1-Day Camp: UCLA Recruits Look Good

With about 150 prospects participating in the UCLA One-Day Camp at Spaulding Field on UCLA's campus Saturday, the #1 take-away from the day was how good UCLA's committed players looked, like Rahim Moore and Jerry Johnson. One uncomitted receiver looked very good, as did some tight ends...

About 150 prospects attended UCLA's one-day camp Saturday at Spaulding Field, and there was a good percentage of talented youngsters among them.

The #1 take-away from the camp: UCLA's committed players are good.

There were many times in the drills that you were able to possibly see UCLA's cornerback tandem of the future, as Rahim Moore of Dorsey and Anthony Dye of Corona Santiago commonly lined up next to each other.

Moore is an exceptional talent, at about 6-0 to 6-1, and with great flexibility and quickness. His foot speed in the drills was particularly impressive, along with his abilty to recover in the one-on-ones. There has been some dispute whether he'll be a safety or corner in college, but he has all the makings of a good-sized corner.

Dye, again, as he has in all of the camps and combines this spring, looked very good, with strong cover skills to go along with very good athleticism and speed.

After those two, it was probably UCLA legacy Marcus Turner who had the next-best day. Turner, from Long Beach Cabrillo, was 6-0 and 170 and showed some solid cover skills.

Jonathan Franklin, the other UCLA-committed defensive back from Franklin, worked with the safeties for the day. Franklin looks to be about 5-11 and 190, and had good moments in the one-on-ones, with the UCLA coaches calling him out for a few particularly good reps.

Also on defense were UCLA's two committed defensive ends, Damien Holmes from Colton and Datone Jones from Compton. Holmes exhibited tremendous agility in the drills, with great feet for someone his size (6-3, 252). Jones looked strong in the drills, using good upper body strength and instincts, and measuring out at 6-4 and 240.

Perhaps the most talent at any position was at wide receiver. UCLA-committed Kemonte Bateman from Crenshaw was very impressive, showing his excellent hands once again. But probably most impressive about Bateman is his burst after the catch.

Probably the best surprise was just how good UCLA-committed Jerry Johnson from Venice looked. He committed to UCLA early and many weren't sure about him, but he's a stud. He's big, at 6-2 and 190, and has good explosion off the line and is very strong in his routes, and then finishes with very good hands. It was arguable who was better Saturday – Bateman or Johnson.

UCLA-committed Antwon Moutra from Culver City ooked good physically, at about 6-1.5 and 180, and has his moments. He's more raw than Johnson and Bateman, and wasn't as dominant in the one-on-ones.

Nelson Rosario from Oceanside El Camino was very impressive, and had the UCLA coaches buzzing at lunch about him. He is a legit 6-5, and still a bit gangly. In the drills he looked like he was a bit asleep, but then he came alive in the one-on-ones. He caught every pass thrown to him and played with the defensive backs trying to cover him. He's a tough combination of good route-running, good quickness for his size, good hands, and then a very good abiltiy to use his length to get an advantage on his defender to get to the ball. You can probably expect UCLA to be pulling out all the stops in their effort to land Rosario after his performance Saturday (we have an interview with him on the way).

In addition to so much talent at wide receiver, there were some very talented tight ends. The best on the day perhaps was South Jordan (Utah) Bingham's Austin Holt. Holt is verbally committed to BYU, but is still checking out other programs. if you remember, he took an unofficial visit to UCLA this spring when he was in town for the Los Angeles Scout.com combine, and came away very impressed. On Saturday, he might have edged his very formidable competition at Spaulding, looking just a bit better coming off the line, running his routes and in his techique catching the ball. He did, though, get some stiff competition from Chino Hills' Cory Harkey, who looked to be about 6-5 and 230, with a very good, wide frame. Harkey is a natural athlete, who went through the drills with fluidity and caught the ball well in the one-on-ones. Those two were perhaps the best tight ends on the day, but Ryan Deehan from Poway was also very good, showing good quickness and aggressiveness in getting separation from his defender. UCLA is looking for two tight ends with the 2008 class and if they could get two among Holt, Harkey and Deehan they'd be looking pretty good.

New UCLA tight ends coach Angus McClure look very comfortable, just a few days after being hired, and very much in command while coaching the high school tight ends. Ryan Griffin of Chaminade showed good touch and good mechanics. Junior-to-be Tate Forcier, the younger brother of incoming UCLA freshman Chris Forcier, again showed his arm strength. It was thought that not many quarterbacks showed up for the camp since UCLA already has a commitment from Nick Crissman, but the word now is that UCLA very well could take two quarterbacks in the 2008 class, since it's looking like Osaar Rasshan could move to wide receiver.

The one stand out at running back was Derrick Coleman, the running back from Fullerton (Calif.) Troy. He was 5-11 and 219 and looked like a very good future fullback, with tailback quickness but strength. In the one-on-one passing drills he couldn't be knocked off his routes.

The line positions weren't as talented as the skill positions. After UCLA's two committed DEs, easily the next most impressive among the defensive linemen was Armond Armstead from Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove. Armstead definitely passes the eye-ball test, looking very good physically at about 6-5 and 290. In the drills, he moved very well for a guy that size and you could see that UCLA defensive line coach Todd Howard was paying attention to Armstead in the drills.

Ottis Jones from Lawndale Leuzinger had some quickness, but looked smallish, at about 6-1 and 250 and a smallish frame.

On the OL, Dominic Galas from Modesto Central Catholic was as advertised, small at 6-1 and 260, but quick and nimble. Galas showed great enthusiasm and heart, giving his all in every drill, which looked to impress the coaches. A.J. Wallerstein from Canyon Country Canyon, participated, and showed good feet in the drills. He was about 6-3 and 270, and looked like he could still put on a good 30 pounds of bulk. Jeff Baca from Mission Viejo High, measured at 6-4 and weighed 270, and showed good instincts and aggresiveness. Perhaps a new name to know is Connor Bradford from Palmdale (Calif.) High, who was 6-5 and 260, and showed good feet and agility. A guy who might have a chance is Kevin Murphy from San Clemente, who was 6-7 and 250. Murphy worked out with the tight ends at the Scout.com combine, but found his place with the offensive linemen at UCLA's camp, and looked much more at home. He moves well for a kid his size and has quite a bit of room to put on muscle. Scott Baker from Corona Santiago was noticeable, looking big at about 6-4 and 280. Matt Ross from North Hills Chaminade, kinds of sneaks up on you a bit, showing consistently good athleticism, being a volleyball player at his high school. He was 6-5 and 265.

At linebacker, UCLA-committed Uona Kaveinga from Leuzinger looked undersized -- probably 5-11 and 220 -- but quick and aggressive. One prospect who looked to have a chance was Kiko Alonzo from Los Gatos, who was 6-3 and 237 and showed good flexibility and agility in the drills.

It was generally a good turnout of talent, given that there were many passing leagues that took many of UCLA's prospects away, as well as a camp at USC.

We'll have more about the camp, interviews and video, coming soon.

Sources have told us that OL Jeff Baca from Mission Viejo and FB Derrick Coleman from Fullerton Troy verbally committed to UCLA Sunday.


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