FB News: Recruiting, Coaching Staff

Here is the latest bits of news concerning recruiting, with some concern arising over committed players being qualified academically, and USC still hotly pursuing some of UCLA's committed prospects. There is also more news about the possibility of more coaching staff changes...

Sources are indicating that there are some recruits verbally committed to UCLA that still need to improve academically to get through UCLA admissions.

Sources said that there is specifically one that will have to post significant improvement to qualify.

USC continues to recruit UCLA's committed players, Los Angeles Crenshaw defensive tackle Brian Price and Los Angeles Verbum Dei's Akeem Ayers.

USC Head Coach Pete Carroll and USC assistant (and former UCLA linebacker) Ken Norton had an in-home visit at the Price hoousehold recently that reportedly didn't go well for USC.

Carroll and Norton were also supposed to visit the Ayers' home a week or so ago, but that visit was cancelled.

USC coaches did visit the Verbum Dei campus this week and reportedly offered Ayers a scholarship. They are also showing interest in Verbum Dei receiver/athlete Reggie Dunn.

A source told us that Ayers visited California last weekend, but that UCLA is still firmly Ayers' leader.

It will be interesting to see what develops with Josh Smith, the 6-2, 185-pound receiver from Moorpark (Calif.) High. Smith is verbally committed to Colorado, but was seen on UCLA's campus for an unofficial visit the weekend of the 13th. Smith is the uncle of elite junior running back Darrell Scott. While sources have said that Scott will make his own independent choice about which school he'll attend, there are those close to the situation that believe Smith's presence at any school would greatly enhance that school's chances with Scott. It's uncertain at this moment how serious UCLA is about recruiting Smith, given limited scholarships. There could be a possibility of a grey-shirt offer.

Scott will probably be the #1 running back recruit in the nation for the class of 2008. He attended the UCLA/Arizona basketball game this weekend.

Shane Horton, the 6-1, 200-pound safety/athlete from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, could also be another remaining possibility for the 2007 class. Horton had thought he was visiting UCLA this weekend, showed up to UCLA on Saturday, but learned the visit was re-scheduled. He had been recruited by Jim Svoboda, the offensive coordinator that was recently fired, and UCLA thought his visit had been re-scheduled for this coming weekend, when he was supposed to visit Oregon. So he'll decide whether he'll visit Oregon or UCLA this weekend.

UCLA hasn't offered Horton.

The son of a former UCLA player, Horton is a versatile athlete who has actually been offered as a quarterback by Washington, where he has visited officially.

There is also a bit of a "package" element with Horton. His younger brother, Wes Horton, is a 6-5, 230-pound defensive end that could be one of the elite prospects in Southern California next year.

UCLA's issue is available scholarships. With the commitment of Chris Conte and Glenn Love, UCLA is currently one over its number of available scholarships. As we've said before, it's likely that some scholarships will open up before next fall.

More Coaching Staff Changes?

We're hearing that UCLA is definitely talking seriously with former offensive coordinator Tom Cable to return to the program.

Much will depend on whether Cable could get an NFL job, and the most recent sources are indicating that his NFL possibilities are dwindling, creating more of a possibility of him returning to UCLA.

If Cable did return, there could be some re-shuffling of position coaches.

We've heard, too, that even if Cable didn't return, there are still some possible changes to the staff that could occur, with Head Coach Karl Dorrell possibly letting go more coaches.

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