UCLA coaches will be in the home of Hershel Dennis, 5-11, 190, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, tonight. UCLA will be trying to pick up its recruitment of Dennis. He's scheduled to visit UCLA January 25th, but has said USC, Washington and Oregon lead. Sources close to the situation believe it's doubtful he'll go where Lorenzo Booker goes, and that's looking like USC. Plus, Dennis wants to graduate in December and enroll early, and it isn't possible for it to happen at USC because of the structure of USC's semesters.
UCLA has fallen to third for Fred Matua, DT, 6-2, 280, Los Angeles (Calif.) Banning, behind USC and Notre Dame, according to a source close to the Matua family. UCLA had a sizeable lead for Matua when they were 6-0 but the on-the-field performance in November hurt their chances with him. Assistant Coach Don Johnson spent the day at the high school last week, but UCLA has quite a bit of ground to make up. Matua will probably not decide before completing his trips, including his UCLA trip January 11th.
A source indicates that there is some validity to the rumor that Brandon Hance, 6-1, 200, the true sophomore quarterback at Purdue who is originally from Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft, is very seriously considering transferring. Hance has yet to ask and receive his release from Purdue, so he wouldn't be able to show interest in other schools or be recruited, but just speculating, Hance did like UCLA quite a bit as a high school senior, and the word is he does miss home. If Hance does transfer, he would have to redshirt a year and sit out, and then have two years of eligibility remaining. Also, it's interesting to note that Hance is close to current Taft junior receiver, Steve Smith, who could be considered the best wide receiver in his class next year. If they happened to attend the same college they would be both be eligible to play the same year, Smith as a true freshman and Hance as a redshirt junior in the fall of 2003.
There is a source that indicates Ryan Boschetti, the JC DT who visited UCLA officially this weekend, told UCLA pretty clearly he wants to come, but only needed to work out the finances of affording an apartment near campus. UCLA reportedly will have an in-home with Boschetti this week. The first day of the JC signing period is this Saturday, December 15th. Boschetti is fine academically and would enroll in time to participate in spring practice, and count against last year's scholarship count. UCLA will visit Wesley Walker, 6-2, 210, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat later this week in his home, and the word is that UCLA could get a verbal commitment from him. We spoke with Walker last night: Wesley Walker Interview
UCLA is looking fairly good with Long Beach (Calif.) Poly offensive linemen Winston Justice, 6-7, 300. Justice has told many things to many people and seems to be having a little fun with many recruiting reporters, so it's difficult to know when he's giving it you straight. But a Poly source indicates that UCLA is currently leading for him.
UCLA is recruiting a few sleeper recruits, including some linebacker prospects. As of right now, details of these players' recruitment could potentially impact UCLA's recruiting efforts. When it is "safe," you'll get it here on BRO.