Per NCAA rules, you can't offer a prospect at the camp, but once a few of these prospects left campus they were quickly notified that they had been offered scholarships.
The guys who received scholarship offers were defensive tackle George Uko from Chino Hills (Calif.) Don Lugo; cornerback Shaquille Richardson, from Los Alamitos; Joshua Shaw, the defensive back from Palmdale (Calif.) High, and Tevin McDonald, the cornerback from Fresno (Calif.) Edison.
We spoke with each of the offerees after they had returned home and received their offer. None verbally committed.
The biggest news of the day was the verbal commitment of Julious Moore, the defensive tackle from Bellevue (Wash.) High. Moore is about 6-0 and 260ish, a bit undersized for a defensive tackle, but in watching him at the camp, he displayed exceptional quickness and athleticism, to go along with some fierce aggressiveness. Physically what stands out about him are his long arms, which he uses well to get separation from a blocker. In the moments we saw him working in the line drills, he was clearly a level above the other campers.
It's a big commitment for UCLA, to get a very promising prospect at perhaps its biggest position of need, and to beat out hometown Washington.
It was interesting the way we found out about Moore's commitment. At about 2:00 in the afternoon, with the day's second session underway, Moore wasn't competing, but looking like he had gathered his belongings and was preparing to leave. He stopped to talk for a moment and after I introduced myself, Moore was distracted, scanning Spaulding Field, looking for something. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "I'm just trying to find Coach Neuheisel so I can verbally commit."
The camp overall was heavy on defensive back talent while just about every other position was a little thin. Perhaps it's the reason why UCLA extended offers after the camp to three defensive backs.
After last weekend, where he was the best cover corner at the Los Angeles Scout.com Combine, Shaquille Richardson again displayed his very impressive ability Saturday. At UCLA's camp, he got more reps, which showed a little more rawness in his technique and not quite the infallibility we saw at the Scout.com Combine. But it also enabled Richardson to display his exceptional athleticism more. He made some athletic plays which were the best of the day. In one drill, where the DB has to backpedal sideways and then break on a dummy receiver to try to step in front for an interception, Richardson almost hurdled the dummy to make the catch. His ability to change direction out of his backpedal and come out of his plant makes it seemingly effortless to stay with his man in coverage.
Right there with him is Joshua Shaw. Shaw is bigger, and has a wider frame, with Shaw at about 6-1 and Richardson at 6-0, and he looks more like he's cut out to be a safety physically, but showed some very good cover skills. It's what's particularly intriguing about Shaw – that he might have a chance to be a cornerback at 6-1, with those wide shoulders, while he easily could play safety.
Tevin McDonald isn't much smaller and has an excellent body for a projected cornerback, at a legit 5-11 and 175 pounds. McDonald showed good feet in the agility drills, and a ball-hawking nature in the one-on-ones. His brother, T.J., who will be an incoming freshman safety at USC, is 6-2 and quite a bit bigger, and the thought is that Tevin still might have some growing to do. McDonald has said in the past how UCLA is his favorite, which is interesting since he comes from a USC family.
George Uko arrived late to the camp, and only went through some of the drills at the end of the day. But it was easily enough for UCLA coaches to see how exceptional he is. Uko, in the Scout.com Combine and at UCLA Saturday, showed a freakish quickness for someone his size. At least 6-3 and 300 pounds, he is explosive out of his stance, having the burst of a Pac-10 defensive end. It was very telling when UCLA defensive line coach Todd Howard, who is usually pretty stoic, couldn't contain a big grin after several of Uko's reps where he just blew by his blocker.
Uko's recruitment will be interesting. UCLA hadn't offered him to date, even though Uko had shown a good amount of interest, attending UCLA games over the last couple of years. The word was that there was a question about Uko's motor, but in the last two weekends he's proved there shouldn't be a question. So, now that UCLA has offered it will be interesting to see how that changes the landscape of his recruitment, if it does.
Two elite prospects who showed but didn't participate were Harbor City Narbonne safety Sean Parker, and Corona running back Jordon James. Parker suffered turf toe at the Scout.com Combine, and James was there to watch his younger brother. The two of them did spend a good deal of time talking with UCLA coaches throughout the day.
Big-named no-shows were Keanu Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino defensie back Keanu Nelson; Alea (Hawaii) defensive tackle, Lawrence Lagafuaina; Lakewood (Calif.) safety Dion Bailey, and Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian defensive tackle Cassius Marsh.
Perhaps the biggest talent at the camp besides those mentioned above was 2011 tight end prospect Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a 6-5, 240-pounder from Gig Harbor (Wash.) High who, if he were in the 2010 class, would be considered among the best tight ends in the country. Seferian-Jenkins is a wide body who moves very well and has nice, soft hands. We heard he likes UCLA quite a bit, and was seen in the down time between sessions wearing a UCLA sweatshirt. Seferian-Jenkins already has offers from Florida, Cal, and Arizona State, among others, as well as UCLA.
Hayes Pullard, the elite linebacker from Los Angeles Crenshaw, exhibited very good quickness in the drills.
|Los Al cornerback Shaquille Richardson.|
There wasn't a quarterback at the camp that jumped out at you that clearly needed a scholarship offer. But there were some promising prospects.
Most consistent for the day was probably Brett Nottingham, from Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista. He's about 6-3 and a solid 200 pounds, with a good frame. His throwing motion is a bit short, which seemed to limit his arm strength, but he was pretty accurate on the day. He showed good mobility and could throw on the run well.
In the afternoon session, Sean Mannion, the 6-5 prospect from Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill, really came on. He's pretty thin, still, probably weighing 190ish, but he has a wide frame that looks like it could hold considerably more weight. In the afternoon, he made some very good, strong throws, exhibiting excellent arm strength and an ability to spin it. More than any other prospect the camp in the afternoon, the ball shot out of his hand. He's still pretty raw in his mechanics, but the arm strength made him stand out a bit.
Tyler Bray, the quarterback prospect from Kingsburg (Calif.) High, looks more like a basketball player, at 6-6 and about 190, but he showed a good arm and very promising mobility for his size. He, in fact, is a basketball player, and you could see that helps with his feet. He lacked consistency, throwing a great ball and then a not-so-great ball, but the great ball was impressive enough. It's obvious he's also still growing into his body, and learning how all those long limbs work. Once he matures more and adds some strength, Bray could end up being one of the best QB prospects in the west for 2010. But we all might not recognize that until he's had a redshirt year in college a couple of years down the line. In the crowd watching was Bray's father, who is a huge human being, probably 6-9.
Nick Hirschman from Los Gatos (Calif.) High, also showed some potential. He's about 6-3, with a good frame, and acceptable mobility. He showed good arm strength and also some good touch.
Taylor Graham, from Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton North, looked good physically, being at least 6-4 and having wide shoulders. He only participated in the morning session, and threw the ball just okay.
Ryan Kasdorf, from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, is probably 6-1, and looks pretty undersized. He had good arm strength, but a very long wind up.
Tommy Rees, Lake Forest (Ill.) High, the brother of UCLA walk-on punter Danny Reese, throws a nice, catchable ball.
Among the underclassmen, there were a few promising prospects. There were juniors Kyle Boehm, from San Jose (Calif.) Mitty, who had a very nice throwing motion and impressive arm strength, and Cody Kessler, from Bakersfield (Calif.) Centennial, who might have been the most polished guy at the camp, with a very nice, consistent throwing motion. One of the most promising prospects was 2012 QB Reece Hack from Stayton (Ore.) High. Hack threw the ball just as well as any guy two years older than he at the camp, and made a variety of throws.
There was a good amount of wide receiver talent. Paul Richardson, the prospect who de-committed from UCLA, was probably the best at the camp among wide receivers. He turned an ankle in the first session and didn't participate in the second. He again showed some considerable burst off the line, even though he's still pretty raw technically. He clearly is an elite prospect.
Kenneth Scott, from Ontario (Calif.) Colony, is intriguing. He is a big kid, at least 6-2 and about 200, and he doesn't have great speed. But he shows a good initial burst off the line, and good route-running and catching ability. He also uses his big body well to shield defenders. He comes off like a very nice kid, too, one who is willing to work hard.
Riverside North's Dres Anderson, the son of former Bruin Flipper Anderson, is definitely someone to watch. He has good size at about 6-2, and a wide frame, while he's still pretty skinny. He showed very nice quickness and very good hands.
Zach Tartabull, from Valencia (Calif.) High, definitely passes the eyeball test, at about 6-1 and well-built. He ran good routes and caught the ball consistently.
Safety prospect Tony Jefferson from Chula Vista (Calif.) Eastlake, who has offers from just about everyone, came to the camp for the afternoon session, and took a while to get started in the one-on-ones, but then had a few good reps in coverage.
Bryan Douglas, the cornerback from Harbor City Narbonne, is interesting. He's pretty small, at about 5-9 with a small frame, but he a very good cover guy, while he he very well might have been the best competitor on the field for the day. While other DBs weren't necessarily taking as many reps in the one-on-ones, Douglas was stepping up, bringing intensity with every rep.
Tre Sayles, the safety from Corona (Calif.) Santiago, showed up very late after taking the SAT, but got in a short workout. He's physically very impressive, at about 6-1 and a well-chiseled 200 pounds.
William Smith from Riverside (Calif.) Notre Dame, is intriguing. At about 6-2 and 200, he's probably a tweener between linebacker and safety, but he had good length and a good motor. The UCLA coaches were clearly enamored with him, taking him aside to talk to him a couple of times and calling him out for reps.
Victor Burnett, the linebacker prospect from Culver City (Calif.) High, arrived late but got in some work. He showed very good quickness going through the drills, but is probably 5-11 and maybe 210.
Alex Crosthwaite from San Diego (Calif.) Cathedral, was probably the biggest name among the OLs at the camp. He moved fairly well for his size, which is pretty big, at about 6-4 and 300+.
If you're talking size, Derek Stickney from Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado, is your guy. He's 6-6+, and at least 310, with a good frame, and a body that could be cleaned up some but has some good muscle.
Perhaps the offensive lineman that improved his standing the most was Sil Ajawara from Las Flores (Calif.) Tesoro. Ajawara has good size, at easily 6-4 and about 280ish, and he showed good agility and athleticism.
Daniel Munyer, from Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame, has good size at about 6-3 and 280, and moved well in the drills.
Wade Yandall from Carson is good-sized and looks D-1.
Among the best underclassmen was 2011 defensive end Jalen Grimble, from Las Vegas Bishop Gorman. Grimble has a great body and long arms, and good quickness on the edge.
Please remember, this isn't a comprehensive analysis; there very well might have been other standout prospects that we missed among the 250 or so that were at the camp.