FB Recruiting: Defense

Today is the first real day that Karl Dorrell will start working as UCLA's new head coach. As he's a little distracted putting together a coaching staff, here's the recruiting list he'll be looking over as he tries to salvage UCLA's recruiting...

For UCLA football recruiting, January is going to be interesting, to say the least.

Karl Dorrell will start as UCLA's new head football coach full-time today.  Of course, his first order of business is trying to put together a coaching staff, but order of business 1A is recruiting.  UCLA has, obviously, taken some hits in recruiting with the firing of Bob Toledo and the transition in hiring Dorrell.  It will be a good first test for Dorrell to see how he can salvage UCLA's recruiting class.

As of the latest news, Dorrell still has not been cleared by the NCAA to recruit for UCLA.  More than likely it could be delayed until after UCLA plays in the Las Vegas Bowl.  At this critical time in football recruiting, every day that Dorrell misses in recruiting is digging the Bruins a bigger hole. Dorrell has a reputation, though, for being a very effective and charismatic recruiter. 

UCLA has 20 scholarships to give, which makes for potentially a good-sized class.  Here's a rundown of how the recruiting situation looks for Dorrell as he tries to salvage this year's class. 

If you click on the links attached to the recruit's name, it will take you to the player's profile page of TheInsiders.com database. The player's profile will have a list of schools he's considering and everything written about him in the network to date. 

You can always find this list as a long-standing story on the front page of the site. It's at the bottom of the front page, under "BRO's Showcase."


It's the most critical position of need on the roster.  UCLA needs probably at least four, if not five or six defensive linemen.  It's uncertain at this point if UCLA will have a chance to go the JC route here like it was presumed before. 

Chadd Evans, DT/DE, 6-3, 250, Tulsa (Okla.) Washington. COMMITTED.  Despite the coaching change, Evans has said he's still commited to UCLA.  He's considered a solid get, but not a difference-maker.   A List.

Sedrick Ellis, DT, 6-3, 265, Chino (Calif.) High. The #9 DT in the nation, he has dropped UCLA from his list.  UCLA will try to get re-involved with him.  A List.

Kevin Brown, DT, 6-2, 285, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. The Bruins are hanging in with Brown. He's taking trips to Ohio State and Florida State, as well as UCLA. UCLA has a good chance here.   A List.

Kyle Caldwell, DT/DE, 6-3, 255, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro. The #13-ranked DT in the nation by TheInsiders, Caldwell is a prospect that UCLA could still really have a very good chance of getting. He has tripped to Oregon Nebraska and ASU, and still will visit UCLA in January.   A List.  

Brandon Mebane, DT, 6-1, 260, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. A player who opened eyes his senior season, Mebane is getting recruited heavily by Cal, Oregon and Washington. He could be one of the first prospects that Dorrell targets.    A List.

Bruce Davis, DE, 6-3, 220, League City (Tex.) Clear Creek. The #20-ranked  DE in the country, Davis is a UCLA legacy, both is parents attending UCLA and his father playing for the Bruins. He just verbally committed to Arkansas, getting impatient with waiting about what was happening at UCLA.  UCLA will take a shot. A List.  

Alonzo Dotson, DE, 6-4, 225, Alief (Tex.) Hastings. One of the top defensive end prospects in the country, he's crossed UCLA off his list.  Right now it's  Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Colorado, Oklahoma. UCLA will try to get back involved. A List.

Victor Abiamiri, DE, 6-5, 240, Baltimore (Mary.) Gilman. Another nationally ranked player that has crossed UCLA off his list that the Bruins will try to get re-involved with. It could be tough, though, to get back involved with out of state prospects like Abiamiri.  A List.

Jared Naylor, DT, 6-3, 270, Tulsa (Okla.) Union. Naylor re-scheduled his UCLA visit for January 10th.  UCLA was the clear leader before, and is hanging in now, but he has opened the door a bit to Kansas State, Stanford and others that he could visit officially.  A List.

Blake Smith, DE, 6-3, 245, Tulsa (Okla.) Union. Naylor's high school teammate, it was thought they'd be a package deal to UCLA, but Smith verbally committed to Colorado State recently. You can maybe expect, though, that Smith could very well still visit UCLA with Naylor.  A List.

Noah Sutherland, DE, 6-5, 250, Virginia Beach (Virg.) Kellam. Sutherland visited UCLA the weekend before Toledo was fired.  He has said since that he's still very interested in the Bruins, and UCLA has a pretty good chance here.  A List.

John Williams, DE, 6-5, 220, Houston (Tex.) Lamar. He was emerging as a pretty big target for the Bruins, but he verbally committed to Oklahoma recently.   A List.

William Snead, DE, 6-4, 215, Oakland (Califl.) Skyline. Explosive pass rusher who really emerged his senior year, Snead was just returning from his official visit when he heard the Toledo had been fired on the radio.  UCLA has been his #1 choice, but he's opening up his recruitment. UCLA, still, has a good chance here. A List.  

Others UCLA Could Look At:

Joe Rothenberger, DE, 6-3, 230, Chino (Calif.) Don Lugo
Matt Ngwun, DT, 6-1, 260, Torrance (Calif.) High
Chris Velasquez, 6-2, 265, San Francisco Balboa
Pete Cavender, DE, 6-3, 245, Elko (Nev.) High
Josh Tauanu'u, DT, 6-2, 280, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Hercules Satele, DE, 6-2, 240, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly


UCLA stocked up on linebackers a year ago when it was a position of extreme need, and luckily, given the situation.  UCLA could, though, use one or two big impact guys.

Michael Okwo, 6-0, 205, Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Mira Costa. He looks like he's leaning heavily toward Stanford at thi

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