Though the NCAA limit is for a program to give 25 scholarships per any given year, we're hearing that UCLA could sign up to 27 prospects in this class. To get around it, UCLA would likely greyshirt someone in the class of 2008 – that is, they'd come to UCLA in the spring of 2009 and count against the class of 2009. Or, a recruit could graduate early and come in for the spring of 2008 and count against the class of 2007.
Uona Kaveinga, the verbally committed linebacker from Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger, has said he's planning on graduating early and enrolling in time for the spring, much like Aleksey Lanis did in 2005.
The candidates to greyshirt from this class would more than likely be among the linemen, since it's physically tougher for them to get immediate playing time.
Truly, the only limitation on the amount of scholarships UCLA can give to 2008 recruits is the overall limit for a program of 85. As of right now, given the players who have left the program this spring, UCLA has 60 players who project to being on scholarship for the 2008 season, not including the 21 verbal commitments. That gives UCLA a total of 25, but in any program there are always a number of scholarships that open up in any given year, and it's safe to assume there will at least be a couple that do. If, in fact, UCLA greyshirted a couple of players from the class of 2008, bringing them in for the spring of 2009, UCLA wouldn't have to have those extra scholarships open up until then.
We just did a recruiting re-set last week, and within four days, UCLA added three more verbal commitments. So, here we go again. But this time we're approaching it from a different perspective: If UCLA probably will give out, say, 27 or 28 scholarships to players in the high school class of 2008, that means the Bruins have 6 or 7 more scholarships to give. So, here's a look at the guys we think UCLA is most likely to fill those scholarships with.
But what if UCLA has an incredible season and some huge national recruiting names want to jump on the bandwagon? Or, say, some recruit blows up in his senior season, becomes a huge prospect and wants to come to UCLA? It's our opinion that UCLA will make room for a commitment from either scenario, given the option of greyshirting another prospect. So, don't get too hung up on this being the end-all list of possibilities. It's just what wee foresee as the most likely candidates to fill the remaining spots.
Also, note that this is not a comprehensive list of the prospects that UCLA is currently showing interest. Our other previous recruiting re-sets were intended to be more comprehensive, but this is intended more as a list of the guys who most likely could fill the remaining spots, as it stands now.
WR Nelson Rosario, 6-5, 218, Oceanside (Calif.) El Camino. Rosario was offered by UCLA earlier this spring, and he's been one of their top targets and was a standout at the 1-Day Camp earlier this month. Many close to the recruitment think he's the most likely to be the next to commit, and some of the recruits have hinted the same thing. Rosario said that Oregon and Stanford were the other schools he was looking at, but it's safe to say the Bruins are the frontrunner. With how much we've heard that Rosario has UCLA in front, and his parents want him there, and how much UCLA wants him, it's hard to envision UCLA getting through its remaining scholarships without Rosario's name on one of them. Offered
WR Kevan Walker, 6-0, 175, Arcadia (Calif.). Yes, Walker is committed to Minnesota, but he's camped at UCLA a couple of times, he's been offered by Karl Dorrell and Eric Scott as a receiver (though he's versatile enough to play on defense). And then there is that connection with the Bruins' defensive coordinator. While Walker hasn't given any real indication that he's going to de-commit from Minnesota, the feeling is that as long as his dad stays at UCLA, he'll join him. Offered
Recruiting Note: While UCLA obstensibly has three commitments from receivers so far, it's a bit misleading in terms of UCLA's continuing need at the position. Go to an analysis of UCLA's wide receiver recruiting to understand why at least one more wide receiver for the class of 2008 is critical.
OL Hamani Stevens, 6-2, 290, Hemet (Calif.). Stevens' recruitment has been much scrutinized, having committed then reneged on it a few days later. He said that UCLA is still his top school, but he did go to the USC Rising Senior Camp instead of UCLA's. While he hasn't yet gotten an offer from the Trojans, there is still the possibility that one could materialize, which would most likely tip the recruitment in their favor. USC didn't seem to buy into Stevens being big enough to play the OL, but was considering him as a DT, which wasn't ideal for Stevens. If USC doesn't offer any time soon, Stevens could decide to end it early, as he had planned, and stick with UCLA. And don't count out Oregon yet either. We're still betting Stevens is among the last 6 scholarships. Offered
OL Allen Carroll, 6-3, 290, Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds. Carroll is one of the best offensive linemen in Northern California, and he has double-digit offers. UCLA offered him early, and they like him as a guard, though he plays tackle for Mac. Carroll was in town for UCLA's camp, but he was nursing an injury. Still, he took an unofficial visit while in town, got a tour of the campus, and spent some good quality time with the coaches. It's thought that UCLA is in really good shape with him and we know UCLA wants him badly, so, we'll go with Carroll as another of the guys to fill the remaining spots. Offered
One of the Following Three DTs:
DT Craig Noble, 6-5, 295, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft. Noble has committed to Washington, but he's also been to two different camps at UCLA this spring, and he's made it known that he's a soft verbal to the Huskies. So an offer from the hometown Bruins could make things interesting. With UCLA recruiting the City Section unlike any year in recent memory, Noble could also be attracted to the Bruins in that sense. While he may have some academic work to do, Noble is a guy that UCLA likes. We've heard that if UCLA offered him he could be done, so it's a matter of whether UCLA can offer him with his academics.
DT Willie Mobley, 6-2, 263, Eden Prairie (Minn.). Mobley came to UCLA's camp from the Twin Cities to show that he's worthy of a scholarship. And he did a very good job at the UCLA camp. The hold-up is his academics, but if Mobley can show that he's making progress academically, he could get an offer. We've heard that Mobley indicated to UCLA that he really like it while out here for the camp, and the feeling was that he'd commit to being a Bruin if UCLA could offer. But with plenty of interest from the Big Ten and being a Midwest native, when he goes back home and visits schools like Wisconsin and Ohio State, the tune could change. We think UCLA has a good chance if they offer, but it will be a fight.
DT Armond Armstead, 6-5, 290, Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove. Armstead camped at UCLA specifically to audition for the coaches and show he could play on the defensive line. He was one of the best players that day at UCLA's One-Day Camp and then followed it up with a very strong performance at USC's Rising Seniors Camp. Armstead said he expected USC to offer, and they did Wednesday. In interviews after receiving the offer, Armstead sounds like he's a pretty heavy Trojan lean, and UCLA has yet to offer him, again, because of academics. Before USC offered, we had heard that Armstead indicated to UCLA that if they offered, he'd commit, so it's now gotten pretty interesting.
In trying to analyze which of these defensive tackles will be among UCLA's remaining commitments, first, of course, the most likely would be the one who can get past UCLA's academic standards and get a scholarship offer. Then there is the fact that Armstead has now been offered by USC. We're thinking that Noble and Mobley could be the most likely.
Except at defensive tackle, UCLA is looking pretty stocked on defensive for the 2008 class. . They've gotten a verbal from each linebacker spot, two from safety and two from cornerback. Plus, Antwon Moutra could very well end up in the secondary, moving from receiver. Now, say, if Arthur Brown, the #1 player in the country and the top-rated linebacker nationally, wanted to come (and UCLA did make his first cut), UCLA would gladly take him, regardless of how many scholarships were available).
QB Kevin Prince, 6-2.5, 190, Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Prince's situation steps outside of the scholarship limitation for 2008 since UCLA will probably only offer him a scholarship if he goes on his LDS mission of out high school, making his commitment not part of the 2008 count. Prince doesn't have a UCLA offer, yet, but UCLA has discussed with him the possibility, which would bring Prince into Westwood in the fall of 2010. Prince said that BYU and Washington were his leaders, but he acknowledged that an offer from his lifelong favorite and dream school and father's alma mater, UCLA, would completely change everything for him. Prince could find out soon if an offer will materialize from the Bruins.
P Jeffrey Locke, 6-1, 185, Glendale (Ariz.) Mountain Ridge. Locke was offered by UCLA following his showing at the Sailer Kicking Event in Las Vegas. Sailer, the former Bruin punter/kicker, has Locke rated as the #3 kicker and #3 punter nationally, and says he is the best K/P combo in the nation. UCLA needs a punter for 2008 and this is the only recruit, to our knowledge, they've offered. Offered
OL Patrick Jamison, 6-5, 290, Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton. Jamison has had an excellent spring and UCLA offered him not long into it. Arizona State has also offered him, and while Jamison said that UCLA and Arizona State were his leaders, the Sun Devils have to be considered the favorites because of their proximity to his home. Among the OLs on this list, Jamison is probably the least likely to be a Bruin, but UCLA still has a very good shot with him. Offered
TE Austin Holt, 6-5, 224, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham. Holt, the #2-ranked tight end nationally, is committed to BYU, the home and church school, but after making a number of unofficial visits to UCLA, the Bruins could upset BYU. In his last visit, Holt participated in the UCLA One-Day Camp, and told us that he was very excited about how it went and his relationship with new tight ends coach Angus McClure. He's still committed to the Cougars, but the Bruins will keep trying. The recent commitment of tight end Cory Harkey you would think could discourage Holt, but we've learned that it wouldn't dissuade Holt from UCLA, but could perhaps enhance the Bruins's chances since Holt got along well with Harkey at the One-Day Camp. Holt has said recently that he'll decide fairly soon, possibly in the next month, and we think UCLA has a good shot at overtaking the Cougars. Offered
CB Clint Floyd, 6-0, 180, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw. Floyd doesn't have a UCLA offer, the Bruins already are pretty stocked with DBs in the 2008 class, and Floyd is considered mostly a wide receiver, so there aren't a lot of indications that Floyd could fill one of those last spots. But we're going to go out on a limb and put him on this list, for a few reasons: He's very fast and he looked very good working out at defensive back at UCLA's One-Day Camp. UCLA Defensive Coordinator DeWayne Walker knows he can't have too many guys in his backfield that are 6-0 and can burn. Floyd is also from Crenshaw, and UCLA has such strong ties with the Crenshaw program. Not only will that be compelling, but it will inadvertently get UCLA coaches out to watch Floyd this coming season, since they have to be there anyway to watch UCLA-committed Kemonte Bateman. And new UCLA wide receiver coach Eric Scott is a former Crenshaw coach.
CB D'Anton Lynn, 6-1, 177, Celina (Texas). Lynn is the son of a former NFL player, so the bloodlines are there. Lynn visited UCLA unofficially last week before heading down to USC to their camp, where he was one of the top prospects, and he earned an offer from the Trojans, giving them a big bump in his recruitment. But the word is that UCLA still has a good chance with him. Offered
TE Ryan Deehan, 6-5, 230, Poway (Calif.). Deehan has gone from being largely overlooked to a fast-rising prospect and UCLA was doing real well with him, but with the commitment of Harkey, it remains to be seen if he's still interested in coming. And with Holt still a possibility, UCLA could focus on him instead of Deehan, and worst case scenario, just bring in Harkey if Holt sticks with BYU. Offered
CB Delano Howell, 5-11, 180, Newhall (Calif.) Hart. Howell comes from a program that UCLA already has a commitment from (Patrick Larimore), and he's an excellent student as well. Stanford is his only offer, but Howell has looked very good this summer, and UCLA could offer him because he could also be a returner with his speed.
Others Who are Next Likely:
TE Hubie Graham, 6-4, 225, Scranton (Penn.) West Scrantion
OL Zebrie Sanders, 6-6, 273, Clayton (Ohio) Northmont
DT Ottis Jones, 6-2, 250, Lawndale (Calif.) Leuzinger
CB Rashad Evans, 5-10, 170, Union City (Calif.) James Logan