With the end of the football recruiting evaluation period, there is still news coming in about some new recruiting targets for UCLA.
Of course, first, is the fact that UCLA's one-day camp will be this Saturday on campus. UCLA is expecting some big local names to attend, such as Kevin Brown, Devin Stearns, Tom Grady and, yes, Freddie Parrish. The plan is that Parrish will be at UCLA's one-day camp, which is a great opportunity for the UCLA coaches to see Parrish on their own campus, with plenty of reps.
Also, the word is that Kyle Caldwell, the elite defensive end from Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro, will be making the trek for the camp. UCLA is looking like they're in a very good position with Caldwell. You would also think that there is a possibility that Robert Killebrew could make an appearance, since he'll be in California at the time visiting his relatives.
As I get more information on which players are slated to attend the camp, I could release a bigger list later this week.
Every year the one-day camp is probably the most critical recruiting event for UCLA football. The staff has generally had about half of the players they signed in recent years attend the camp. It has inspired them on many occasion to offer a player a scholarship. And if that isn't enough to get you out on Saturday for the camp, sophomore-to-be Aaron Ware, Matt Ware's talented running back of a little brother, will be participating.
The chances with Kevin Brown, DT, 6-2, 280, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly, are steadily improving. Brown is a great kid and an impressive defensive line prospect, and UCLA is showing him quite a bit of attention.
The chances with big-time quarterback prospect Kyle Wright are fading considerably. He's expected to make a commitment by August and it looks like USC is the leader for that commitment. UCLA will probably shift its quarterback focus to others, such as Dennis Dixon. It's promising that Oregon got a commitment from Johnny DuRocher since Oregon was thought to be one of the main competitors for Dixon. If UCLA has a good season, you can bet that they'll be in there seriously for Dixon. Also, don't forget about Tommy Grady; in the hype of other players, sometimes Grady tends to be forgotten, and undeservedly. Grady throws one of the best balls on the west coast and even the country. A new name has emerged possibly to add to the quarterback list – and that's Craig Dean, the 6-3, 220-pounder from Virginia Beach Ocean Lakes. Dean is originally from San Diego and recently said that UCLA was his favorite school.
UCLA offered wide receiver Mark Bradford last week, after an impressive performance at the Palo Alto Nike Camp. It's likely that UCLA will go after Bradford hard. It's also believed that UCLA offered Stearns, the wide receiver from Gardena Serra. Offering more wide receivers is a good thing, for many reasons. Not only does it give UCLA more elite targets, it could help precipitate an earlier commitment from another wide receiver, such as Quintin Daniels or Noah Smith. With a commitment already from Alex Ghebreselassie, UCLA is still looking for probably two more wide receivers, and could even take more WR/DB/ATH types.
At running back, it's a lean crop of prospects this year. Derrick Williams, who turned in a strong performance at the Palo Alto Nike Camp in front of the UCLA coaches, could have improved his stock considerably as a potential running back target – not just as a defensive back. UCLA is still recruiting Lynell Hamilton, who has the size and strength to be a decent running back. There was plenty of hype recently about Cornell Johnson, the running back from Nevada, but on tape he's not greatly impressive.
UCLA is again targeting Texas this recruiting season. The Bruins have been successful recruiting Texas in the past, with a good reputation in the state. And in a year when the talent is somewhat down around the country and on the west coast, Texas is once again talent-rich. Along with all the Texas recruits that we've reported UCLA is pursuing, there are some recent additions to the list. UCLA recently offered Alonzo Dotson, the 6-4, 220-pound defensive end prospect from Alief Hastings. Dotson, reportedly, is high on the Bruins and UCLA has a very good chance to be one of his five official visits. Eric Foreman is a 6-3 athlete from Corrigan (Tex.) Corrigan-Camden. He plays quarterback and defensive back in high school, and probably projects as a safety in college. UCLA is said to be pursuing him pretty aggressively.
There are other out-of-staters that UCLA has picked it up with recently. UCLA is high on Lawrence "Mo" Dampeer, DT, 6-4, 280, Decatur (Ill.) Macarthur, and reports are he likes the Bruins quite bit himself. Will Paul, TE/DE, 6-5, 260, Ballwin (Missouri) Parkway West, has moved up UCLA's recruiting list, with UCLA offering him recently. Victor Abiamiri, 6-5, 250, Baltimore (Mary.) Gilman School, is another defensive line prospect that UCLA is recruiting pretty strongly.