Football Recruiting 2006: Offense

The spring and summer evaluation period is over, and it's time to re-set the table on UCLA's football recruiting for the 2006 class, starting with the offensive prospects. UCLA loaded up on the big uglies, but still needs some impact skill players...

With the summer camp and spring evaluation period over, there's a lot to sort out in terms of who UCLA is recruiting.

As of right now, UCLA has 17 scholarships to give, and has verbal commitments from 13 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.

QUARTERBACK (0):

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.

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.

There is the possibility that UCLA could offer Garrett Green, the 6-2, 190-pounder from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, as an athlete. UCLA wants him, because he is such an exceptional athlete, and Green wants a chance at quarterback, so UCLA could take him and and let him take a first whack at QB. But Green could very well end up at safety in college.

TAILBACKS (1):

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.  And reportedly, UCLA likes Gable more as a defensive back than as a running back. 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.  The Bruins are a longshot, at best at this point Offered.

Andre Crenshaw, 6-0, 180, Lancaster (Calif.) Antelope Valley. Crenshaw has been offered as an athlete but is most likely suited to be a running back, though he could also end up as a defensive back.  Took an unofficial to UCLA in June, where he was offered and the Bruins are his favorite. Offered.

Leilyon Myers, 6-1, 190, Lynwood (Calif.) High. A great all-around athlete who could play receiver or defensive back also. He's one that could also blow up in his senior season and UCLA will be fighting off elite programs for him.  Has the Bruins in his top three, along with LSU and USC.  Offered.

Tracy Slocum, 5-10, 185, Clovis (Calif.) Clovis East. A guy UCLA likes quite a bit, who has had a big career and has a couple of other Pac-10 offers.  UCLA is watching him closely but hasn't offered.

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 and he would likely commit if offered.

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.  UCLA reportedly likes him a lot, but his grades are preventing an offer.  If his grades improve, he could see in offer come fall.

William Griffin, 5-10, 200, Patterson (La.) High. Has a handful of SEC offers, but UCLA was in his most recent top three, with Arkansas and Auburn.  Said he is likely SEC bound, but he is semi-serious about UCLA. 

Other Tailbacks Of Note

Cameron Smith, 6-0, 180, Norcross (Ga.) Meadowcreek
Ricky Thenarse, 6-1, 180, Los Angeles (Calif.) Jordan
Joe Trombetta, 6-0, 200, Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande

 

FULLBACK (1):

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 leader, with his two older brothers enrolling at UCLA this fall.  Has offers from most of the Pac-10. 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.  Has committed to Cal, but some close to the situation that if UCLA got Darian Hagan and Tyquan Knox, Garrett could make it a trifecta. Offered.

Brooks Reed, 6-3, 222, Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino. A kid who really impressed coaches this spring, he has Pac-10 offers and UCLA is watching him closely. 

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.

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 has recently gotten involved, but it's a tough task, fighting off big-named programs.  Offered.

Tyquan Knox, 6-1, 195, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. Hasn't gotten the spring publicity that Austin, Ausberry or Patterson has, but Knox has looked very good at each of the camps he was at, outshining Ausberry at the Stanford Nike Camp.  He said that UCLA is his lifelong favorite and if UCLA offered, he commit.  Also is close friends with defensive back target Darian Hagan and teammates at Crenshaw with the three former Cougars who are coming to UCLA in the fall.  Knox could get an offer this fall if his grades are in check. 

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 likely be looking very good with Patterson.

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 possibility.

James Dockery, 6-2, 170, Indio (Calif.) Palm Desert.  UCLA has recently gotten involved with Dockery and the Bruin staff also likes him at defensive back, where they worked him out at during their summer camp.  He said if UCLA offered, it could be enough for him to commit.

Other Receivers Of Note

Michael Clarke, 6-0, 180, San Diego (Calif.) Scripps Ranch
Spencer Paysinger, 6-3, 210, Beverly Hills (Calif.) High
Brandon Jackson, 5-10, 170, Lancaster (Tex.) High
Anthony Jones, 6-0, 170, Tallahassee (Fla.) Rickards
Jamere Holland, 6-1, 180, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft
Chris Wellington, 6-2.5, 195, Woodland Hills (Calif.) High
Aubrey Quarles, 6-0, 185, Aurora (Colo.) Grandview

 

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 they are most likely 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.

Richard Dickson, 6-4, 240, Ocean Springs (Miss.) High.  UCLA offered Dickson earlier this Spring, but Dickson has offers from all over the South, and is a native of that region and will likely be tough to get out of there.  But he has showed some interest in the Bruins initially.  Offered.

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 and his academics.

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 as will other Pac-10 schools. 

Howard Croom, 6-4, 235, Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson. A nice prospect that has one Pac-10 offer, Croom is listing the Bruins in his top five, along with four other Pac-10 schools.  His uncle is the head coach of Mississippi State, Sylvester Croom, but he said he has only minimal interest in them.  Said if UCLA or USC offered, it would likely put them at the top of his list. 

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.

Other Tight Ends Of Note

Jordan McMichael, 6-5, 230, Minneapolis (Minn.) Breck
Jeff Jones, 6-3, 250, Phoenix (Ariz.) Moon Valley
Ras Sanders, 6-2, 205, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly

 

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.

Micah Kia, 6-5, 305, Mililani (Hawaii) High.  The #2 ranked offensive lineman in the West behind Schilling, Kia is one of the best prospects from the Islands in recent memory.  He has listed UCLA as one of his favorites and the Bruins could be offering soon.  Kia plans to take a visit to Westwood this fall and it will be interesting to see where they stand with him following an offer.   

Other Offensive Lineman Of Note

Ryan Griffith, 6-6, 240, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos
Doug Stroud, 6-7, 350, Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian
Braden Hansen, 6-6, 265, Sandy (Utah) Alta


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