Malcolm Jones Picks the Bruins

The five-star running back from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, Malcolm Jones, committed to UCLA on Thursday morning, picking the Bruins over Stanford...

Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian Malcolm Jones won't have to travel far to go away to school.

The five-star running back, the top back in the West, committed to UCLA on Thursday morning.

"He committed to the Bruins about 20 minutes ago," said Oaks Christian coach Bill Redell.

In Jones, the Bruins land the elite power back they've coveted for almost a year.

"I think they picked off the best running back in the country," said Redell. "It's a great recruit for Coach (Rick) Neuheisel."

Redell said that comfort played into it for Jones.

"He was very comfortable with the atmosphere, with Coach Neuheisel and with UCLA and he related well to it. I think because it was also close to home, I think it may have influenced it some," said Redell.

Jones went back and forth between Stanford and UCLA.  He visited Stanford officially two weeks ago and UCLA unofficially last month.  Redell said he saw relief this morning with Jones.

"I think he was relieved because he really struggled with Stanford and UCLA, picking the right one," said Redell.

Since Oaks Christian's inception in 2001, the Lions have had three featured backs, Aaron Ware from 2001-2004, Marc Tyler from 2003-2006 and Jones from 2006-2009.  All have chosen to play in Southern California.

"I've really had four bigtime D-I guys at running back, Aaron Ware who went to UCLA, Marc Tyler who went to USC and now Malcolm go to UCLA and another one, Russell White, who went to Cal (whom Redell coached at Crespi)," said Redell.  "To see another running back go on is great."

A fertile recruiting ground like Oaks Christian hasn't been that giving to UCLA, with Ware the only scholarship player the Bruins have ever landed from Oaks.

"I think since Coach Neuheisel got there, he's made Oaks Christian a priority," said Redell.  "They've offered several of our guys. They made Oaks Christian a place for them to recruit. They are certainly more of a visible presence now."

Jones becomes the fifth player to commit to UCLA in the last five years who's had an older brother play at USC, following Jeff Miller (brother Jimmy played at USC), Kai Maiava (brother Kaluka also played at USC), Marquis Jackson (twin brother Malik is currently at USC) and Tevin McDonald (older brother T.J. is a freshman at USC), with his brother Marshall there.

"Those two will be something to watch," said Redell.  "Marshall will probably get a medical redshirt and they'll have two years to play against each other."

BruinReportOnline.com will have more from Jones later.


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