It's not really a BRO Recruiting Buzz, but just a review of what happened in a pretty eventful week in UCLA football recruiting -- with some added tidbits.
UCLA got two commitments this week, from three-star defensive tackle Niti Liu of Sacramento (Calif.) Grant, and Miami offensive line graduate transfer Sunny Odogwu.
Liu’s commitment gives UCLA two defensive tackles verbally committed in the 2018 class – Liu and another three-star, Aaron Maldonado, from La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat. You might think that UCLA would then be done with defensive tackle recruiting but it’s still in the market for one more DT in the 2018 class. With two in the fold, it gives UCLA defensive line coach Angus McClure the luxury to stretch a little, for out-of-state guys like Houston (Tex.) Westlake's Keondre Coburn or St. Louis (Mo.) Chaminade's Trevor Trout. From what we've heard, UCLA is right there for Trout, the nation's No. 9-ranked defensive tackle, and he plans to visit this summer.
Odogwu, of course, is a huge get for the UCLA offensive line this season. We'll have an in-depth analysis of what Odogwu’s addition to the offensive line means coming later today.
LSU offensive line transfer Willie Allen, who was a four-star prospect in the class of 2016, took an unofficial visit to UCLA this week. He’s now at Baylor on an official visit. The buzz right now is that UCLA looks good for him, but that could be premature, before the completion of the Baylor visit. Allen redshirted his freshman year in 2016 and would then have to sit out another year due to transfer, so he’d be a redshirt sophomore when he’s eligible for the 2018 season.
If UCLA were to get Allen, and JC offensive tackle prospect Jason Dickson, it would considerably boost UCLA's offensive tackle depth chart for 2018. Dickson is a great-looking prospect who most of the Pac-12 has offered, and we've heard UCLA is leading for him. With a commitment from 2018 high school prospect Blake McDonald, from Danville (Calif.) San Ramon, it would put UCLA in a position of strength in its 2018 OL recruiting. OL Coach Hank Fraley would have started off recruiting really well (with also the addition of Odogwu), and could maybe be even selective in the last 1-3 commitments he takes in the 2018 class.
Three-star safety Jhevon Hill from San Bernardino Cajon decommitted from UCLA. It’s kind of a tradition, for an early verbal commit at DB to then decommit not long after. It’s mostly due to the prospect feeling he might be getting recruited over, and like we said might happen with Hill, that was the case here. UCLA already has two commitments from safeties rated higher than Hill in Stephan Blaylock and Cam’ron Jones.
It’s not coincidental that there was a little more recruiting activity for the safety position this week. UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin has deep ties to the state of Texas, and a UCLA offer went out to Mesquite (Tex.) West Mesquite's Dayven Coleman. A local safety prospect who’s really emerging is Chigozie Anusiem. We've heard UCLA has a good shot for Anusiem, who Martin has been keeping tabs on for a while.
Martin also offered Tyrese Ross, the safety prospect from Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake, who is the cousin of UCLA’s big corner target, Tyreke Johnson, the five-star from Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian. With two very good safety prospects already in the fold, it would make complete sense to also take Ross if it would get you Johnson.
UCLA-committed quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a very good week at the Elite 11 competition, making the cut for the 11 quarterbacks who will go to The Opening Finals in Beaverton in July. Thompson-Robinson was ranked, conservatively, among the top 6 or 7 at the camp for the week.
Geordon Porter, the receiver prospect from Etiwanda who recently got a UCLA offer, unofficially visited UCLA this week. UCLA wide receiver coach Jimmie Dougherty recruited Porter's older brother while at San Jose State and we've heard UCLA has a very good chance for Porter. Porter is all about speed, clocking one of the fastest 40 times at The Opening Los Angeles of 4.57.
A guy to watch who could make a decision soon is John FitzPatrick, the tight end prospect from Atlanta (Ga.) Marist. FitzPatrick has taken many unofficial visits, and is currently at Vanderbilt. He's been to UCLA a number of times, and is scheduled to visit again next weekend. His sister apparently goes to UCLA, so there's a Bruin connection. FitzPatrick, though, recently got an offer from hometown Georgia. The word is that he'll announce fairly soon, sometime during the summer.
UCLA's camps start this week. The 7-on-7 is Saturday, with the post-grad and skill camps on Sunday. The Big Man and Elite Camp are June 22nd and 23rd. USC has its camp also on Sunday, so, like in recent years, prospects will be divided among the UCLA and USC camps.