FB Recruiting Reset: Offense

With all six of their commitments in the class of 2009 on the defensive side of the ball, UCLA is hoping to land some verbals on offense, and here is a list of some of their top targets on offense...

With the spring evaluation period now in full swing, UCLA's assistant coaches are hitting the road to see prospects from all over the country. As of now, there are roughly 22 scholarships to give, which is under the NCAA limit for a given year, but it's not a surprise if UCLA ends up with 25 scholarships with guys leaving for a myriad of reasons.

To date, UCLA has six commitments, all on defense, but they're still waiting for their first commitment on offense.

In this review, we'll try to lay out exactly which players have been offered scholarships, who could be offered, and what are UCLA's priorities at each position.

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.

QUARTERBACKS:
Quite possibly the biggest point of contention has been who's going to get the offer at quarterback, if at all, from UCLA? The previous staff offered Matt Barkley, but he's committed to USC. They offered Aaron Murray, but he's going to Georgia. And Kevin Newsome committed to Michigan. For a while, it looked like they may stand pat and not offer a quarterback at all, with Kevin Prince slated to greyshirt, but with it looking more and more likely that he will come in the fall, UCLA will pretty much have to bring in a quarterback. The big date appears to be June 7th, the day of UCLA's 1-Day Camp, when the quarterback candidates all have a chance to throw side-by-side. Here is a look at what quarterbacks UCLA is still in the mix for.

Josh Nunes, 6-4, 205, Upland (Calif.). Nunes has 17 offers, and from all over the country, but he'll have a chance to throw in front of offensive coordinator Norm Chow on May 21st, when Chow is scheduled to come by the Upland campus. Nunes is one of the most pursued passers nationally, and he's been very deliberate and mature in his approach to recruiting. He's set May 27th as the day in which he wants to whittle his list down to five schools, so it will be interesting to see if UCLA stands pat and waits until the 1-Day Camp or offers when they see him. Nunes has been a frequent visitor to Westwood this spring.

Richard Brehaut, 6-2, 205, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos. Brehaut is starting to see more options in the last few weeks, with nine schools having offered him. Like Nunes, Brehaut has been to UCLA quite a bit this spring, including their Spring Game. But unlike Nunes, Brehaut is planning to wait until the summer to start narrowing his list of schools down to a smaller pack. He's planning to attend UCLA's camp this spring as well, and Chow is expected to visit Los Osos.

Clark Evans, 6-5, 205, Los Alamitos (Calif.). Evans was at a couple of practices this spring and the Spring Game, and he's definitely interested in UCLA. Its uncertain if he will be camping at UCLA this spring, but UCLA is one of his top five schools. Evans is more of a spread quarterback, he's similar to Tim Tebow, and may not be best suited for Chow's offense, but the talent is certainly there.

Austyn Carta-Samuels, 6-1, 205, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep. Carta-Samuels has also been to UCLA a couple of times this spring, for Junior Day and for an unofficial visit and he also camped at UCLA last summer. Carta-Samuels will be back in June to throw at the UCLA 1-Day Camp, and he's said that a UCLA offer would be very difficult for him to turn down.

Jamie Jensen, 6-3, 205, Gilroy (Calif.). Jensen was second in the state, and led Northern California in passing as a junior, and he was scheduled to visit UCLA for the spring game, but had another obligation. He's planning to attend the 1-Day Camp next month as well, for his chance to throw. He threw over 4,000 yards and 44 touchdowns in 2007.

Other Quarterbacks Of Note:

Sean Schroeder, 6-3, 185, Dana Hills (Calif.)
Cameron Deen, 6-3, 185, Covina (Calif.) South Hills
Dasmen Stewart, 6-5, 205, Oxnard (Calif.)

RUNNING BACKS:
UCLA landed an outstanding group of running backs last fall, headlined by Aundre Dean and Milton Knox. They also have Johnathan Franklin too, so running back isn't as big of a need as it has been in the past. That said, with UCLA's "luck" in running backs getting hurt, you can bet they'll try to bring someone in at this position, and despite Cierre Wood's commitment to Notre Dame, UCLA probably wont go quietly in recruiting him. It's not a very good year, though, for running backs in the West, especially with what could be a scary good running back class in 2010.

Tyler Gaffney, 6-1, 215, San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral Catholic. Gaffney was offered by the previous staff, and he's a powerful back with good speed. He's also a talented baseball player, and he's been compared to Toby Gerhart, who UCLA recruited a few years back. There is still some uncertainty, though, if the offer to Gaffney still stands, so UCLA will probably watch him more this spring. Offered

Daniel Jenkins, 5-10, 180, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde. Jenkins attended UCLA's Junior Day last month and he is very interested in the Bruins, and an offer could make them the favorite. More and more schools are finding out about him, but he's planning to camp in Westwood in June.

Chris Brown, 6-0, 185, Newbury Park (Calif.). Brown has interest in UCLA and has a connection to Rick Neuheisel, with his older brother playing for Neuheisel at Washington. He beat out Wood and Darrell Scott for Ventura County Player of the Year last fall, but Brown's best position could very well be in the secondary.

Akil Sharp, 5-9, 190, Las Vegas (Nev.) Sierra Vista. Sharp is built like Milton Knox and runs like him, though he's a little faster, but not as thick as Knox is. He's an excellent student, carrying a 4.5 GPA and the Bruins are one of his top three schools. He's planning on camping at UCLA this summer.

Other Running Backs Of Note:

Melvin Richardson, 5-10, 195, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Curtis McGregor, 5-10, 190, Houston (Tex.) Eisenhower
Ryan Zirbel, 5-10, 190, Saugus (Calif.)
Kalvin Guyton, 5-11, 215, Houston (Tex.) Lamar
Marcus Darden, 5-9, 185, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Ross Bacon, 5-11, 175, Stevenson Ranch (Calif.) West Ranch

RECEIVERS:
UCLA signed a very good receiver group in the 2008 class, with Nelson Rosario, Jerry Johnson and Antwon Moutra, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see all three play as freshman. The Bruins have only offered a handful of receivers, and two of them, Carroll and Flournoy, are commits to USC. But they're doing well with two of them, and there is a feeling like all is not entirely lost with Carroll. With Flournoy, though, the talk of him rethinking things have pretty much died down.

Shaquelle Evans, 6-2, 192, Inglewood (Calif.). Without question, Evans' is UCLA's top target on the offensive side of the ball and the Bruins would love to get a commitment from him. They'll have a battle on their hands, though, as Evans also sports offers from USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, LSU and Notre Dame. Evans said UCLA was the slight leader after Junior Day, and the fact that he's remained uncommitted while UCLA got things in place is encouraging for them. You can bet he'll be getting the full-court press from Reggie Moore and company. Offered

Randall Carroll, 6-0, 190, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral. Carroll committed to USC last fall and he's not backed off his commitment, but UCLA has made the effort with him and they're hoping to sway him and reunite him with his cousin, Johnathan Franklin. Carroll has so far, stuck with USC, despite their being rumors, almost on a weekly basis, that he's open. This recruitment will certainly be one to watch.Offered James Jackson, 5-11, 175, Grand Ledge (Mich.). The good news is that Jackson showed he was serious in UCLA by coming out to the spring game last month. By all accounts, Jackson really enjoyed his visit to Southern California, and was impressed overall. Whether UCLA can get him out of the claws of Big Ten country, though, is another story. Still, they have to like their chances of being involved throughout. Offered

Jemari Roberts, 6-2, 205, Long Beach (Calif.) Wilson. Roberts is everything UCLA usually likes in a recruit, an excellent player and an even better student. UCLA, though, hasn't offered Roberts yet, and while he may take a visit to their camp, Stanford appears to be the team to beat, with Oregon also in the mix.

Kevin Cummings, 6-2, 180, Encino (Calif.) Crespi. Cummings is no stranger to the UCLA program, having watched his cousin, and teammate, E.J. Woods, get recruited and sign with the Bruins in last year's class. Cummings camped at UCLA last summer, and he and quarterback Kevin Prince have great chemistry. So Cummings is planning on coming back this spring and summer too, in hopes of landing that offer. He's added a lot more weight since last summer, and has looked excellent this spring.

Jeff Crissman, 6-1, 185, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison. Like Cummings, Crissman also has ties to the UCLA program, with his brother Nick signing to play quarterback for the Bruins. And the chemistry between him and his big brother is probably better than Cummings and Prince. Crissman came into his own last fall as the Chargers' top target and he was frequently at practice this spring. He's said he'd love to reunite with his brother.

Other Receivers Of Note:

Brett Thompson, 6-3, 190, El Dorado Hills (Calif.) Oak Ridge
Ricky Marvray, 6-0, 185, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Spencer Hagan, 6-4, 185, Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian
Ronald McCrory, 5-11, 170, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade

TIGHT ENDS:
The Bruins are bringing in one tight end in the class of 2008 in Cory Harkey. And it's well-known that Chow likes to involve the tight ends in the passing game. The problem UCLA has is the top three tight ends in the state, have all committed to other Pac-10 schools, but UCLA is still going to try with them.

Morrell Presley, 6-4, 215, Carson (Calif.). UCLA has put the press on Presley, despite him being a commit to USC, and while their efforts haven't been rewarded, they're not giving up, having him at Junior Day and focusing squarely on him. He's also very good friends with commit Byron Moore, so they're hoping to work that angle as well. Offered

Levine Toiloli, 6-7, 220, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix. Toilolo committed to Stanford in March and he's a big, athletic target at the position. He's very similar to Joseph Fauria, who they offered last year from Crespi, but Toilolo is a better receiver. It will be hard for him to go anywhere but Stanford, but UCLA had him at their spring game, and are definitely intrigued by him.

Zach Ertz, 6-6, 230, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista. Ertz is also a commit to Stanford, doing so last Fall, but he too came to the Bruins' Spring Game and took an unofficial visit of the campus. Ertz is starting to see more offers come his way, and he's keeping his options open pending admission into Stanford. Ertz is a very good receiver and has a good frame for the spot.

Marlion Barnett, 6-3, 218, Corona (Calif.) Santiago. Barnett was teammates with UCLA freshman Anthony Dye, so he's been hearing about the Bruins a ton the last year. Barnett has good hands, and catches the ball well, and is athletic enough that he could even play on defense in college. He's camping at UCLA next month for their 1-Day Camp.

Christopher Coyle, 6-3, 225, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. Coyle is compared often to UCLA junior Ryan Moya, another tight end who doesn't have the ideal size for a tight end, but is used in an H-Back-type role. Coyle is similar to Barnett in that he's got great hands and runs well, but could also play on defense in college. Coyle's father is a UCLA alum and he was a frequent guest at spring practice.

Other Tight Ends Of Note:

Ryan Hewitt, 6-4, 220, Denver (Colo.) Mullen
Billy Sanders, 6-4, 235, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep

OFFENSIVE LINE:
The place where UCLA probably needs the most help is on the offensive line. The problem there is that its again, not a great year for linemen in the West, outside of a notable few, and with the exception of Philipp, UCLA's not as much of a favorite with them. They've offered Xavier Sua-Filo and John Martinez, two of Utah's best, but theyre barely being mentioned.

Michael Philipp, 6-5, 295, San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley. The Bruin staff would love to get Philipp, and he'd be the best lineman they've brought in to the program in years. Philipp likes Stanford and UCLA a lot, and his family may be favoring Stanford slightly. He was at UCLA's Spring Game and has struck up a friendship with Todd Golper, who's doing his part to recruit Philipp. He, with Shaq Evans, is the most important Bruin recruit on the offensive side of the ball. Offered

Eric Shrive, 6-7, 300, West Scranton (Penn.). Shrive is listing UCLA in his top seven, but they're the only non-East/Midwest school on his list, so UCLA will have their work cut out for them. His teammate, Hubie Graham, visited UCLA officially last fall, so they're hoping to get Shrive out West at some point. Shrive is the #3 ranked tackle nationally.Offered

Charles Siddoway, 6-7, 310, Eugene (Ore.) Marist. UCLA offered Siddoway last month and would love to get him down for a visit. He may be tough to get out of Oregon, though, growing up rooting for both in-state programs, and now living in the Ducks' backyard.Offered

Everett Benyard, 6-7, 320, San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral. Benyard has a handful of offers from the Pac-10, but UCLA has maintained a presence on his top five, despite not offering. He's a big and physical lineman, but needs to work on his feet and continue to improve his movement.

Gavin Pascarella, 6-5, 260, Corona (Calif.) Centennial. Pascarella was at a number of UCLA's spring practices and also attended the Spring game, and UCLA and Stanford are two schools he's seriously interested in. He's an excellent student and he's got a couple of offers. He'll likely be camping at UCLA in the spring.

Jordan Johnson, 6-6, 285, Corona (Calif.) Santiago. Johnson came to numerous spring practices and the spring game as well as Junior Day for UCLA, and he said that the Bruins are his definite leader. He told us that the coaches want him to come to the 1-Day Camp, where they'll decide on an offer.

David Born, 6-8, 320, Bakersfield (Calif.) West. Born also attended a couple of UCLA's practices as well as Junior Day, and he's very serious about the Bruins. Whether or not he gets an offer from UCLA, though, may not be answered unless he camps in Westwood.

Other Linemen Of Note:

Stan Hasiak, 6-6, 330, Kapolei (Hawaii)
Caylin Hauptmann, 6-5, 310, Beverly Hills (Calif.)
Matt Shinn, 6-4, 265, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos
Greg Capella, 6-4, 325, Visalia (Calif.) El Diamante
Kevin Danser, 6-4, 295, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep
Ryan Shott, 6-6, 260, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Capistrano Valley
Mark Clampitt, 6-3, 255, Torrance (Calif.) West
Rick Aversano, 6-3, 265, Newhall (Calif.) Hart


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