Like in years past, UCLA had done fewer official visit weekends than other schools, maximizing its recruiting weekends by arranging for more visitors on less weekends.
This year, with so few scholarships to give (nine are officially available, and UCLA has already received verbal commitments from 8 high school seniors, but more scholarships are expected to open by next fall), UCLA only had three visit weekends with a total of 17 recruits visiting.
This will be UCLA's third weekend of official visits and four prospects will be taking their official trips to UCLA.
The headliner is U.S. Army All-American and local prospect Donovan Warren (6-0, 175) from Long Beach Poly. The four-star cornerback had initially not planned to take an official trip to UCLA, but after being at the UCLA-USC game in December, the Bruins moved onto his official visit list and he dropped Ohio State. Warren has already previously visited Cal, Arizona, Michigan and USC. While UCLA gets the final visit, they are still a longshot to get a commitment from him. We heard last week in San Antonio that Warren was down to USC and Michigan, with the Trojans the heavy favorite. Still, UCLA will take a shot at convincing him to be a Bruin this weekend. UCLA defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker has taken Warren's recruitment upon himself, and it's mainly the reason UCLA is still in the running.
The other big-namer coming in is Nashville (Tenn.) Pearl-Cohn receiver Rashad Mason (6-5, 220). Not many have upped their stock nationally like Mason, who bounced back from an auto accident that caused him to miss his junior year.
Mason has had to cram all of his official visits into January and the first part of February, and last weekend he took his first official trip, to North Carolina. After Mason visits UCLA this weekend, he goes to Michigan, LSU and Ole Miss, respectively.
We also heard in San Antonio from those close to his recruitment that UCLA has a good shot at him but that Ole Miss could be the team to beat.
Lastly, the Clear brothers, receiver Brandon Clear (6-5, 210) and defensive end Byron Clear (6-6, 220) from Hoover (Ala.) will each take their first official trips. The Clears are taking four of the same official visits, with Brandon likely going to NC State for his fifth and Byron going to Clemson immediately after their UCLA visit. The twins will also visit Syracuse, Northwestern and Illinois in January.
UCLA is plainly making a run at bigger receivers, with their pursuit of both Mason and Brandon Clear.
There could still be a surprise visitor or two this weekend, but the recruits we've named here are the players we know for certain will be visiting.
UCLA is, of course, still aggressively pursuing the players that already took their visits that have yet to decide. UCLA has a realistic shot at Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton safety Glenn Love (6-4, 200). Love is still in the process of taking visits to other schools, last weekend visiting Nevada, which was his fourth trip, having also visited Arizona, UTEP and UCLA. This weekend, Love will take his final visit, going to California. We heard last week from a few people close to the recruitment that it's an Arizona-UCLA battle but that a good trip to Berkeley could make it a three-team race.
UCLA is also still pursuing Los Angeles Loyola defensive back Chris Conte (6-3, 180), who visited UCLA December 16th. Conte had verbally committed to Cal last summer, but had kept in contact with UCLA, attending some Bruin practices. When he took his official visit to UCLA, many who spoke to him on the visit said he indicated he was coming to UCLA. The word since was that Conte has been struggling with his decision, specifically how to tell Cal that he has switched allegiance. Conte has gone into media seclusion since, with no recruiting reporters able to contact him.