Recruiting Reset: Offensive Prospects

UCLA has nine commitments from offensve players. The need for offensive linemen is evident, as the coaches have hit the JC ranks hard. With possibly 3-4 more offers to give to offensive recruits, here are some of the most likely to be Bruins...

As UCLA winds down the 2008 season, they're cranking up the recruiting, with more offers having gone out in the past few weeks, especially to Juco's, as they try to add more depth to some depleted units.

As of now, UCLA has 17 scholarships to give, which is under the NCAA limit of 25 for a given year. It wouldn't, however, be a surprise if UCLA eventually had 20-22 available, since players always leave the program for a myriad of reasons, and a few could be candidates to do so.

To date, UCLA has 16 commitments, nine being on offense, so they're getting close to filling their quota, while waiting for others to make their decision.

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

This isn't going to be a comprehensive list of every recruit UCLA has shown interest, but a list that concentrates on those players UCLA has offered, those that could possibly receive an offer and those that are most likely to become Bruins.

QUARTERBACKS:
UCLA is only bringing in one quarterback this year, and it got a good one in Brehaut.

Richard Brehaut, 6-2, 205, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos. COMMITTED.  Brehaut took UCLA up on their offer immediately, committing over Memorial Day weekend. Since then, he's been one of the more instrumental commits in drumming up support with other recruits. He's also had a great senior season, both throwing and running the ball. Brehaut was selected to the UnderArmour All-America Game, the second year a UCLA quarterback commit has been chosen (Nick Crissman was selected a year ago). He's also set to graduate early so he can participate in spring ball. Offered

RUNNING BACKS:
UCLA landed an outstanding group of running backs last fall, with two playing as true freshman in Derrick Coleman and Aundre Dean and two redshirting in Johnathan Franklin and Milton Knox. It's not a great year for running backs in the West, and with a fully loaded, and very talented class of 2010 looming, UCLA will likely focus their efforts there. They've got a fullback in Allmond and a tailback in Hilliard, though Hilliard said UCLA is talking about moving him to defense.

Jayson Allmond, 6-1, 260, Bloomington (Calif.). COMMITTED. Allmond's commitment came in mid-October after being offered. Allmond is a pretty good athlete for his size, and also plays linebacker. He reminds many, though, of George Hypolite, the former Loyola HS fullback who became an all-Big 12 defensive tackle at Colorado, and who UCLA passed on. Allmond runs a 4.6, impressive for his size, and can do damage with the ball in his hands. He could also be a candidate to move to the defensive side of the ball. Offered

Dalton Hilliard, 5-11, 190, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou. COMMITTED. Hilliard comes from Norm Chow's alma mater, and he camped at UCLA last summer, going into his junior year. He took an official visit to UCLA in mid-October and finally got the offer he was waiting for. He took a visit to Arizona a week later, but took up UCLA on their offer, and committed to the Bruins. Hilliard was offered as an athlete, though, and he could end up playing in the secondary in college. Offered

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. Gaffney told us that his offer still stands, but the Bruins are well behind Notre Dame, USC and Stanford and are on the outside looking in. Offered

Arthur Burns, 5-11, 205, Corona (Calif.) Centennial. Burns has really come into his own this fall, finally getting to be the chief ball-carrier for the Huskies, having to play behind Ryan Bass the past few seasons. He's a short, but compact runner, who has power and is running for over 150 yards a game against one of the toughest schedules in the West. He likes UCLA and his teammate Marvray has already committed, so expect UCLA to keep tabs on him. Stefphon Jefferson, 5-11, 195, Visalia (Calif.) El Diamante. One of the top players in Central California, Jefferson is a newer name, thanks to a big senior season, in which he's running for over 200 yards a game. A teammate of Capella, a UCLA commit, Jefferson has been seen by the Bruin coaches and has been to a game this fall. UCLA is keeping an eye on him. His two offers are from Nevada and Fresno State.

Other Running Backs Of Note:

Melvin Richardson, 5-10, 195, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Akil Sharp, 5-9, 190, Las Vegas (Nev.) Sierra Vista
Marcus Darden, 5-9, 185, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez

RECEIVERS:
UCLA signed a very good receiver group in the 2008 class, with Nelson Rosario, Jerry Johnson and Antwon Moutra and then Taylor Embree greyshirting. All but Johnson are playing as true freshman. The Bruins have only offered a handful of receivers but gotten commitments from two of them, who both come from top-programs. Several of their other offer recipients have committed elsewhere. The class of 2010, however, will be strong at the receiver spot, and UCLA has already gotten a commitment from a 2010 prospect in Los Alamitos (Calif.) receiver Paul Richardson.

Ricky Marvray, 6-0, 185, Corona (Calif.) Centennial. COMMITTED. Marvray made no secret about his desire to play for the Bruins. He's said numerous times, an offer from UCLA would net a commitment within seconds. So when UCLA offered him the week of the season opener, he did just that, though as he said, he let the coaches finish the sentence. Marvray has been a big weapon for the top team in California, and has shown that he's capable of being a kick returner in college, having several big returns. Marvray is also a strong student, which will help with other prospects in this class. Offered

Roby Toma, 5-9, 175, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou. COMMITTED. Toma was a surprising addition to the UCLA staff, but offensive coordinator Norm Chow, a Punahou alum, saw something he liked in Toma and the Bruins' offered him in October, which he accepted a week later. He and Hilliard are teammates and together, they're working on Manti Te'o and in keeping Hasiak on board. Toma is not the biggest, but he's quick and when we saw him in September in the Emerald City Kickoff Classic, he actually had a better game than Hilliard. He's also one of the leading receivers, statistically, in Hawaii. Offered

Markus Wheaton, 6-1, 175, Chandler (Ariz.). Wheaton is one of the top offensive recruits in Arizona, and he has plenty of Pac-10 interest. His cousin is a legend at Oregon, and the Ducks are a big player in his recruitment. UCLA has verbally offered, but how serious they are could depend on Wheaton's academics.  Offered

Other Receivers Of Note:

Travis Van Leeuwen, 6-3, 188, Provo (Utah) Timpview
Jerry Rice, 5-10, 180, Atherton (Calif.) Menlo
James Flynn, 6-0, 180, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Brett Ackerman, 6-4.5, 204, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola
Jeff Crissman, 6-1, 185, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison
Noel Grigsby, 5-10, 190, Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw
Ronald McCrory, 5-11, 170, West Hills (Calif.) Chaminade

TIGHT ENDS:
The Bruins brought in one tight end in the class of 2008 in Cory Harkey. And he's playing a lot this year With Logan Paulsen expected to receive a medical redshirt, the need for next year isn't as urgent, but UCLA will likely bring in another tight end. They have offers out to commits to other Pac-10 schools, and are still trying with them.

Zach Ertz, 6-6, 230, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista. Ertz is a commit to Stanford, doing so last Fall, but he came to the Bruins' Spring Game and took an unofficial visit of the campus. He also came to the first day of UCLA's 3-Day Camp, though he didn't work out. Then he came to UCLA's game with Washington State, where Ryan Moya had six catches and two touchdowns, which certainly didn't go unnoticed by Moya. Ertz is keeping his options open pending admission into Stanford. Ertz is a very good receiver and has a good frame for the spot. With Stanford having commits from five tight ends, Ertz could choose to play elsewhere. But the word is, if Ertz is admitted to Stanford, he's sticking with the Cardinal, where he committed a year ago.Offered

Billy Sanders, 6-4, 235, Coeur d'Alene (Ida.) Lake City. A commit to Miami, Sanders has been staying in frequent contact with the UCLA coaches ever since verballing. He is originally from Arizona, but moved to Idaho for his senior season. Since then, he's been to UCLA games, and practices, and despite his verbal to the Hurricanes, seems to be open to being recruited and pursued by the Bruin staff. He's also expected to officially visit next weekend when UCLA hosts USC. Offered

Marlion Barnett, 6-3, 218, Corona (Calif.) Santiago. Barnett committed to Washington earlier this month, despite the Huskies being without a coach following the dismissal of Tyrone Willingham. Barnett, though, could look closely at UCLA if they offer, especially if a new coach has a different plan for Barnett, position-wise. UCLA could also look at him more as an athlete, where they could play him at linebacker.

Other Tight Ends Of Note:

Gavin Escobar, 6-6, 210, Santa Margarita (Calif.)

OFFENSIVE LINE:
The place where UCLA probably needs the most help is on the offensive line. The problem there is that it's again, not a great year for linemen in the state. So they've been after some top prospects outside of California, and seem to be doing well with several of them. They do have two, much-needed, commits though from the prep ranks and they also are looking at the JC ranks for some bodies, getting two commits there. The problem there is that both have some work academically to allow them to transfer.

Greg Capella, 6-4, 325, Visalia (Calif.) El Diamante. COMMITTED. Capella gave the Bruins a big boost when he committed in late June. Capella is the top-ranked guard in California and had a good showing at UCLA's 1-Day Camp in June. A weight-room fanatic, Capella plays tackle for his team, but projects inside in college. He's been one of the best run-blockers in the state the last two years, and particularly this year, has been impressive for one of the best rushing attacks in the region. Offered

Stan Hasiak, 6-6, 330, Kapolei (Hawaii). COMMITTED. Hasiak came out to Westwood in mid-October, taking in an official visit, and the trip was enough to get him on board, as he committed. It appeared to be a three-horse race, with Cal and USC also in the mix, but Hasiak, who had favored UCLA early on, decided on the Bruins, and the UnderArmour All-American is a huge boost to the Bruins recruiting class. Hasiak visited Cal last weekend, and while he had a good time, he told us he remains solid to the Bruins. He still may take another visit somewhere in the next few weeks, though that's up in the air. Still, UCLA will need to keep the press on until Signing Day. Offered

Eddie Williams, 6-0, 330, Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) College. COMMITTED. From the same program as quarterback Kevin Craft, Williams was another surprising offer, having committed upon being offered. He played defensive tackle through high school and his first year at Mt. SAC and could be a candidate to play on the defensive line in college. This season, he's playing center for Mt. SAC. He's got to do some more work to be able to transfer and he'll have three years to play his two seasons. Offered

Shawn Johnson, 6-5, 295, College of the Canyons (Calif.). COMMITTED. Johnson was the first JC OL that UCLA got a commitment from. He's a part of the always-strong Canyons offense, playing tackle. A local product, he prepped at Thousand Oaks HS, Johnson jumped on the UCLA offer immediately over offers from Florida International and Idaho. He's got some work to do, though, academically, to ensure his transfer. He's got two years to finish his two seasons of eligibility. Offered

Michael Philipp, 6-5, 295, San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley. The Bruin staff would love to get Philipp and he's been at the top of their wish list since the spring. Philipp likes Stanford and UCLA a lot, and initially, the feeling was Stanford was the favorite. But he now seems to be wide open. He was at UCLA's Spring Game and came to the 3-Day Camp, though he didn't participate, and spent time with Hasiak. He's mentioned that Brehaut is recruiting him, himself, and has struck up a friendship with Todd Golper, who's doing his part to recruit Philipp. If UCLA could land him, that would be another big step in rebuilding in the trenches. Philipp has visited Cal and Oregon officially and will visit Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA. His brother is at Arizona and the Wildcats round out his top six but he's not planning on visiting Arizona officially. Offered

John Martinez, 6-3, 270, Salt Lake City (Utah) Cottonwood. The nation's #3-ranked guard gave the Bruins a shot in the arm, and a horse in the race, by saying this Summer that they, along with USC, were his top two schools. For a while, it seemed like the Bruins were way on the outside looking in, but now the two are deadlocked. Martinez took a trip to UCLA in June, before he camped at USC, and Chow and OL coach Bob Palcic are making him a priority. Still, he's been favoring USC for some time, and it appears the Trojans are the heavy frontrunners for him. Martinez is planning to visit USC this weekend they face Notre Dame and he'll also visit UCLA next weekend when the Trojans visit the Rose Bowl. Offered

Xavier Su'a-Filo, 6-5, 265, Provo (Utah) Timpview. Su'a-Filo was also on that trip with Martinez in June, and the Bruin staff made a big impression on him. It seems to be LSU's race to lose, with Miami, BYU and USC also prominently mentioned in the discussion. UCLA, though, isn't going to stop trying and they've already been out to see him play this fall. Of course, he was at the Bruins forgettable loss to BYU as a guest of the Cougars. UCLA is continuing to try but it's an uphill climb. Offered

Charles Siddoway, 6-7, 310, Eugene (Ore.) Marist. UCLA offered Siddoway earlier in the spring and got him down for a visit in September. He was impressed with the trip but 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. Alabama also had him in for a camp visit and they offered and he'll visit there officially, possibly as early as this weekend. Siddoway has also visited Cal and seemed to enjoy that trip.Offered

Chris Hubbard,, 6-4.5, 250, Columbus (Ga.) Carver. UCLA offered Hubbard in the later part of summer, and brought him out for an oficial visit in September. Hubbard loved his trip to California, but being that he's from the Southeast,he could be tough to pull from there, especially as more SEC and ACC powers are getting to know who he is. Still, UCLA will keep trying and he's said he wants to get out of Georgia to play his college ball. Hubbard is an impressive looking prospect physically. Offered

Other Linemen Of Note:

Kevin Danser, 6-4, 295, San Jose (Calif.) Bellarmine Prep
Gavin Pascarella, 6-5, 260, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Evan Finkenberg, 6-5, 275, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro
Ryan Shott, 6-6, 260, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Capistrano Valley
Jamaal Burrell, 6-5, 275, Compton (Calif.) Dominguez
Caylin Hauptmann, 6-5, 310, Beverly Hills (Calif.)
Jordan Johnson, 6-6, 285, Corona (Calif.) Santiago
Matt Shinn, 6-4, 265, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos
David Born, 6-8, 320, Bakersfield (Calif.) West

JC Linemen Of Note:

James Meeks, 6-5, 320, Foothill (Calif.) College
Joe Thompson, 6-6, 315, College of the Canyons (Calif.)
Joe Evinger, 6-6, 330, College of the Canyons (Calif.)
Jose Acuna, 6-6, 300, Mt. San Jacinto (Calif.)
Tobin Cameron, 6-4, 265, Santa Rosa (Calif.)


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