FB Recruiting Re-Set: Defense

UCLA scholarships are scarce for the 2007 high school football class, so UCLA is being particularly selective about which elite prospects get scholarship offers. After hearing many rumors about offers, here's the definitive list, plus a complete rundown on UCLA's defensive prospects...

The football recruiting class of 2007 is poised to be one of the smallest classes in some time for UCLA, with only nine scholarships to give as of the middle of summer. There are always rumors and discussion about potentially more scholarships becoming available, and some always do tend to open up by signing day in February.

However, with the new APR, should too many scholarships open up, it could penalize the program, specifically when it comes to scholarships. So it's likely that they will end up in the 10-12 scholarship range.

To date, UCLA has six commitments, three on offense and three on defense, meaning their class is about two-thirds complete.

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. While you might hear that UCLA offered some player, this is really the true list of players UCLA has offered to date.

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.

Click on any of the links attached to the players' names and you'll go to their profiles, which include archives of every story written about them in the Scout.com network, photo galleries and video highlight reels.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES:

UCLA picked up three defensive tackles in the last recruiting class (Jerzy Siewierski, Darius Savage, and probably Andy Keane), so they almost certainly won't bring in more than two in this class. They already have a commitment from one and he just happens to be the best defensive tackle in the west.

Brian Price, 6-3, 270, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. COMMITTED. Price was the first player in the class of 2007 to commit to UCLA, pledging to the Bruins at their Spring Scrimmage. Price had offers from Arizona, California and USC, but chose the Bruins with teammate Raymond Carter. The Defensive Player of the Year in the Coliseum League, Price had an outstanding junior year, recording 117 tackles, including 22 sacks. He is the top defensive tackle in the west this year. There have been some reports that he is keeping his options open, and that USC is continuing to recruit him, but he has, so far, held strong to his UCLA commitment. Offered

Da'John Harris, 6-4, 250, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. Harris had a lot of interest in UCLA early on, but then other schools began to offer him. UCLA did offer him once his transcripts and SAT checked out and they are still heavily in the mix for his services. As it stands, USC and Miami, though, are his two leaders. Offered

Nick Wood, 6-2.5, 275, Poway (Calif.). Wood has gone from unknown to a fast-rising prospect and is in double-digit offers. He had a good showing at the UCLA camp this summer and was told that they will be watching him this fall. If he continues to get better, it wouldn't be a surprise to see UCLA offer him. Wood ight be the strongest player in California in this class, repping 50 times at the Nike Camp on the bench.

Other Defensive Tackles Of Note:

Mackey Mailo, 6-2, 250, Carson (Calif.)
Fred Koloto, 6-4, 270, Palo Alto (Calif.)
Porter Hill, 6-4, 280, Compton (Calif.).
Tyrone Duncan, 6-3, 295, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake
Simi Fili, 6-4, 315, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood

DEFENSIVE ENDS:

The Bruins picked up four defensive ends in the class of 2007 (Reginald Stokes, Dylan Rush, David Carter and Jeff Miller), so they're likely only bringing in one in the class of 2007. They have offered only one defensive end in this class so far, and a few of their targets likely will move to linebacker in college.

Everson Griffen, 6-4, 260, Avondale (Ariz.) Agua Fria. Griffen, the nation's top ranked defensive end, has double-digit offers, and the Bruins have consistently remained in the mix for him. Griffen said that he almost committed to USC after their camp but decided to wait. He just recently said that USC and UCLA are his leaders, and local Arizona is thought to be a real contender. He also plays running back (794 yards rushing) but will play strictkly defensive end in college. Griffen is a good athlete who also does the shot-put and discus for his track team. Offered

Apaiata Tuihalamaka, 6-3, 220, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. Like Griffen, Tuihalamaka also plays running back, but his future is on defense, where he likely projects to linebacker. He has numerous offers, but none from the two L.A. schools, who he has indicated are his leaders, if they offered. He has reportedly said that if UCLA offered him officially, he'd commit, but right now, he has only a verbal offer from the Bruin staff. That could change, though, by fall.

Kenny Rowe, 6-3, 220, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. Rowe is the top defensive end in the state, and has a good number of offers, including one from USC, where his brother signed in February. UCLA obviously is recruiting him, and he was at UCLA's Junior Day in March. They haven't offered him yet, probably because they feel he's a lock for USC, and are probably waiting to see if they get any other kind of indication from him.

Michael Snead, 6-4, 240, Oakland (Calif.) Skyline. The younger brother of UCLA's starting defensive end William Snead, Michael has two offers, from Colorado and San Diego State, but has said he wants to stay in-state. Cal has the hometown edge, though. Michael has said the opportunity to play with his brother, if even for only one year, is something he will factor in.

Other Defensive Ends Of Note:

Alex Probasco, 6-4, 245, Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Mira Costa
Eron Moses, 6-4, 255, Anaheim (Calif.) Esperanza

LINEBACKERS:

A position where UCLA figures to bring in at least two prospects is linebacker. They've offered three linebackers and receiver a commitment from one, while one of the others, Anaheim (Calif.) Servite's Chris Galippo, is committed to USC. There are several good prospects that like UCLA, who UCLA is scouting and could offer in fall.

Steve Sloan, 6-3, 228, San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty. COMMITTED. Sloan had been waiting for an offer from UCLA all spring. He had said that Cal and UCLA were his two favorites, and that the first to offer between the two was where he was going to commit. But after Cal offered, he held off and waited patiently for the Bruins to offer. UCLA had him down for the One-Day Camp, talked to him on his way home and offered. The next day, Sloan committed to the Bruins. Sloan is one of the top linebackers in the wes, the prototypical middle linebacker, and has as much upside as any backer in this class. Offered

Akeem Ayers, 6-3, 220, Los Angeles (Calif.) Verbum Dei. Ayers is one of the best and most versatile prospects in this class. He has long said that UCLA is his favorite school, but they had yet to offer. That all changed in late June when Ayers took an unofficial visit to Westwood and showed them his most recent transcripts. The Bruins offered him and Ayers has said that they are his heavy leader, though he doesn't want to commit just yet. California and Notre Dame are in the mix, but UCLA is still the team to beat. In his first extended work at linebacker at the B2G Elite Football Program, he took home "Most Versatile Player" honors. Offered

Malcolm Smith, 6-2, 215, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Smith, the younger brother of USC receiver Steve Smith, was offered by the Bruin staff in the late spring. While he hasn't mentioned them much in any updates, they are still trying with him. Smith could also play safety or running back in college, since he moves very well (4.44 forty time). Offered Chris Carter, 6-2, 205, Fontana (Calif.) Kaiser. Carter has ties to UCLA, his brother David being an incoming freshman this fall, and the younger brother likes the Bruins. He attended UCLA's Junior Day and they are his favorite, though USC, Arizona and Fresno State are all showing interest and Washington has offered him. UCLA is in a wait-and-see mode with him, as he is definitely a linebacker in college, but he's played exclusively defensive end.

D.J. Holt, 6-2, 240, Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Holt will play defensive end again this fall for Crespi, but he has stated he expects to move to linebacker in college. He is a very talented player on both sides of the ball, and some schools are recruiting him as an athlete. USC is his leader, but the Trojans have yet to offer him.

Robert Mullins, 6-2, 210, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey. Mullins is a good student who is a good linebacker prospect. There have been some questions about his size, but he has made plays. He was invited to UCLA's Junior Day and the Bruins are watching him closely. Mullins has maintained UCLA in his top five throughout the spring and summer.

Terrell Turner, 6-2, 225, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. Though there were big name linebackers at the B2G Elite Camp, it was Turner who stole the show, consistently looking the best of all the backers. Comes from a Crenshaw program that has been a nice feeder to UCLA, and Turner has said that UCLA is his leader. Will definitely be one to watch this fall.

Other Linebackers Of Note:

Gavin Cooper, 6-2.5, 220, Oakland (Calif.) Skyline
Miles Burris, 6-2.5, 242, Granite Bay (Calif.)
Austin Stafford, 6-3, 210, Hayward (Calif.)
Andre Ferguson, 6-4, 210, Redlands (Calif.) East Valley.

CORNERBACKS:

UCLA only brought in one defensive back in the class of 2006, Alterraun Verner, and he will play cornerback. They also have a commitment from one of the best cover corners in the West. They're still need of corners, though, and have offered four cornerbacks already, and will probably take at least two.

Courtney Viney, 5-8, 170, Fresno (Calif.) Edison. COMMITTED. What Viney lacks in size, he makes up for in instincts and quickness. He was the best cornerback at the U.S. Army All-American Combine in January, and reminds many of former Bruin and Edison great Ricky Manning Jr., in the way he plays. Viney had been going to defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker's camps for several years, and once Walker was hired, it all but sealed the deal for Viney to become a Bruin. Offered

Donovan Warren, 6-0, 185, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. Warren is the other top cornerback in the West in this class, and while he maintains that he is open, USC is still thought to be the front-runner for him. Regardless, Warren will have offers from all over when it is all said and done, and the Bruin staff has already extended one to him. He is one of their top targets in this class. Offered

Cedric Everson, 6-0, 175, Detroit (Mich.) Mumford. Everson has nearly 50 official letters, with UCLA being one of them. The Bruins have maintained one of his top three spots, with Penn State and Georgia Tech, and he is scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Westwood this summer. Also a top-rated track runner, Everson could even see action at receiver in college. Offered

Shane Vereen, 6-0, 175, Valencia (Calif.). If Vereen wanted to, he could play running back at the next level, as several schools like him there. However, he could also be a top defensive back, and that is where the Bruin staff envisions him, having offered him as a cornerback. He has double-digit offers to date, and will probably receive more. USC has offered Vereen as well. Vereen attended a few home games last fall and was at UCLA's Junior Day in March. Offered

Eric Berry, 6-0, 195, Fairburn (Ga.) Creekside. The nation's top-ranked cornerback, Berry has offers from all over, including UCLA, but he hasn't mentioned them much in any reports. Still, they've been in contact. Offered

Ronald Johnson, 6-0, 185, Muskegon (Mich.) High. The nation's second-ranked cornerback, Johnson has listed UCLA in his top seven and the Bruin staff has verbally offered him. The two in-state schools, though, will be hard to beat.

Woodny Turenne, 6-2, 190, College of Sequoias (Calif.). A JC prospect, Turenne is originally from Florida, where receivers coach D.J. McCarthy first saw him, and recruited him to Central Florida. The staff could offer Turenne and he is the only JC player they have targeted.

Other Cornerbacks Of Note:

Michael Williams, 5-10.5, 187, Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure
Steve Stepter, 5-9, 170, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
Larry Parker, 5-11, 165, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine
Andre Christian, 5-11, 180, Oakland (Calif.) Skyline
Lonnie Wishom, 5-11, 180, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle.

SAFETIES:

Without one true safety in the class of 2006, UCLA is targeting one in the class of 2007.. They've offered two safeties in the class, both out-of-state prospects.

Jordan Bernstine, 5-10, 200, Des Moines (Iowa) Lincoln. Bernstine was the MVP of the Scout Combine in Iowa City and saw his stock shoot through the roof. UCLA is one of a handful of schools who offered him, though it appears that the two home-state schools may, Iowa and Iowa State, may have a leg up. Offered

Derek Knight, 6-0, 190, Detroit (Mich.) Renaissance. Knight picked up his official offer from UCLA earlier this spring, and he has double-digit offers, including a handful of Big Ten schools. Arizona State has also offered Knight, and he is hoping to take an unofficial trip to UCLA this summer. UCLA visited his campus this spring. Offered

Lance Mitchell, 6-1, 180, Pasadena (Calif.) Muir. No defensive back has seen their stock rise this spring like Mitchell. He is a flat-out player and could be an elite prospect at either receiver or safety. Definitely looks the part and is only going to get better. Is waiting on an SAT score (he took it in early June). If there is someone who is really going to blow up this fall, Mitchell is the best candidate. UCLA is recruiting him as an athlete.

Todd Doxey, 6-2, 180, San Diego (Calif.) Hoover. Doxey is one of the top safeties in the state, and also plays receiver. He prefers defense, though. Doxey has gotten a handful of offers, but has long held UCLA as his leader, though he is waiting for an offer from the Bruins. He attended UCLA's Junior Day.

Shane Horton, 6-2, 195, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame. Horton is the son of a former UCLA lineman, Myke Horton, who played under Dick Vermeil and has been going to UCLA games his whole life. He was at UCLA's Junior Day in March. He's still waiting for his first offer though.

Cameron Collins, 6-1.5, 195, Santa Monica (Calif.). Collins has UCLA, Stanford and Cal as his top three schools, though none have offered. He has a host of other offers, but he prefers to stay in-state and he is an excellent student so the three in-state schools fit the strong academic profile he is looking for. He also plays receiver for Santa Monica, but says he will play safety in college.

Anthony Wright, 6-0, 190, Compton (Calif.). Wright has several offers, but none from the two local schools, which he is hoping changes this fall. He has played running back for Compton, but feels like safety is where he is best suited.

Other Safeties Of Note:

Logan Ketchum, 6-3, 195, Oak Park (Calif.) High
Aaron Bagsby, 6-1, 178, Pottstown (Penn.) The Hill School

SPECIAL TEAMS:

Because of the dearth of scholarships, and the relative youth of their current special teams players on UCLA's roster, UCLA will likely not use a scholarship here. Aaron Perez will be a redshirt sophomore, freshman Kai Forbath will likely redshirt with the reinstatement of Justin Medlock to the team and Christian Yount comes in January as a longsnapper.


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