UCLA saw its recruiting class fill up early and rapidly and it's coming in to the home stretch here, wanting to finish it off strong.
As of right now, UCLA has 20 scholarships to give, and has verbal commitments from 20 prospects. One of those, long snapper Christian Yount, will greyshirt, so technically, they have 19 commitments that would go toward the 2006 count, leaving them, theoretically, with just one remaining.
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 23 to 25 scholarships to give to the 2006 class.
So, realistically, UCLA has about 4-6 scholarships remaining to give.
As UCLA fills up its recruiting class for 2006, there are some prospects that are obviously UCLA's prime targets.
With 4 to 6 scholarships, roughly, left to give, it's safe to assume UCLA would want to fill those rides with a tailback, one receiver, two linebackers, and one cornerback.
It could also opt to take an elite tight end, one more elite offensive lineman, one more defensive lineman, and one more defensive back.
It is conceivable that, if UCLA has the chance to get elite players, it could end up with more than just five or six additional recruits that want to come.
While many fans worry about it, UCLA -- and any program -- only looks at that "problem" as a luxury to have.
This weekend is a big one in terms of recruiting for UCLA, with many recruits coming in. It could sort out the recruiting picture considerably.
In this review, we're not going to do what we've traditionally done, and go by position. We're going to focus on the positions UCLA has remaining that it wants to fill, and the top targets at those positions.
At this point, tailback is probably the most critical aspect of UCLA's recruiting, besides linebacker. If you project the UCLA roster out the next couple of years, it looks fairly good, but it's missing that big, impact running back.
Stafon Johnson, 6-0, 200,
C.J. Gable, 6-0, 190, Sylmar
Toby Gerhart, 6-1, 220,
Montgomery, 5-10, 195,
Slocum, 5-10, 185,
Mossis Madu, 6-0, 190, Norman
Rodney Glass, 5-11, 174,
R.J. Stanford, 6-0, 180,
Miller, 5-11, 190,
UCLA has a commitment from one linebacker prospect already, Tobi Umodu, but it needs two more.
Allen Bradford, 5-11, 225,
Jonathan Cornell, 6-2, 220,
Mark Johnson, 6-3, 227,
Craig Stevens, 6-3, 210,
Travis Goethel, 6-3, 215,
Dwight Roberson, 6-0, 195,
Spencer Paysinger, 6-3, 210, Beverly Hills (Calif.) High. A good athlete that could play receiver, Paysinger has come to many UCLA games over the years. He's still on UCLA's radar.
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 seemed, early on, that that trend could end with the 2006 class, with UCLA leading for a couple of elite prospects in the west.
UCLA already has a commitment from Dominique Johnson, but is looking to fill at least one more receiver slot with an impact guy.
Austin, 5-11, 160,
Tyquan Knox, 6-0, 195,
Lance Kendricks, 6-4, 205,
Miwaukee (Wisc.) King. The #11-ranked receiver in the nation, Kendricks is the
big receiver type, with some strong offers, and officially visited LSU and
Travon Patterson, 5-10, 165,
Chris Wellington, 6-3, 195, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Somewhat of a sleeper, Wellington has Pac-10 offers and UCLA has been in contact with him. He's got good size and speed.
Sherman, 6-2, 180, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez. A good athlete, and
very good student, who was recently admitted to Stanford. The Cardinal lead, and
UCLA has been keeping him on the back burner, but it could be getting too
Darian Hagan Jr., 6-0, 170, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. Hagan, as a junior, was considered one of the best defensive backs in Southern California, and didn't do anything to supplant that opinion this spring. His dad, of course, coaches at Colorado and is a legend in Boulder, but the word is that Colorado doesn't have an edge. He has said that UCLA and Cal were two of his three leaders, along with Colorado, and he took an unofficial trip to UCLA in late June and had a good trip, and has been to a couple of UCLA games this fall. With three of his former teammates currently at UCLA, Hagan said that could play a big factor. When it's all said and done, will he tell his dad no? Offered.
Ashton Henderson, 6-0, 185, Tallahassee (Flor.) Lincoln. A teamate of linebacker Craig Stevens, UCLA really likes Henderson, and he'll visit with Stevens in January. Offered.
Travon Bellamy, 6-0, 180, Greenbelt (Maryland) Roosevelt. Has said he wants to visit UCLA.
Ryan McFoy, 6-1, 190, Chino (Calif.) High. A good athlete, the brother of a USC receiver, McFoy came to UCLA's camp in spring and has high interest in the Bruins. It could be a matter of academics.
Quinton Carter, 6-2, 180, Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne. A long and quick athlete, Carter attended UCLA's spring camp. He could visit UCLA officially.
Anthony West, 6-0, 180, San Diego (Calif.) Point Loma. Very good speed and well-built, West is raw but has the tools to be a nice cornerback. Nebraska is recruiting him, and UCLA has been in contact since he attended the Bruins' spring camp.
Devin Ross, 5-11, 180, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) High. Many consider him the best cornerback prospect in the west, but UCLA probably won't be able to offer due to academics.
Shareece Wright, 6-0, 180, Colton (Calif.) High. Another elite defensive back that UCLA probably won't be able to touch due to academics.
Major Culbert, 6-0, 195, Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne. A very quick-footed athlete who also excels as a running back. He has said UCLA has offered, but we believe it's contingent on improved academics. He has said UCLA is his leader, and if got past UCLA admission, he could commit. We've heard recently that UCLA could be cooling on Culbert, probably not able to offer because of academics.
Andru Stewart, 5-11, 180, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. A good athlete at cornerback that UCLA is still considering.
With limited scholarships to give, and a few young tight ends on the roster, getting a tight end in this class isn't a big priority. Except, of course, if that tight end is Mission Viejo's Konrad Reuland. In fact, at this point, it looks like Reuland is the only tight end UCLA is recruiiting.
Konrad Reuland, 6-6, 240, Mission Viejo (Calif.) High. Ranked the #1 tight end prospect in the west and #2 nationally, Reuland is a big, nice athlete. He was at the Bruins games against Oklahoma and Oregon State, and seemed to be having a great time in the locker room following the game. He also played close attention to how UCLA is featuring Marcedes Lewis in their offensive scheme. The fact that he's close with Mission Viejo running back Chane Moline, who is committed to UCLA, will help the Bruins. If UCLA get the guys they're rumored to be getting, get an elite running back and then top it off with Reuland, it will be the best recruiting class in Westwood since the late '90s. Offered.
Will Yeatman, 6-6, 255, Poway (Calif.) Rancho Bernardo. A good, big athlete that UCLA has shown interest in. Notre Dame and Maryland are at the top of his list.
Micah Kia, 6-5, 305, Mililani (Hawaii) High. The #2 ranked offensive lineman in the west, Kia is one of the best prospects from the Islands in recent memory. He has listed UCLA for sometime and even recently said UCLA was near, or at the top for him. A broken tibia sidelined Kia for much of his season. Kia will visit UCLA Dec. 17th. got Kia, and if UCLA got him, it could make UCLA's OL class one of the best in the country. Like with Reuland, getting Kia would also contribute to making this one of the best recruiting years in recent memory. Offered.
Ekbatani, 6-5, 285, Los Angeles (Calif.) Harbor JC. Originally from
Torrance South High, Ekbantani has developed into a great OL prospect, with
great feet and quickness. He has visited Miami and says they're his leader.
He'll visit UCLA Dec. 17th.
When UCLA recently got an offer from defensive end David Carter, you'd think they'd be done with DL recruiting. But with defensive linemen, if there is a guy you've recognized to be very good, and he wants to come to your school, those types of DLs are so scarce, you just have to take them, regardless of how many scholarships you have. UCLA has commitments from five DLs so far in 2006, but wouldn't mind getting any of the following guys also.
Adrian Taylor, 6-5, 270, Mansfield (Tex.) High. Quick and explosive for his size, Taylor has received offers from all over the country. UCLA is among his top handful of schools that he has said are his favorite, and he said he is strongly considering leaving Texas. Offered.
Chase Nelson, 6-3, 250, Tulsa (Okla.) Union. Nelson is getting recruited heavily, being considered one of the best pass rushers in the midwest. He said UCLA and Tennessee are his leaders, but hometon Oklahoma offered, and are now heavily in the mix. Offered.
Alex Parsons, 6-4, 250, Irvine (Calif.) Woodbridge. He came to UCLA's Lineman's Camp, worked out with the linebackers, was moved to d-end and UCLA offered him a couple of days later. He's quick and smart and could be among the best in the west at defensive end. When USC offered him, the Trojans quickly became his favorite. Recent reports are that UCLA might have backed off. Offered.
Jason Brace, 6-5, 245, Spanaway (Wash.) Spanaway Lake. UCLA offered him in early July after checking him out in the early evalution period. The Bruins were the first Pac-10 team to offer but he is getting interest from all of the Northwest schools. Offered.
Sione Fua, 6-2, 290, Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Fua was one of UCLA's prime targets since the start of recruiting for the 2006 class. Many schools have been wary of his intention to go on a Mormon missions, and UCLA might have backed away recently. Offered.
Lockett, 6-5, 230, Boutte (LA.) Hanville. Big, quick
and athletic, Lockett came out of the spring as one of the best defensive end
prospects in Louisiana. UCLA has indicated he has a scholarship if everything
checks out academically but there are some question marks. Stood out at
the Tulane Scout Combine and moved into the top 10 nationally at his
position. After Hurricane Katrina, Lockett said he wants to leave the
South. If his academics were better, UCLA would have offered by now, and there's
a chance he could make it.
UCLA hasn't offered a scholarship to a quarterback.
But there is a possibility. While they didn't intend to take a quarterback in this class, there could be some factors that lead them to do it.
First, there are some questions about the development of true freshman quarterback Osaar Rasshan. Rasshan has been greatly inconsistent in practice and, as of right now, it's questionable whether he has the tools to develop into a useable Pac-10-level quarterback.
Secondly, if they happen to have more scholarships open than they anticipated by February's signing day, they could take a quarterback. As we've been laying out here, it's not likely, but it could happen.
Then, there is a prospect who is athletic enough that he could plug in at safety if he doesn't make it as a quarterback. He is Garrett Green, the 6-2, 190-pounder from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame. UCLA wants him, because he is such an exceptional athlete, with very good speed, but Green wants to be guaranteed a chance at quarterback. UCLA could take him and and let him take a first whack at QB, but with probably so few scholarships to give, they're in wait-and-see mode right now. Also setting back Green's recruitment has been an injury to his hand, which has made it hard to see him throw the ball in his senior year, even though he's been exceptional running it. UCLA recently had an in-home visit with Green.
If UCLA does, in fact, get the guys it needs -- Bradford, Stevens/Johnson and Terrence Austin, it makes UCLA's 2006 class a very good one. Throw in Darian Hagan, or Konrad Reuland, or Micah Kia, or Mossis Madu or Toby Gerhart, and you have some considerable icing on the cake. Enough icing to UCLA probably guarantee UCLA a top ten class and possibly top five in the nation.