As of right now, UCLA has 17 scholarships to give, and has verbal commitments from 11 prospects.
There are always rumors and discussion about UCLA potentially getting more scholarships available, and some always do tend to open up by signing day in February.
Given that pattern, it's safe to expect UCLA will have about 20 scholarships to give to the 2006 class.
So, realistically, UCLA has only about eight or so scholarships remaining to give.
Some readers have asserted that UCLA has offered too many prospects too early, but when you're following recruiting it's always wise to be skeptical of reports of scholarship offers. Sometimes recruits say they've been offer when they actually haven't – not necessarily lying about it, but misinterpreting what they're hearing from the program.
UCLA, actually, hasn't offered that many prospects. There are perhaps 40 prospects overall with UCLA offers – those that are in good academic standing that have have been recognized by the coaching staff as superior players. There are others who very well could be talented enough football players to warrant an offer, but for whatever reason, many times it being academics, haven't yet received one.
In this review, we'll try to lay out exactly which players have been offered, who could be offered, and what are UCLA's priorities at each position.
This isn't going to be a comprehensive list of everyone UCLA has shown interest in, but a list that concentrates on those players UCLA has offered and those that could possibly receive an offer.
In parentheses are the scholarships UCLA wants to give for that certain position.
That's right. UCLA hasn't offered a scholarship to a quarterback, and more than likely, won't. As of right now, UCLA doesn't intend to recruit a quarterback for the 2006 class, and probably only would consider giving one to a 2006 prospect if he emerged as clearly elite and wanted particularly to go to UCLA.
UCLA isn't recruiting quarterbacks for a couple of reasons – 1) They'll have two redshirt freshmen and one true freshman quarterback on the roster this fall. And 2) Tthere aren't that many elitely talented quarterbacks in the west in the class of 2006. And even though it's early, it looks like the 2007 class will have some considerable talent, so it'd be good for the Bruins to not muddy the picture for those 2007 quarterbacks by taking a less-than-elite prospect in the class of 2006.
UCLA is need of an elite-level running back in the 2006 class. While you can cite Chris Markey, the true freshman from last season, it's still arguable that UCLA hasn't brought in a markee running back name in a couple of years. With Maurice Drew going to be a junior this season, an elite running back is critical, and luckily the 2006 class in California is pretty talented.
C.J. Gable, 5-11, 180, Sylmar (Calif.) High. One of the elite athletes in the west, who also could play receiver, UCLA has been recruiting Gable aggressively, but he has only expressed mild interest at this point. Offered.
Stafon Johnson, 6-0, 200, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey. Johnson is widely considered the best running back in the west and UCLA is recruiting hard, while he tends to look nationally and at USC. Offered.
James Montgomery, 5-10, 185, Rancho Cordova (Calif.) Cordova. Probably the best scat back type of runner in SoCal. The latest is that it's down to three – Washington, Arizona and UCLA, and the Bruins – and that he could decide sometime this summer. Offered.
Tracy Slocum, 5-10, 185, Clovis (Calif.) Clovis East. A guy UCLA likes quite a bit, who has had a big career, who has a couple of other Pac-10 offers.
Lonyae Miller, 5-11, 190, Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser. Has looked great in the spring camps, now he needs to show it on the field this fall and in the classroom. If all goes well, a UCLA offer might come quickly, and he has indicated that the Bruins are his favorite.
R.J. Stanford, 6-0, 175, Chino (Calif.) High. A talented athlete that participated in UCLA Skills Camp, he could also end up a cornerback, with a frame a little slight for a running back. UCLA will be watching him this fall closely.
Rodney Glass, 5-11, 174, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame. One of the two fastest players in the west, Glass could also be recruited as a defensive back. IF UCLA – or USC – offered, it'd be pretty compelling for him.
Moncel Allen, 5-8, 200, New Orleans (LA.) Holy Cross. One of the more talented running backs in the south, but there are questions on his academics.
Cameron Smith, 6-0, 180, Norcross (GA.) Meadowcreek. Intriguing, with good size and strength, and originally from SoCal. He's supposed to be coming to the UCLA camp where the coaches can get a better look at him.
The fullback position is in definite need of an impact prospect, with just two sophomores currently on the UCLA roster, one of them with a history of injury, and possibly one recruit coming in this fall (Kahlil Bell) who really is an unproven commodity. Luckily, as it's been with many of UCLA position needs for the 2006 class, the fullback class is stocked this recruiting season.
Chane Moline, 6-2, 235, Mission Viejo (Calif.) High. One of the elite fullbacks in the country. He recently told us UCLA was high slight leader, with his two older brothers enrolling at UCLA this fall. Offered.
Toby Gerhart, 6-0, 220, Norco (Calif.) High. Probably the best student-athlete among football players in the country, with a 4.6 GPA. He's probably a Stanford lean, but UCLA loves him. Offered.
R.J. Garrett, 6-0, 230, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. A tough, sturdy and quick fullback prospect from what could quickly become UCLA's pipeline high school. Offered.
Brooks Reed, 6-3, 222, Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino. A kid who really impressed coaches this spring, he has Pac-10 offers and UCLA could be offering soon.
Andre Harris, 6-0, 220, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. A true stud, who could play fullback, tailback and linebacker, with great size and quickness. His academics will have to improve, though.
Justin Robertson, 5-11, 220, Lakewood (Calif.) High. An interesting player to watch this fall. If Robertson looks good, UCLA could move on him.
WIDE RECEIVERS (2-3):
It's probably been the area in recruiting that has been most disappointing since Karl Dorrell took over the program over two years ago. UCLA truly has yet to sign a big, impact receiver prospect in those three subsequent recruiting classes, and you'd think that given Dorrell pedigree – and then getting a commitment from Ben Olson – receiver might have been where the position it did get elite talent.
It seems, early on, that that trend could end with the 2006 class, with UCLA leading for a couple of elite prospects in the west.
Dominique Johnson, 6-3, 200, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Valley View. COMMITTED. Johnson hasn't looked particulary fast in spring camps, but has shown great pass-catching skills and looks like he has the tools to be the big, posession-type receiver.
Terrence Austin, 5-11, 160, Long Beach Poly. One of the elite prospects in the west, Austin has freakish quickness, with the ability to lose his defender seldom seen. He's the kind of greatly talented, big-impact kind of guy that UCLA has missed on in the last couple of years. He has indicated he could verbal to UCLA, but wants to take official visits first. Offered.
Damian Williams, 6-0, 170, Springdale (Ark.) High. An elite prospect from the South that UCLA offered early and has been trying to make in-roads with since. Offered.
Leilyon Myers, 6-1, 190, Lynwood (Calif.) High. A great all-around athlete who could play running back or defensive back also. UCLA has verbally indicated to Myers that they could offer him if everything goes well in fall in terms of football and school. He's one that could also blow up in his senior season and UCLA will be fighting off elite programs for him.
Travon Patterson, 5-10, 165, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. It's almost bizarre that Long Beach Poly has two of the quickest athletes in the nation – in the same year at the same position. While Austin is lightning quick, Patterson is just about right there with him, and could actually be faster in a sprint. UCLA could offer soon if academics look good, and the Bruins would probably be Patterson's favorite as a result.
David Ausberry, 6-4, 215, Lemoore (Calif.) High. Most colleges and scouts believe Ausberry to be the quintessential big receiver, and his athleticism is obvious. He did look stiff and raw at the Nike Camp at Palo Alto, though. UCLA is trying to get involved, but it's a tough task, fighting off big-named programs, and could offer soon.
Ricky Dixon, 6-1, 203, Reserve (LA.) East Saint John. Dixon is considered one of the best receivers in the country, and UCLA has told him if his academics are in order they'd want him. He has expressed interest in UCLA, listing them among some elite national programs.
Richard Sherman, 6-2, 165, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. A talented but raw athlete who could end up a defensive back, Sherman looked good this spring at various camps. He's getting recruited by the Pac-10 – even Stanford because of his good academics. UCLA has indicated to him that an offer is a definitely possibility.
Ricky Thenarse, 6-0, 175, Los Angeles (Calif.) Jordan. A nice but unpolished athlete who also is a running back, Thenarse has been on UCLA's list for a while, and he has said UCLA is his school. If everything looks good this fall, and UCLA offers, he could be a candidate for a commitment.
TIGHT END (1):
The future of the tight end position at UCLA is probably one of the biggest mysteries of the program. After next season, on the roster will be one career back-up senior in J.J. Hair, and then a few freshmen who have yet to prove they'll end up at the position. It makes tight end a big priority for 2006. UCLA took a commitment from Dylan Rush, from Hawaii, but the latest word is that they're thinking of him as a defensive end primarily. Where that leaves the position in terms of recruiting is – UCLA is looking for a commitment from one clearly elite tight end, or someone who really emerges this fall as one.
Konrad Reuland, 6-6, 240, Mission Viejo (Calif.) High. Considered the #1 tight end prospect in the west and among the best in the country, Reuland is a big, nice athlete. USC has been thought to be his leader, but the Bruins are hanging in with him. Offered.
Trevor Mooney, 6-6, 235, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Trabuco Hills. A very good-looking athlete that is fairly unknown, but likes UCLA. If he has a big fall, the Bruins could get very interested.
John Reese, 6-4, 220, Upland (Calif.) High. Thought to be one of the best tight ends in the west, who moves and catches the ball really well, just a question about his size.
Monte Taylor, 6-4, 220, Los Angeles (Calif.) Washington Prep. Taylor is ne of the best athletes for his size, but unknown and having played little because of injury. If he blows up this fall, UCLA will be all over him.
Jordan McMichael, 6-5, 230, Minneapolis (Minn.) Breck. A nice prospect that has gotten some offers, if McMichael visits UCLA this summer and also camps, it would greatly enhance the chances of UCLA offering and McMichael getting serious about the Bruins.
OFFENSIVE LINE (5-6):
It's been one of the most interesting recruiting situations recently at UCLA – watching seven total linemen (both offensive and defensive) commit to UCLA this spring. What has been particularly interesting is that all of the commitments are considered to be good prospects, but not eye-popping elite ones. The issue: Is it just a case that UCLA took commitments early from good-but-not-elite linemen, or are the UCLA coaches truly out-scouting the coaching world? We probably can't make any conclusions until a couple of years down the line. It's clear that there is some element going on here that UCLA sees talent it can work with, particularly with four of the linemen that probably need to lose a collective 100 pounds overall. But at the very least, UCLA has commitments from some of the best line prospects in the west for 2006. Linemen were a particular need and UCLA went out and stocked up this spring.
UCLA, alas, is stocked up. They would probably only take another commitment from an offensive lineman if a truly elite one wanted to commit.
Jake Dean, 6-4, 265, Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete. COMMITTED. Has proven this spring that he's among the best OL in the 2006 class in the west and he's very young for his class. Projects as future center.
Sean Sheller, 6-5, 265, Walnut (Calif.) High. COMMITTED. Sometimes prospects hang our around UCLA and tell the staff how much they want to commit, but they don't end up players. In this case, Sheller did, and he proved it at the UCLA Lineman Camp, after which UCLA offered and he committed. Projects as a tackle.
Walter Watts, 6-3, 325, Los Banos (Calif.) High. COMMITTED. Good coordination and balance are his strengths and Watts went out and proved he was among the best OLs in the west at the Palo Alto Nike Camp. Projects as a guard.
Sonny Tevaga, 6-5, 340, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez.COMMITTED. The "little" brother of current starting Bruin OL, Shannon Tevaga, Sonny is a huge kid, who topped out at near 370 this spring. He came to UCLA's Linemen's Camp where he looked overweight, but you could see there was a player with good feet in there. He showed UCLA he was dedicated, lost 20 pounds in a couple of months, the Bruins offered him and he committed. Projects as a tackle, but could end up a guard.
Brandon Bennett, 6-4, 340, La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat. COMMITTED. Another huge kid that needs to slim down some, but Bennett, for his size, showed good feet and agility in camps this spring. Projects as probably a tackle, or could play guard.
Steve Schilling, 6-5, 290, Bellevue (Wash.) High. Considered one of the best OL prospects in the country, UCLA is trying to stay in it while elite programs nationally recruit Schilling. Offered.
Sam Young, 6-7, 280, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. While UCLA has loaded up on linemen, they would still take commitments from elite line prospects, like Schilling and Young. The Bruins are still trying with Young, while he's getting wooed from all over the nation. Offered.