UCLA Football Recruiting Class of 2004

UCLA's 2004 Recruiting Class is headlined by DE <b>Brigham Harwell</b>, OL <b>Shannon Tevaga</b>, WR <b>Marcus Everett</b>, RB <b>Chris Markey</b>, CB <b>Rodney Van</b> and P <b>Aaron Perez</b>...

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

Patrick Cowan, 6-4, 200, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. The younger brother of freshman receiver Joe Cowan, Patrick has only started at quarterback for one year, but has a high ceiling.  A late bloomer, with high upside, Cowan was offered on his visit to UCLA in late-January, and committed on the spot.  Young for his class, Cowan will most likely redshirt in 2004.  Cowan completed 92 of 197 passes for 1,101 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions this past season. 

David Koral, 6-2, 210, Santa Monica (Calif.) College. Koral was one of Southern California's top quarterback as a 2000 Senior.  He signed with Vanderbilt out of high school, after he threw for over 9,000 yards his last two years at Palisades High and still holds the single game yardage record of 764.  After a coaching change at Vanderbilt, he transferred back to a JUCO in Southern California, before walking on at Florida State as a recruited walk-on with a scholarship chance.  As a sophomore at Santa Monica, he completed 155 of 281 passes (55.2%) for 2,202 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions.  He has two years to play two and will compete for the #2 job at Spring Practice.  

RUNNING BACKS

Chris Markey, 5-11, 180, New Orleans (LA) Jesuit. The State of Louisiana's Offensive Player of the Year, and "Mr. Football", Markey is one of four Louisiana natives to sign with UCLA.  He has good football speed, and is a high runner.  Rushed for 2,745 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior.  Accounted for 3,504 all-purpose yards on 382 touches, an average of 9.1 yards per play.  Markey rushed for more yards than any player in the history of New Orleans prep football. 

OFFENSIVE LINE  

Brian Abraham, 6-5, 270, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) High.  Abraham is one of Southern California's top prep linemen, with great size, a good frame that could easily add more weight and a very good technique and aggressiveness on the field. He attended the UCLA four-day camp in June, was offered soon after and became the Bruins first line commit for this class.  A Third-Team All-State selection.

Scott Glicksberg, 6-4, 285, San Jose (Calif.) Leland.  Glicksberg was rising towards the end of the season and committed to UCLA after Cal began to pick up its recruitment of him.  Could play offensive tackle, guard or center for the Bruins, as the coaching staff has been enamored with his quickness and versatility. 

Chris Joseph, 6-4, 260, Santa Ynez (Calif.) High.  Joseph committed to UCLA in the middle of December, turning down Stanford and Princeton in the process.  One of the Bruins top signees in terms of academics, Joseph, who also played defensive tackle, will most likely redshirt in 2004. 

Tony Lee, 6-4, 260, Gardena (Calif.) Serra.  A solid prospect from Serra High, Lee was on the Bruins list for some time, and they tripped him in Mid-January.  He was offered on his visited and committed on the spot.  Lee initially wanted to play on the defensive side of the ball, but will likely start out at offensive line, where as a senior he left tackle and allowed no sacks on a team that ran for 3,800 yards and passed for 2,000 yards.  Could also play tight end.

Aaron Meyer, 6-3, 270, River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian.  A guard prospect with excellent athleticism.  The Bruins were at the top of his list for the majority of the year, but when two of his teammates committed to UCLA in December, it was just a matter of time.  Meyer tripped in early January, and pulled the trigger, one of four Louisiana natives to sign with the Bruins.  Along with Tevaga, gives the Bruins an excellent set of true guard prospects. 

Nathaniel Skaggs, 6-4, 255, Poway (Calif.) Rancho Bernardo.   Skaggs, a top wrestler in California, committed to the Bruins in November, and is being recruited to play center.  Could play guard as well, with quick feet, but has indicated a preference to play center.  He had 120 knockdown blocks in 2003, and was an all-San Diego honoree.

Shannon Tevaga, 6-3, 295, La Mirada (Calif.) High.  Tevaga was a highly touted defensive tackle prospect, but wants to play offensive line in college, most likely at guard, and the Bruins will definitely use him there.  Tevaga waivered a bit towards signing day, but ultimately signed with the Bruins and could immediately see playing time as a true freshman.  One of California's top offensive linemen, Tevaga was a First Team All-State selection and one of the top 21 offensive linemen nationally. 

Marc Villafuerte, 6-4, 300, Santa Ana (Calif.) CC.  Villafuerte will come in and practice during the Spring and could see immediate playing time next year on the Bruins line.  He will play guard and have four years to play three seasons.  Villafuerte signed with the Bruins in December as a junior college transfer.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Brandon Breazell, 5-11, 155.  Fresno (Calif.) Edison.  From the same high school as former Bruin DB Ricky Manning Jr., UCLA got on Breazell in late-November and offered him.  Breazell visited UCLA in late-January and committed the day before Signing Day.  Was a Third Team All-State selection, and made 57 receptions for 1,043 yards and 16 touchdowns on offense.  Like Manning, also has a potential professional baseball career in his future. 

Marcus Everett, 6-1, 195, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade.  Everett had a big senior year, collecting over 1,350 yards receiving this season and emerging as one of the best receivers in Southern California. He has very good pass-catching skills and 4.5 speed, which is even better on the football field. He visited UCLA officially and had the Bruins neck-and-neck with Oregon after his trip to Eugene, but on a trip to Duke, he called the UCLA coaches and committed to them.  A Second Team All-State selection as a WR/DB, Everett made 61 receptions for 1,359 yards (22.3 average) and 16 touchdowns as receiver and on defense, he made 83 tackles, five interceptions and two sacks 

Ryan Graves, 6-1, 170, Venice (Calif.) High. One of the top 50 receivers in the nation, Graves was the Bruins first commitment among receivers.  He made 62 receptions for 1,271 yards and 15 touchdowns during his senior season at Venice (CA) High and as a junior, he made 106 receptions for 1,499 yards and 16 touchdowns at Pasadena (CA) Muir High School.  

TIGHT ENDS

Matt Raney, 6-5, 260, Phoenix (Ariz.) College. Raney played tight end for Phoenix College and signed with the Bruins in December.  He will have three years to play two years and is an excellent blocker, having played offensive tackle his first season at Phoenix College.  Raney is one of the top 10 tight ends from the JUCO ranks in his class, and had 27 receptions for 402 yards

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

Chris Johnson, 6-3, 270, River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian.  Johnson, a teammate of linebacker commit Fred Holmes and offensive line recruit Aaron Meyer, is a big, quick tackle in the middle.  He had around 60 tackles and 5 sacks for the Patriots. 

Kenneth Lombard, 6-1, 270, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco.  The brother of former UCLA defensive tackle Kory Lombard, he had a strong showing at the UCLA 4-Day Camp and was offered soon after and immediately committed to his "dream school."  Lombard was an all-CIF-Southern Section pick after a senior year where he recorded 68 tackles, including 48 solos, and recorded five quarterback sacks.  Was one of the top 50 defensive tackles in the nation.   

DEFENSIVE ENDS

Brigham Harwell, 6-1, 250, Hacienda Heights (Calif.) Los Altos.  One of UCLA's top targets, Harwell ended a summer of uncertainty by picking the Bruins, his childhood favorite.  Down the stretch, he waivered between Arizona State and UCLA, but ultimately stuck with his longtime favorite, UCLA.  Easily the Bruins top signee of this class. One of the top defensive ends in the nation, Harwell is impressive in person, with great quickness, balance and pursuit to the ball.  He's a bit undersized, but he's just a very good football player that could end up at any number of positions, depending on how his body develops.  Harwell was named the Southern California Player of the Year by the L.A. Times, a Parade All-American, a Student Sports/EA Sports All-American, a First Team All-State selection and the CIF Player of the Year.  Left Los Altos with 68.5 career sacks, one-half shy of the school record and 293 career tackles, 113 of which were for losses.  Defensive MVP of California team in CaliFlorida Bowl.  As a senior, he made 112 tackles, including 22 sacks and 48 tackles for losses and also forced seven fumbles and recovered three.  One of the Top 10 defensive ends in the nation.   

Justin Hickman, 6-2, 250, Glendale (Ariz.) CC.  Hickman has grown about 2 inches and put on about 20 pounds since his senior year in high school.  He will have four years to play three.  Hickman had a good visit to UCLA and narrowed his choices down to UCLA and Washington State, but ultimately signed with the Bruins and will come in for Spring Practice.  Hickman had 60 tackles, with 10 sacks last season.

Kyle Morgan, 6-4, 250, Poplarville (Miss.) Pearl River JC.  Morgan originally signed with Miami (Fla.) out of high school and was a redshirt on the Hurricanes 2001 National Championship team.  He left to go to Pearl River, where he was a 2-time honoree and led them in sacks the past two seasons.  He has two years to play two seasons, and could potentially start in 2004.  Morgan, from San Francisco, signed with the Bruins over Alabama, Texas A&M, Louisville and Illinois.  One of the top junior college prospects UCLA has brought in the last 10 years, Morgan was ranked as the No. 5 JUCO defensive end in the nation.

LINEBACKERS

Fred Holmes, 6-1, 235, River Ridge (Louisiana) John Curtis Christian.  Holmes is one of three Bruin signees from John Curtis Christian, along with DT Chris Johnson and OL Aaron Meyer.  A speedy pass rusher, Holmes is an outside linebacker who can play either on the strongside or the weakside.   

Dan Nelson, 6-2, 235, Yuma (Arizona) Arizona Western.  Nelson was a JUCO All-American, and after a stint in the military, comes to UCLA with four years to play three seasons.  He was originally from Boise, Idaho, but spent the last season as an honored linebacker for Arizona Western.  Nelson could compete for the starting position vacated by the graduating Brandon Chillar

CORNERBACKS

Rodney Van, 6-0, 170, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly.  One of the best athletes in the west, with blazing sprinter speed and great agility. He's probably among the top two corner prospects in the west and among the best in the country. Van had UCLA as his leader for a while, and he was the Bruins first commitment for the Class of 2004.  As a senior, Van made 84 tackles, including 54 solos plus one interception and recovered two fumbles.  A Second Team All-State selection, Van was also one of the top 15 cornerbacks in the nation, and also runs a 10.7 100-meters.

Michael Norris, 5-10, 175, Oakland (Calif.) Skyline.  Only played the game for two years, but is a gifted athlete, who had a strong senior year, scoring 21 touchdowns on offense, and having 8 interceptions on defense.  Also a talented track sprinter, could do both in college.  Flew under the radar, but had offers from Oregon, UNLV, Washington State, Arizona State and Nebraska.  Comes from the same high school program as redshirt freshman William Snead. 

Byron Velega, 5-10, 180, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly.  A teammate of Bruin commit Rodney Van, Velega played opposite of Van for the Jackrabbits.  Originally Velega said that Cal, Oregon and Washington State were his three leaders, and that UCLA had too many corners, but a successful visit in December catapulted the Bruins to the top along with Oregon and Washington State.  Velega committed to the Bruins the week of Signing Day.  He was a First Team All-CIF Southern Section pick and had 60 tackles and four interceptions for the Jackrabbits.

PUNTERS 

Aaron Perez, 6-3, 215, Covina (Calif.) Charter Oak. Coming to UCLA as a punter.  A strong legged former soccer player, Perez got on UCLA's radar after a strong performance at former Bruin kicker Chris Sailer's camp.  UCLA offered and he committed.  Averaged 41.5 yards a kick.  Will concentrate on punting his first 2-3 years.  A First Team All-State selection as a punter, Perez was one of the premier punters in the nation, and a four-star selection by TheInsiders.


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