Football Recruiting Analysis, Part 2

In Part Two, we analyze the defensive recruiting situation. With some very good commitments to date, and one they need to hold on to desperately, UCLA has a chance to make this a very good recruiting class for defense...

A few things have changed since we published part one of this analysis. 

As we spoke of in part one, Matt Moore did indeed decide to transfer.  Also, as we reported, it's very likely that John Sciarra will also transfer.

That makes two more potential scholarships available. With Moore's available, that gives UCLA 22 to give, and if Sciarra transfer, UCLA will have 223.

UCLA also received a commitment over the weekend, bringing the number of committed players to 13. 

(**Click on any of the hyper links to go to the prospect's player profile. There you can see all the stories written on them and find out when they're taking their official visit.)


OL (4-7): Shannon Tevaga (6-3, 290), Brian Abraham (6-5, 275), Marc Villafuerte (JC, 6-4, 300), Nathaniel Skaggs (6-4, 265), Scott Glicksberg (6-4, 280)

WR (1-2): Ryan Graves (6-0, 165)

QB (1-2):

RB (0-1):

TE (1):

FB (0-1):



DE (2-3): Brigham Harwell (6-1, 250)

DT (2-3): Kenny Lombard (6-1, 265)

LB (1-2): Will Price (6-1, 250)

CB (2-3): Rodney Van (6-0, 170), Bryan Payton (6-1, 185)

S (2): Daniel Drayton (5-10, 185)


K (1): Aaron Perez (6-3, 200)

This was going to be just an analysis of defense, but with scholarships opening up and the commitment of Glicksberg over the weekend at offensive line, it changes things a bit.  UCLA could now take up to seven offensive line recruits in this class.   With losing one quarterback from the depth chart, and possibly two, obviously UCLA will use the newly available scholarships to try to definitely bring in two quarterbacks. 


On defense, the priority still remains at the line positions.  At defensive end, Brigham Harwell is committed, but insiders believe it's a soft commitment at this point.  So, it makes it even more imperative for UCLA to recruit well at defensive end.  UCLA had an official visit from a JC defensive end, Kyle Morgan, over the weekend.  The reports from the trip are that Morgan had a very good time and that UCLA will have a very good shot with him. Morgan, originally from San Francisco, committed to Miami out of high school but was injured his freshman year and transferred to the JC.  He is supposed to be good enough to make an immediate impact, and would have to since he has only two years to play two.  Another JC DE UCLA is recruiting is Justin Hickman, from Glendale CC.  He'll visit UCLA on Dec. 19th. It's key that UCLA get a commitment from at least one of these two JC DEs, since next year the position would be the youngest and least experienced on the entire squad.  Also, it doesn't look like UCLA is currently doing well with many high school defensive end prospects.  UCLA looked to have a good shot with Cyril Obiozor, but it looks more like he'll go to Oklahoma State now.  Elite defensive end Dwayne Hedricks dropped the Bruins.  UCLA then has some guys on their list they are recruiting but it's not clear if the Bruins have offered, like Brian Wilson, McKenna Pascoe or Matt Rupp.  Caesar Rayford, who we mentioned among tight ends, could also play defensive end, and UCLA has stepped up its recruitment of him. If UCLA does indeed keep Harwell in the fold (with immediate playing time available, you'd think UCLA would have a good shot), and gets a commitment from at least one of the JC ends, it wouldn't be that imperative to bring in another high school defensive end, especially if Junior Lemau'u does return to the team next year.  UCLA could very well, though, take one another, for a total of three DEs, since it is such a priority position.


Defensive tackle recruiting is in a bit more dire straits than defensive end.  UCLA does have a commitment from Kenneth Lombard, and while you want to hope that Lombard will be able to contribute, many scouts question whether he'll be able to at UCLA's level. He might actually be better suited as an offensive guard.  But with no other commitments, and UCLA fairly thin and young at the position, it's the biggest priority position on defense in recruiting.  A huge get would be the #8-ranked defensive tackle in the country, Darryl Richard, who will be officially visiting UCLA on the 19th.  After Richard, though, UCLA isn't involved with too many well-known names.  They have a longshot chance with Nader Abdallah, who is deciding between a list of schools that includes UCLA to get his fifth visit. UCLA has been holding back on prospects like Norris Malele and Erick Lobos, while waiting on bigger, national names, but they could move on more prospects now.  Jasper Henry is a prospect really worth watching. He has yet to be offered, but it's believed UCLA likes him quite a bit and it could happen soon. We mentioned Cameron Filkins among the possibilities at offensive line, but he also could be considered as a defensive tackle.


UCLA has a commitment from Will Price, who re-confirmed his commitment after he visited officially in November. It's still uncertain whether Price will qualify academically, even though those close to the situation are pretty confident he will.

Price, also, very well could end up as a down lineman, probably a defensive end. He's 6-1 and already about 250, and moves more like a lineman than a linebacker.

After Price, UCLA could take one more linebacker prospect.  The best prospect that UCLA has a good shot with is Terrance Kelly.  He emerged this season as one of the best linebacker prospects in the west and has always liked UCLA.  Worrell Williams would be another of the better prospects in the west, but UCLA is probably a longshot for him. If UCLA doesn't get Kelly, there are a few other names that they haven't offered as of yet that could be possibilities.  Greg Newman is one, but he also is big enough that he could end up a defensive end. Joe Mortensen could be shaping up as a possibility. A sleeper is Lamar Robinson from Bishop Amat. 

Right now, though, at linebacker, it looks like Kelly is the main emphasis.


UCLA looks to take one or two more defensive backs, depending on scholarship numbers.  UCLA considers Brian Payton a cornerback, and looks set at conerback with two very good commits in Payton and Rodney Van. 

Safety looks to be where UCLA will fill another spot. It already has a commitment from Daniel Drayton, who doesn't look to make a big impact at the position.  So, UCLA is going strong after an impact player at safety.  The three primary targets, who are considered elite prospects, were Craig Steltz, Brandon Robinson and Virdell Larkins. It appears, though, that UCLA might not be able to recruit Larkins because of academics.  So, defensive back recruiting centers on Steltz and Robinson.  UCLA tripped in Robinson this last weekend and all account are that UCLA has a very good chance with him. Apparently there could be a snag for Robinson going to Stanford, which could greatly benefit UCLA.  Steltz might be a longer shot, but UCLA is trying to nail down an official visit with him.  Jamar Adams, the #21-ranked safety in the nation, is a soft commit to Michigan but will visit UCLA.  Jerome Boyd is considered a very good prospect and it's said UCLA has offered him.  Nick Patterson, also considered a good prospect, hails from the same high school in St. Louis as current redshirt freshman linebacker Eric Whittington. Patterson is scheduled to visit January 19th. 

UCLA also could take an elite cornerback recruit if he wanted to come. The most likely candidate would be Cortney Grixby, who's considered the #1 cornerback prospect in the country. 

If things fall through will all of these top prospects, there are still some possibilities.  Venicie High's Mesphin Forrester could be an option at safety, as could Byron Velega from Long Beach Poly or Antoine Cason from Los Alamitos.

But generally UCLA looks to be in pretty good shape in its defensive back recruiting. It has pretty good depth at corner and safety already, and adding Payton and Van were very good additions.  If the Bruins can get another elite safety prospect, Robinson, Steltz or Patterson, it would be considered a very good defensive back class.


If UCLA can keep Harwell in the fold, get another JC defensive end who can contribute quickly, at least one good defensive tackle, Terrance Kelly and one more good defensive back, its defensive recruiting will be considered a good class for the year. 

Offensively, UCLA needs two quarterbacks, and really, at least one that has a very good chance of playing early backup minutes and starting by their redshirt sophomore year.  UCLA needs some impact offensive linemen, so either they get a couple more that would appear they could be, or the ones that are committed exceed expectations.  It's the same situation at tight end --- UCLA needing an impact player.  Right now, those scenarios at quarterback, offensive line and tight end look unlikely.  UCLA needs an elite wide receiver, and hopefully Marcus Everett is that prospect.  Offensive recruiting looks a bit weak at this point, but the staff has close to two months to improve on it before signing day. 


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