco
Blaylock has been a priority recruit for UCLA since the start of his recruitment. UCLA wants Blaylock badly and have expressed that to him. Blaylock has also reciprocated high interest in the Bruins. One of his teammates, 2019 DB Chris Steele, is already committed to the Bruins and he too is recruiting Blaylock to UCLA, even though Blaylock will get there a year before him. Some close to the Bosco program think Blaylock will be a better college safety than his teammate Woodbey, a commit to Ohio State. And Blaylock has looked good at numerous events this spring. A case could be made he's UCLA's top safety prospect on their board in this class, and they'd love to keep the Bosco pipeline going.
Julius Irvin, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite
Irvin has played his recruitment pretty close to the vest, but he did talk glowingly about his visit to UCLA this spring. The Bruins have placed an emphasis on Irvin in this class and would love to bring him in. He's got good bloodlines- his father played for the original Los Angeles Rams. Irvin has also visited Colorado, where his close friend and teammate at Servite, Tyler Lytle, is a freshman. And he's also checked out USC this spring. Irvin said he's not close to making a top schools list or naming favorites, but the Bruins figure to be a factor in his recruitment for a while.
Steve Stephens, Fresno (Calif.) Edison
Stephens has emerged as the top safety prospect in the West and was the standout at the Under Armour Camp, earning a spot in the Under Armour All-American Game. He plays for noted DB guru, Tony Perry at Edison HS, a school UCLA used to have great success with. Stephens, though, is favoring Stanford, Oregon and LSU right now, so UCLA will have some work to do with him.
Cam'ron Jones, Mansfield (Texas)
Jones, on the other hand, is a prospect UCLA is doing pretty well with, and could be their best chance at an out-of-state commitment. He's long maintained UCLA is a very legitimate school for him to commit to and he'll make his decision known on Easter Sunday, picking from among the Bruins, Oklahoma, Mississippi State, Minnesota and Texas Tech. He was a one-time Texas Tech commit and the Red Raiders are still a factor. Jones also told Scout he'll visit UCLA in the next two weeks, prior to making his decision.
Ely Doyle, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
Doyle has been another player we've been impressed with all spring, playing in the secondary for Pro Way and Darick Holmes. We liked Doyle last summer at UCLA's Bruin Elite Camp, though he didn't get an offer. But after UCLA got his junior film, he did get an offer and the Bruins are the leader and are in a great spot to land the four-star. Doyle can play either safety spot and can even play some cornerback. Other schools are recruiting him hard but he's said that UCLA has been on him the hardest.
Next Tier to Watch:
Josiah Bradley, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro
Bradley is a player that UCLA watched last fall when recruiting a couple of other prospects at Saguaro and one they'll keep an eye on this spring too for a potential 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.)
Aashari Crosswell, 5-11, 185, Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins- OFFERED
DeMarvion Overshown, 6-3, 200, Arp (Texas)- OFFERED
Houston Griffith, 6-0, 180, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy- OFFERED
L.J. Wallace, 6-3, 185, Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony
Steve McIntosh, 5-11, 180, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
Bryan Addison, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Addison has been one of the stars of the spring, and was named the DB MVP at The Opening Los Angeles, earning an invitation to The Opening Finals in Beaverton. Addison long wanted a UCLA offer and was given one in February, which was a big one for him. Now, of course, there is a long history of UCLA recruiting Serra and not having much to show for it, especially when that Serra prospect already has a USC offer. So UCLA will have to overcome that history with Addison, but he does seem genuinely high on the Bruins, so UCLA won't back down with him. They will, though, probably recruit him with an eye on the past.
Chase Williams, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt
Williams was offered by UCLA at the Bruin Elite Camp last summer as a receiver but he's actually been working more as a safety this spring, largely because his 7v7 team has been so stacked at receiver. He's taken pretty well to playing safety and he's such a good football player, that you recruit him as an athlete and just find the spot for him if he comes. He can easily play on either side of the ball and UCLA will stay on him and if they land him, plug him in where the more immediate need is.
Nikko Hall, Calabasas (Calif.)
Hall was offered by UCLA in December after a two-touchdown, two-interception game for the Coyotes with Jim Mora watching Darnay Holmes. He's been solid all spring at receiver, but some schools like him as a safety. Hall is open to both sides of the ball and said he doesn't have a preference, so schools are recruiting him more as an athlete. He actually announced this week that he'll make his commitment at the end of the week and in a little bit of a surprise, didn't have UCLA in his final six, with much of the buzz going towards USC.
Malone Mataele, Santa Margarita (Calif.)
Mataele has worked primarily as a running back during the spring, and looked good at The Opening and the Under Armour Camp. UCLA is recruiting him as an athlete, but it was actually Demetrice Martin who offered him, so his initial interest came as a defensive back. That said, UCLA is still recruiting him as an athlete and the Bruins are in his top four.
Jevon Holland, Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd
Holland is one of the region's best two-way prospects and a top ten prospect nationally. UCLA has long been high on his list and as is often the case, Angus McClure has a connection here. McClure played at Sacramento State with Holland's father and he was his initial point of contact but of late, it has been Demetrice Martin. Holland visited in February and loved the visit and said UCLA was among his top schools, but he's in no rush to decide. Holland also plays for Kenion Training, coached by Maurice Jones-Drew. Cal, though, is the school to watch for, and Notre Dame as well. And should Washington or USC offer, which has signed teammates in the last two classes, they'll also be in contention.
Talanoa Hufanga, Corvallis (Ore.) Crescent Valley
Hufanga is the No. 1 athlete in the 2018 class, a safety, quarterback, receiver and linebacker all in one. He can play any of those positions well, though quarterback is the least likely spot for him in college. His high school coach is from Southern California and Hufanga has talked about visiting UCLA and USC. Oregon State is also making a huge push for the local prospect. He's wide open right now, so UCLA will stay on him, but he's in no hurry to make a choice.
Tennessee Pututau, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood
Pututau is another Utah native that the Bruins were on early, giving him an offer last fall during his junior season and the four-star has attention from all over. Pututau can play a number of positions, but will likely grow into a stand up rush end/outside linebacker in college. Pututau said he wants to visit UCLA this spring. But Utah has made the local prospect a major priority.
Treshaun Harrison, Seattle (Wash.) Garfield
Harrison landed one of his earliest offers from UCLA, when Marques Tuiasosopo was recruiting him. When Tui left, Scott White picked up his recruitment and has continued to stay on Harrison. UCLA would likely bring him in for defense and while he's listed as an athlete, we think he's got more upside in the secondary, either as a corner or safety. He plans to visit in the spring too. But hometown Washington will be pretty tough to beat.
Stanley Hackett, Pasadena (Texas) Rayburn
Hackett was offered by UCLA in February, as a running back, a player that DeShaun Foster recruited when he was at Texas Tech. But at 6-3, 195, Hackett could outgrow the position and the secondary or linebacker even, could be where his future is. Baylor has also offered and the in-state Bears are doing well with Hackett.
Next Tier to Watch:
Elisha Guidry, Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta
Guidry is the son of former Bruin defensive back Javelin Guidry and nephew of former Bruin defensive back Paul Guidry, so he has long UCLA ties. UCLA didn't really recruit his older brother Javelin Jr., who ended up signing with Utah, but they're taking a longer look at Guidry, who was one of the surprises at The Opening Los Angeles. He'll likely camp with the Bruins in June, though, for an opportunity at an offer.
Other Names to Know:
Tyric LeBeauf, 6-2, 180, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly