2010 Recruiting Wish List: Defense

Football recruiting is starting to heat up going into the spring evaluation period in May, and UCLA has already offered a good number of prospects and is closely watching others. Here's your early list of guys on defense that it looks like UCLA has already targeted or will be targeting for 2010...

Now that we've given you an early look at some of the top prospects in the West, and other names to watch, here is a look at some of the defensive prospects we expect UCLA to target or watch closely in the next few months during the evaluation period.

Defensive Tackles

UCLA has made Cassius Marsh from Oaks Christian a priority and its top target on the defensive line. While Marsh has Cal as his current leader, and he almost committed to USC at their Junior Day two weekends ago, the Bruins will get a crack at him this weekend when he visits for UCLA's Junior Day.  Marsh is the top defensive tackle in California and UCLA will have to really battle with USC and Cal for him.  

George Uko from Chino Don Lugo is another guy UCLA will be targeting, and while it's a surprise that he doesn't have a UCLA offer, given his academics and his talent, UCLA is continuing to do its due diligence with him.  Uko has a handful of offers and he was one of the standouts at UCLA's 1-Day Camp last spring. You can bet UCLA will continue to watch him closely.

Kirifi Taula from Anaheim Servite has a couple of Pac-10 offers and UCLA will probably take a look at him during the evaluation period along with Tony Washington from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos, who could also play tight end and defensive end.

Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli has five offers already, including a pair from the Pac-10. He has a connection to Norm Chow, and the Bruin staff has been in touch with him.  He's an excellent student as well, making him even more appealing.  Jay Guy from Texas is a commit to Cal but he had a UCLA offer and he may still take some visits. Shariff Floyd from Pennsylvania has a UCLA offer and he's expressed legitimate interest in the Bruins.

Other in-state defensive tackles to watch include Augafa Vaaluu from Downey High in Warren and Brendan Tago from Palmdale Highland.  Out-of-state, Desmond Tautofi from Kaimuki in Honolulu, Sani Fuimaono from Punahou and Tuni Kanuch from Bingham High in South Jordan (Utah) are others they're watching.

Defensive Ends

Several of the top defensive ends in the West have already made commitments, in fact, three of the top four are committed, so the pickings aren't as plentiful.  Chris Martin is headed to Notre Dame, Bronson Kaufusi is committed to BYU and Curtis White is going to Oregon.  Fortunately, UCLA should be decently stocked at defensive end, so there isn't the need there like at tackle.

Ronald Powell is the top defensive end uncommitted, the Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde product boasting offers from all over.  He's thought by many to be a heavy USC lean, getting offered last summer, but UCLA has offered and is trying.

Hroniss Grasu from Encino (Calif.) Crespi is an excellent two-way lineman, he can play either defensive end or offensive guard and he'll be at UCLA tonight for Thursday's Mini-Junior Day.  Grasu has been a two-time all state pick on both sides of the ball for Crespi.  He likes UCLA a lot too, and camped there last summer.

Leonard Rhodes is a running back-defensive end, at 6-3, 230, who's probably best suited to play defense in college. The Walnut (Calif.) athlete has expressed serious interest in UCLA, attending several games during the fall.  

Other in-state defensive ends UCLA will probably watch closely are Redlands East Valley's Andrew Hudson, Carson's McKenzie Falo, Fresno Edison's Willie Flowers, Verbum Dei's Tyvion Jackson, Lancaster Paraclete's Todd Davis and Woodland Hills Taft's Brent Williams.

From out of state, UCLA is in touch with Kona Schwenke from Kahuku (Hawaii), Evan Palelei from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman, Dylan Zylstra from Kent (Wash.) Kentridge and Woodinville (Wash.) Maxx Forde, whose defensive line coach is former Bruin great Manu Tuiasosopo, whose son, Marques, played for Rick Neuheisel at Washington.


The top target for UCLA at linebacker is Hayes Pullard from Crenshaw in Los Angeles, and Pullard is high on the Bruins.  Pullard also has a pair of offers from the two Arizona schools, and Arizona State is making a big impression on him, under coach Eric Yarber, a Crenshaw alum.  Pullard is the top inside linebacker in the state and UCLA would love to get a commitment from him.

Another key target is Zac Stout from Oaks Christian, and Stout attended some UCLA football and basketball games this past year and will be at Junior Day on Saturday.  Stout is as good sideline-to-sideline as any linebacker in SoCal and he could play either inside or outside in college.

Tony Jefferson was an early commit to Stanford, but has backed off that commitment and is receiving offers from all over the nation, and UCLA is showing a great deal of interest in the versatile Jefferson, who could play safety and running back as well.

Victor Burnett from Culver City was one of the more prolific tacklers in California this past season. He's got an offer from Arizona, but he's very interested in the Bruins, being good friends with UCLA freshman Antwon Moutra, who he played with at Culver City.

V.J. Fehoko from Farrington High in Honolulu is very high on UCLA, having a longstanding family relationship with Norm Chow and Fehoko has double-digit offers from all over the country.  Texas native Shaun Lewis has a UCLA offer and he's planning to take an unofficial trip during the summer.  Max Bullough is the nephew of UCLA defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough, and he's committed to his uncle's alma mater, Michigan State, but with Bullough running the Bruin D, UCLA could pique his interest some more.

Other in-state linebackers include Kaiser's Josh Shirley, Huntington Beach Edison's Jordan Zumwalt, Newport Harbor's Cecil Whiteside, Loyola's Bronson Green, Danville Monte Vista's Dave Wilkerson, Alani Fua from Oaks Christian, Brandon Brown from Corona Centennial, Dylan Davis from St. Bonaventure, Josh Lowden from Monrovia and Soma Vainuku from Eureka.

From out-of-state, there's Georgia native Brandon Smith and Jack Goodwin from Clackamas (Ore.).

Defensive Backs

UCLA has offered two defensive backs so far, and they're elite talents, one being Marvin Robinson from Florida, who's got a laundry list of offers, but has mentioned UCLA as a school he's interested in, and then Sean Parker, the top defensive back in the West, who got a UCLA offer, his tenth Pac-10 offer in fact, last week.

The Bruins will have their work cut out for them on Parker, though, who's expressed interest in leaving California. But should he stay, USC, where his teammate and close friend Byron Moore signed, could be the team to beat.

Demetrius Wright from Corona has high interest in UCLA and said he may commit if offered. Wright has good size, 6-2, 200, and could play either cornerback or safety in college, and that versatility makes him more valuable.  

Troy Hill from St. Bonaventure is one of the better cover corners in California, and has been a key in the Seraphs' two-time state championship squad.  Hill has an offer from Arizona and high interest in UCLA, attending a basketball game as a guest of the football staff last month.  He's got some work to do academically, but the interest is there.

Lucky Radley from Agoura is another guy who's been to UCLA a couple of times as a guest for hoops and then went to a few football games.  Radley plays running back and linebacker, but his size projects him to safety in college, where he's a physical player.

Derrick Malone comes from a strong Colton program, where current UCLA freshman Damien Holmes went to school, and he's another physical two-way threat who's probably best suited for the secondary.

Derron Smith from Banning is a quarterback-defensive back whose future is in the secondary, and he's a phenomenal athlete (YouTube a couple of his dunks, impressive for being 6-0) and he'll be at UCLA's Junior Day on Thursday.

Other key in-state guys to watch include Terrance Mitchell from Sacramento Burbank, Bryan Douglas from Narbonne, Charles Garrett from Dorsey, Tre Sayles from Corona Santiago, Jonathan Mack from Colton (and UCLA taiback Christian Ramirez's half-brother), Joshua Shaw from Palmdale, Shaquille Richardson from Los Alamitos, Wayne Swinson from Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks, Zach Tartabull from Valencia, Josh Taylor from Moreno Valley Canyon Springs and Dominique Starks from Compton Dominguez

Bruin Report Online Top Stories