Recruiting Reset: Offense

UCLA has a couple of skill positions, like quarterback and running back, set for 2010, and are now looking to finish off their offensive recruiting with a few more elite skill guys and a few more elite trench guys...

UCLA currently has 16 commitments, with six on the offensive side of the ball. They'll have around 20 scholarships available after this year, but with attrition, guys leaving after being passed on the depth chart, or someone possible leaving early for the NFL Draft (Brian Price), they could end up out giving the full allotment of 25.

Here is a look at the offensive recruits committed to UCLA and those they are still targeting.

Quarterbacks

At one point, it looked like UCLA might take a pass on quarterbacks in the class of 2010, but Nottingham made a big impression and got the offer. With needs elsewhere, Nottingham will be the only quarterback the Bruins will bring in.

Brett Nottingham, 6-4, 215, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista. COMMITTED. Nottingham had UCLA ties and a lot of interest in the Bruins but UCLA offered Austin Hinder and Taylor Graham before him. But Nottingham didn't give up on his chance to impress the UCLA coaches, coming to the final day of the UCLA Three Day Camp and throwing for the coaches. That earned him an offer which he accepted that day. A big kid with a strong arm, Nottingham is the top quarterback prospect in NorCal and thanks to a strong showing at the Badger/Scout 7on7 and then the Nike Camp and Elite 11 workouts, Nottingham's stock shot through the roof. His sisters both attended UCLA and he was at a handful of games last fall so when UCLA offered, he said it was a "dream come true." Nottingham has had a monster senior year, averaging 321 yards and having thrown 35 touchdowns to only five picks as they start the playoffs. Offered.

Running Backs

No position is more talent-laden this year in California than in the backfield and UCLA has put together one of the best classes of ball-carriers in the country.

Malcolm Jones, 6-1, 215, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. COMMITTED.  The top back in California, Jones was a must-get on numerous levels: his talent is evident and UCLA could sure use a player from Oaks Christian, with only Aaron Ware coming from the Lions' program to Westwood. Jones could be an elite linebacker, with several picks for scores this year, but he wants to carry the ball.  He chose the Bruins over Stanford, a big boost for the Bruins, who've lost their share of recruiting battles with the Cardinal.  Jones is having a big senior year, and is the front-runner for State Player of the Year.   On the season, he's averaging 151 yards a game, rarely playing in the second half, and has reached the end zone, 33 times already.  Offered.

Jordon James, 5-10, 190, Corona (Calif.). COMMITTED.  James is a speedster, but he can be an everydown back in college. He was one of the standouts at the Scout.com Combine. James was selected to the UnderArmour All-America Game and was planning to announce there, but he chose to do it last week, and picked the Bruins over Arizona, Notre Dame, Washington and Cal on national television.  He finished the year with 1,018 yards in just seven games and scored 11 touchdowns on a 2-8 squad. Offered.

Anthony Barr, 6-4, 215, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. The first running back UCLA offered in this class, Barr was offered on September 1st of 2008 and Rick Neuheisel is plenty familiar with Barr, with Neuheisel's son Jerry the quarterback at Loyola. Barr is another one like Jones in that he could be an elite defender, and he was starting to play there more this season before suffering a season-ending injury to his ankle. He's a big and powerful athlete. Notre Dame is still considered the favorite thanks to his family ties to the Irish, but UCLA is still making a big push, and the U.S. Army All-American will be choosing between the two. Offered.

Lache Seastrunk, 5-11, 192, Temple (Texas). Seastrunk is a longshot, with offers from all over the country, but he was one of the few elite, out-of-state guys that UCLA has offered and he took an official visit to UCLA last month.  With James and Jones, UCLA appears to be set at running back, but if Seastrunk were to surprise many and pick UCLA, the Bruin staff would surely take him. Offered.

Other Running Backs to watch:
Emery Schexnayder, 6-0, 205, Riverside (Calif.) J.W. North
Ricky Seale, 5-11, 185, Escondido (Calif.)
Kyle Middlebrooks, 6-0, 200, Fountain Valley (Calif.)
Patrone Wood, 5-11, 250, Ygnacio Valley (Calif.) (FB)
Bronson Green, 6-1, 218, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola (FB)

Receivers

UCLA had a commitment from Richardson, and while he's open again, he could end up back with the Bruins. UCLA could bring in two receivers in this class, but with the transfer of Josh Smith from Colorado, it might actually be just one.

Paul Richardson, 6-1, 185, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. Richardson's father played for the Bruins and UCLA was able to get an early verbal from him but more and more schools extended offers to him which caused him to open things up. He is planning some visits, including to Colorado and Arizona State, and while he says UCLA is number one, he's definitely interested in going through the process some more so UCLA will have to keep recruiting him. Offered.

Kenny Stills, 6-1, 190, Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon. Stills is probably the best pure receiver on the West Coast, a combination of quickness, excellent hands, crisp route running and playmaking ability. He ran a 4.31 forty (laser-timed) at the Scout.com Combine in Los Angeles, en route to MVP honors. He has visited Tennessee and Oklahoma, will visit Michigan this weekend then Florida next weekend, and he said his final visit will also be to an out-of-state program. Stills was at two UCLA games this fall and in Knoxville for an official when they played at Tennessee. It's looking more and more like Stills will end up out-of-state but if he stays in California, Cal and UCLA are the two he's most looking at.  Offered.

Anthony Jefferson, 6-1, 190, Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral. Jefferson has offers from all over the country, and especially the Pac-10, and he's one of the few guys at this position who really could play on either side of the ball in college. UCLA offered him as an athlete, while several schools have offered him specifically as a receiver, with USC offering him as a corner. The Trojans were his childhood favorite, but he's also close with Randall Carroll, who he played with at Cathedral and is now at UCLA. Jefferson's offer list has allowed him to be patient and he doesn't seem to be in a rush to decide. He's taking all of his visits, already having visited Cal and Oregon, and he's planning to visit Notre Dame, USC and UCLA. Offered.

Robert Woods, 6-2, 190, Gardena (Calif.) Serra. The #1-ranked receiver in the nation is verbally committed to USC but UCLA continues to recruit him aggressively. Some close to the recruitment say there is a chance that Woods could switch his commitment before signing day, ala Morrell Presley and Randall Carroll. Offered.

Other Receivers to watch:
Dres Anderson, 6-2, 190, Riverside (Calif.) North
Austin Hill, 6-3, 195, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt
DeChe Milburn, 6-1, 185, League City (Tex.) Clear Springs
Kaelin Clay, 5-10, 175, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly

Tight Ends

UCLA has offered a handful of tight ends, but with the arrival of former Notre Dame tight end Joseph Fauria, UCLA's need at the tight end position has become less great, with Fauria with three years to play his three seasons. They have a verbal from Young, and they may be content to sit pat with tight ends with Young.

John Young, 6-5, 257, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola. COMMITTED.  Young is an intriguing prospect who could grow into an offensive lineman or defensive lineman down the line. He's a big kid and we watched him play last fall. He was offered as an athlete by the Bruins early and the son of a former UCLA cheerleader committed to UCLA earlier this month.  Young said his next task is to recruit teammate Anthony Barr for the Bruins. Offered.

Christian Thomas, 6-4, 218, Palmdale (Calif.) Highland. Thomas is one of the top tight ends in the country and he told us after his unofficial visit to UCLA during the spring that it went very well, but UCLA hasn't been in touch with him as much as they have before, perhaps because of Fauria's presence.  UCLA is still in the mix for Thomas, but Oregon is his leader. Academics might ultimately be the issue. Offered.

Other Tight Ends to watch:
Harold Mobley, 6-4, 228, Corona (Calif.) Roosevelt
Kendall Montgomery, 6-6, 240, Miami (Fla.) Monsignor Pace

Offensive Line

UCLA had a strong offensive line class in 2009, and it was a big priority to keep the momentum going on the OL. The Bruins went quite a while without an OL commitment for 2010, but now UCLA has commits from two of the best linemen in the West.

Chris Ward, 6-5, 285, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. COMMITED.  The first offensive lineman UCLA offered in-state, Ward comes from a program that UCLA has historically struggled to recruit at. His commitment was a big shot in the arm for the Bruin staff, as he's the first Monarch UCLA has gotten a verbal from in years.  The top offensive guard in California, Ward committed on the heels of Jones' verbal, saying he wanted to be a part of the line blocking for him. Offered.

Kody Innes, 6-4, 280, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro.  COMMITTED. Innes is one of the top linemen in Arizona, and UCLA offered him in late May. He took an unofficial visit to Westwood in May as well then took another unofficial to UCLA when the Bruins played Oregon, after having visited Washington and Arizona State officially.  He's 6-4, but has long arms, so playing tackle is a possibility. He's the lone out-of-state commit on the offensive side of the ball for UCLA. Offered.

Wade Yandall, 6-4.5, 280, Carson (Calif.). Yandall came to the UCLA 1-Day Camp and made a favorable impression on the UCLA coaching staff. A few days after the camp, Yandall was offered by the Bruins, who he grew up rooting for. The Bruins are clearly in the lead for Yandall, but Arizona, Arizona State and Washington have all offered in the past few weeks, and he's planning to take official visits to those three Pac-10 schools. Offered.

Sil Ajawara, 6-4, 205, Los Flores (Calif.) Tesoro. Another offensive lineman who made a big impression at UCLA's 1-Day Camp, Ajawara landed an offer from the Bruin staff a week later. UCLA is in his top three and he may officially visit there later this year.  He's visited Arizona State and will be in Arizona this weekend.  The Bruins were in front early on, but this race is too close to call now, with all three schools having a legit shot at landing him. Offered.

Seantrel Henderson, 6-8, 331, St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Durham. Henderson is the top lineman in the country, and Scout.com's top-ranked prospect overall. UCLA has been mentioned in his top seven for months, though they are probably a longshot. Still, UCLA will keep doing whatever they can to get a trip out of him, but right now, those prospects aren't looking great. Offered.

Other Offensive Linemen to watch:
John Cullen, 6-6, 285, Fullerton (Calif.) College
Derek Stickney, 6-6.5, 305, Placentia (Calif.) El Dorado
Tyler Sulka, 6-5, 270, Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame
Corin Brooks, 6-3, 276, Riverside (Calif.) Arlington
David Peterson, 6-4, 270, Redlands (Calif.) East Valley

Special Teams

UCLA has always had outstanding kickers, with All-American's like John Lee, Bjorn Merten and Chris Sailer, and they boast arguably the best kicker/punter tandem in the country right now in Groza Award front runner Kai Forbath and likely Freshman All-American Jeff Locke.  But Forbath is a junior and, while Locke could also kick (he had a 60-yarder in high school), they likely won't do what they did with Sailer and Nate Fikse and have him double up, so UCLA went out and got themselves one of the best field goal kickers in the nation.

Kip Smith, 6-1, 205, Broomfield (Colo.) Legacy. COMMITTED. Smith, who was verbally committed to Minnesota, took an official visit to UCLA November 21st, and switche his allegiance pretty quick after that. The Colorado native, who works out with Sailer, has a booming leg, having kicked a 67-yard field goal this season.  He also had offers from Arizona State, Colorado and Kansas State. Offered


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