Recruiting Reset: Offense

UCLA has eleven commitments from offensive players, including one from the nation's top-ranked tight end, but they need some help on the offensive line. With a just a few more scholarships to give to offensive recruits, here are some of the most-likely-to-be Bruins...

As UCLA heads into the stretch run before Signing Day, there is much handwringing with some players de-committing, other recruits they had been doing well with choosing other schools, commits visiting elsewhere, and so on.  Several more offers have gone out in the past few weeks, and UCLA is trying to shore up the class by February 4.

As of now, UCLA has 18 scholarships to give. It wouldn't, however, be a surprise if UCLA eventually had 23 or more available by next fall, since players always leave the program for a myriad of reasons, and a few could be candidates to do so.  Already, some have left the program.

To date, UCLA has 21 commitments, eleven being on offense (we're counting Sanders on defense), so UCLA is over their current limit, while waiting for others to make their decision.  It's entirely expected that UCLA will, by February 4th, have more commitments than they have scholarships available.

Fans always ask about the NCAA limit of 25 per recruiting class, but with the ability of recruits to count against the previous year or the next year, the 25-per-year limit isn't too restrictive. In the case of Brehaut, Presley and Taylor, each are enrolling early and count against last year's class, but are still obviously a part of the 85-class limit. 

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.  Brehaut graduated from high school earlier this month and will enroll in March in time to be ready for spring practice, where he figures to be a factor in the quarterback derby.  He took his official visit the weekend of the 9th, and then returned to UCLA last weekend to visit unofficially while UCLA had more of their recruits and commits in. 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 regretfully 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.  Allmond visited UCLA officially last weekend and said he's rock solid to the Bruins. 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

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 played 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.  Still UCLA is making a big effort with a pair of USC commits, and both have visited UCLA this month.

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.  Stanford offered him in the fall and made an effort, but he had no plans of leaving his dream school. 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.  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 also led the state of Hawaii in receiving and was named the state's co-offensive player of the year.  Few players have upped their stock like Toma.  He had a great showing in the Hawaii-Mainland All-Star Game, and made an even bigger impression that he thought, and eventually was selected to the UnderArmour All-America Game in Orlando.  While he didn't get a lot of balls thrown his way during the week of practice or game in Orlando, he one the skills challenge.  Toma visited UCLA last weekend. Offered

Randall Carroll, 5-11, 185, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.  Carroll has had one of the more intriguing recruitments this season.  He committed to USC in September of 2007, but has spent much of the actual recruiting year looking at other schools.  He's already visited Cal, UCLA and Arizona State, the latter two this month.  He's also planning a visit to Oklahoma, a new addition to the mix, and it's still uncertain if he'll visit USC.  UCLA has been on him for some time, and we're hearing that they're doing very well with him.  It will be interesting to see if he ends up taking an official visit to USC. He told Scout.com during the U.S. Army Game practices he was not going to USC, but he did visit there unofficially earlier this month.  This one may not be decided until Signing Day.  Offered

Devon Flournoy, 6-0, 175, Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham.  Flournoy was another early commit to USC, though he's much more solid on his verbal to the Trojans than Carroll.  Flournoy committed to USC back in February, and seemed to be all locked up to go there, but of late, has been open to some other schools.  Cal and UCLA got visits out of him, but Flournoy told us that he's only considering USC and UCLA at this point.  Milton Knox and Donovan Carter are former teammates of Flournoy at Birmingham and have been all over him.  He visited UCLA officially during the big weekend in early January and then visited USC last weekend.  While he said he's still solid to the Trojans, he said he won't make his final decision until Signing Day. 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 had him in for a visit earlier this month, but he's gone underground since the trip.  He was supposed to make his announcement last week, but that has been postponed and he may not decide until closer to Signing Day.  Offered

Other Receivers Of Note:

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 played a lot this year With Logan Paulsen expected to receive a medical redshirt, the need for next year isn't as urgent, but UCLA went out and landed an 11th hour commitment from Presley, who enrolled the next day.  Presley's commitment was huge for UCLA, who needed a jolt in recruiting and got one from the longtime SC commit.

Morrell Presley, 6-4, 228, Carson (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  Presley took a visit to UCLA the first weekend in December, when they hosted USC.  Then he had USC in for an in-home visit and then took an official visit to USC.  So it seemed like the Trojans had sealed their longtime commit.  But just a few days after his visit to USC, Presley switched it to UCLA. For good measure, he signed an "Intent to Enroll" with UCLA, after graduating last month, and he's on campus and enrolled.  Presley is obviously the star of the class, the lone five-star prospect and the best tight end in the nation.  He's also a victory of sorts for Rick Neuheisel, who was able to turn his first USC verbal since he's been in Westwood.  On so many levels, Presley is a huge get for the Bruins.  In relationship to this class, though, he's the lone tight end the Bruins need.  Offered

UCLA also had Andrew Yelich, a 6-7, 210-pound prospect from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, in for an official visit last weekend. His father attended UCLA and the word is that he'll more than likely come to UCLA as a preferred walk-on.

OFFENSIVE LINE:
The place where UCLA probably needs the most help is on the offensive line. And the place where they've suffered two of the most devastating losses in this class is the offensive line, with Stan Hasiak decommitting from UCLA and committing to Cal and then Michael Philipp committing to Oregon State. Another problem is that it's not a great year for linemen in the state. So they've been after some top prospects outside of California. They do have two, much-needed, commits from the prep ranks and they also are looking at the JC ranks for some bodies, getting two commits there. Both JC commits, however, need work academically to allow them to transfer, and one, Williams, is taking visits elsewhere.

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.  Capella visited UCLA in January and said he was rock solid. Offered

Nik Abele, 6-6, 250, Irvine (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  Abele is a versatile lineman, who can play on either side of the ball, but most schools like him as an offensive tackle.  His stock really rose this summer when he shined at the USC Rising Stars Camp, but on defense.  Yet his play on offense this summer has opened up a lot more opportunities for him, including offers from UCLA, Cal, Arizona State and Colorado and a previous offer from Utah.  He visited UCLA in early January and the Bruins landed his commitment, the proximity to home one of the biggest factors. Offered

Ryan Taylor, 6-3, 305, Tyler (Texas) College. COMMITTED.  Taylor visited UCLA in mid-December, and was offered by the Bruin staff prior to his trip.  He took the official visit and committed that weekend.  Taylor has already signed his LOI with UCLA and he's enrolled to be ready to participate in spring practice.  Taylor will play inside, likely center for the Bruins.  He's a three-for-two guy, with a redshirt year available, if needed, but he's likely going to be in the rotation come spring and then fall. 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 played 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.  Williams is keeping all of his options open, though, visiting Colorado last weekend and expected to visit Washington this coming weekend.  He said he wants to be a Bruin, but this could be one to keep an eye on. 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

Xavier Su'a-Filo, 6-5, 265, Provo (Utah) Timpview. Su'a-Filo came out to UCLA in June for an unofficial and then took his fifth, and final official visit to Westwood last weekend.  While UCLA was in the back of the pack, Su'a-Filo did have a good trip to UCLA.  This week, he's been hosting in-homes with the coaches from the five schools he's considering, USC on Sunday, UCLA on Monday, LSU on Tuesday and then BYU and Utah at the end of the week.  We've heard that he's a lean to USC, and we've heard that it's down to the in-state schools, BYU and Utah.  What we haven't heard much is that UCLA is in good shape.  Crazier things have happened, but UCLA might be on the outside looking in on Su'a-Filo. Offered

Stan Hasiak, 6-6, 330, Kapolei (Hawaii). 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. Hasiak then visited Cal in November, and while he had a good time, he remained solid to the Bruins. But earlier this month, Hasiak made the switch to the Golden Bears, strengthening what is turning out to be the best offensive line class in the conference, and crippling the Bruins' class.  We hear UCLA isn't giving up on Hasiak, but he will be hard to switch back to the Bruins. Offered

Michael Philipp, 6-5, 295, San Bernardino (Calif.) Arroyo Valley. Most people thought this was a Stanford-UCLA battle for Philipp, and the Cardinal definitely had the momentum with his official visit to Palo Alto resulting in word that he had been admitted.  So everyone was stunned when he chose Oregon State on Monday.  Philipp had been genuinely open in his recruitment, never naming a leader and always maintaining that his official visits would help him with his decision.  So in that sense, it's not a real surprise he picked Oregon State, considering he gave everyone a fair shot.  While it is highly unlikely he'll end up signing elsewhere, you can bet that schools will still be trying up until Signing Day. Offered

Evan Finkenberg, 6-5, 275, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro. Finkenberg's stock has been on the rise in the last few weeks, with more and more schools wanting his film and a few more schools (Colorado, Arizona State and Washington State), having offered him.  While UCLA hasn't offered and only stayed in minimal contact, they may have to explore him as an option a little more because of the persistent need up front.

Josh Cabral, 6-4, 305, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro. Cabral hasn't gotten as much attention as Finkenberg has, and his lone offers are Navy, Nevada and UC Davis.  But he earned all-county honors and has been called by his coach, the best offensive lineman on the team.  He's also a pretty strong student.  Like Finkenberg, he could also receive some late interest from UCLA.

Other Linemen Of Note:

Ryan Shott, 6-6, 260, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Capistrano Valley. Shott intends to walk on at UCLA at this time, unless he gets a scholarship offer that he accepts.
Matt Shinn, 6-4, 265, Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos


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