2011 Recruiting Reset: Offense

UCLA has six commitments so far, all on the offensive side of the ball, and with a limited number of scholarships available in the class of 2011 overall, UCLA will pick up a select few more offensive recruits...

With fall practice just weeks away, the Bruin staff is working on putting together a class for 2011 that will consist of 14-20 recruits. After a fruitful spring evaluation period, they've already filled practically one-third of the class, getting six commitments. The program did have three rides recently open up, but two of those spots have already been filled for this fall by JC prospects. So, overall, a UCLA football scholarship will be a scarce commodity between now and February's Signing Day.

Those six commitments are all on the offensive side – four offensive linemen, one receiver and one tight end. In fact, throw in the two JC players that are coming in this fall, quarterback Darius Bell and offensive lineman Casey Griffiths, and that makes for a spree of offensive commitments. More than likely, the 2011 class will be pretty balanced between offense and defense, so expect a good number of future commitments to be from the defensive side.

UCLA, however, desperately needs a few key offensive recruits, particularly one at quarterback.

Here is a look at the prospects UCLA will likely be targeting for the 2011 class on the offensive side of the ball.

QUARTERBACK (1-2)

UCLA needs a quarterback in the class of 2011. They have Bell on board, which is a huge boost, especially in light of losing 2010 prospect Brett Nottingham to Stanford about a week before signing day. But in terms of how UCLA's future depth chart at quarterback plays out a couple of yeaers down the line, the Bruins need an impact quarterback recruit in the 2010 prep ranks. We've done an in-depth analysis in the past about why UCLA desperately needs a quarterback – and an impact guy – in the 2011 class. Without going into the details again, we feel that how UCLA does in recruiting the quarterback position for this class will define the success of the class, and perhaps have the biggest impact on the future of Rick Neuheisel's program.

Brett Hundley, 6-2, 205, Chandler (Ariz.).  The top quarterback in the West in the 2011 class, Hundley is down to Washington and UCLA, and the feeling of late is that Washington is the leader.  Hundley could decide before the end of July, but has also said he may take visits if he's not ready to commit.  But it will either be the Huskies or the Bruins for him.  Losing Hundley could be a big blow for the Bruins, and you wouldn't want to ever count out Neuheisel, who has been fairly magical in reeling in recruits when they're close to making a decision. Neuheisel will be playing up the Arizona-quarterback-to-UCLA connection. Offered. 

Jerry Neuheisel, 6-1, 175, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola.   Neuheisel's recruitment is obviously a big story.  What's most likely is that he'll greyshirt and be counted as part of the 2012 class. So quarterbacks coming in with the 2011 class (and there possibly could be two others besides Neuheisel) -- won't feel they're competing with the coach's son.  Neuheisel has actually looked pretty good this spring and summer, on the passing league circuit, leading Loyola to the semifinals of the Bonita Air Strike Tourney and the 1925 All-Stars to the finals of the Badger/New Level 7on7 Tournament.  There is the lingering question of whether he's a Pac-10 level quarterback. Offered. 

Other Quarterbacks to watch:
Michael Eubank, 6-5, 220, Corona (Calif.) Centennial
Trevor Gretzky, 6-2.5, 195, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Aaron Cantu, 6-2, 185, Montebello (Calif.) Schurr
Christoph Bono, 6-2, 180, Palo Alto (Calif.)
Jake Geringer, 6-2, 204, Newbury Park (Calif.)

RUNNING BACKS (1)

With the haul that they pulled in last February, getting Malcolm Jones and Jordon James, and then Anthony Barr for good measure, running back isn't a priority for the UCLA staff.  They've only offered two, and they'll take an elite one in this class if he wants to come, but it's not as pressing as the other positions.

Harvey Langi, 6-2, 215, South Jordan (Utah) Bingham.  The top prospect in Utah this year is one of the best power backs in the country.  Very similar to Malcolm Jones, but bigger, Langi runs with strength but is deceptively fast.  He was the MVP of the Miami Nike Camp, in a pretty loaded field, and has dominated just about every camp he's attended.  BYU and Utah will be tough to beat for Langi, especially the Cougars, who've done a great job recruiting Bingham, but UCLA will keep trying.  Offered.  

Brendon Bigelow, 5-11, 180, Fresno (Calif.) Central.  Bigelow is the top running back prospect in California in the class of 2011, and while he's committed to Washington, that's a soft verbal, at best.  Cal is the school that is probably the most worrisome to Washington, but UCLA is trying to sway him too.  Offered.

Other Running Backs to watch:
Shon Carson, 5-9, 195, Lake City (S.C.)
Maika Polomalu, 6-0, 200, Pottstown (Penn.) Pottsgrove
Tevin Williams, 6-0, 190, Euless (Texas) Trinity
 

RECEIVERS (2-3)

With Paul Richardson the lone receiver UCLA signed in February, the Bruin staff knew that receiver would be a priority.  But with Richardson's dismissal, it makes it even more imperative that they sign some receivers in this class, and some high-quality ones.  The problem is, most of the elite ones are committed elsewhere or favoring other schools, save Cooks.

Brandin Cooks, 5-11, 165, Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln.  COMMITTED.  The first commit for the Bruins in the class of 2011, Cooks is a player who offers a lot of speed.  He's had an excellent spring, earning MVP honors at the Stanford Nike Camp and the Bruins landed him over a bunch of Pac-10 schools.  Cooks is similar in body type to Terrance Austin, though is faster and has better hands.    Offered. 

Devon Blackmon, 6-1, 180, Fontana (Calif.) Summit.  One of the top offensive prospects from the Inland Empire, Blackmon was verbally offered by the UCLA coaches last summer and received his official offer from UCLA earlier this spring.  The Bruin staff is doing well with him, but as his tape has made the rounds, his recruitment has really taken off.  His top six schools are UCLA, Cal, USC, Oregon, Florida and Alabama.  Offered. 

George Farmer, 6-2, 197, Gardena (Calif.) Serra.  For the second straight year, Serra has California's top receiver, but for the second straight year, that player, in this case Farmer, is likely going to end up a Trojan.  Farmer has made no bones about the Trojans being his leader, and while UCLA has offered, Farmer isn't mentioning the Bruins in his list.   Offered. 

Dominique Terrell, 5-11, 180, Manassas (Va.) Osbourn Park.  One of the better two-way players in the country, Terrellcan play cornerback, but he will likely play slot receiver, and play it well.  Most of his offers come from the ACC and the SEC, but the Bruins, and Oregon, are two West Coast schools he's seriously considering.  Offered. 

Devin Lucien, 6-2, 195, Encino (Calif.) Crespi. One of the better receivers in the Southland, Lucien has really shined during the offseason, at various camps, namely the U.S. Army Combine, the Badger 7on7 and the FBU Camp in Tucson, where he was MVP.  He's a strong, physical receiver, who is deceptively fast and will not hesitate to go into traffic for a tough catch.  Oregon is his dream school but he also likes UCLA, and he works out with former Crespi quarterback Kevin Price in the offseason.  

Other Receivers to watch:
Blair Holliday, 6-1, 185, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian
Richard Mullaney, 6-3, 185, Thousand Oaks (Calif.)
Nelson Spruce, 6-2, 195, Westlake (Calif.)
B.J. Kelley, 6-2, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central
David Richards, 6-2, 190, Palmdale (Calif.)
 

TIGHT ENDS (1)

UCLA would like to add at least one tight end to the mix, while it won't be graduating anyone this year, so more than one isn't really necessary.  They've offered three so far and have a commitment from one.

Junior Pomee, 6-3, 215, Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde.  COMMITTED.  Pomee is a stronger version of Morrell Presley.  He's not as fast as Presley, but they're eerily similar players, both being TE/WR types, who are best with the ball in their hands.  Pomee starred in Vegas at the 7on7 tournament, and impressed Neuheisel, who was there to watch his son, and ended up with a Bruin offer just a couple days later.  Then Pomee came to the UCLA camp in June and was easily the top prospect there, on either side of the ball. Pomee said that UCLA has been his favorite school for years and he followed his heart and committed to the Bruins earlier this month. At this point it's unclear if Pomee will end up at tight end, receiver or the F-back spot, but UCLA pretty clearly has recognized how good he is and wants him regardless.   Offered. 

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 6-6, 235, Gig Harbor (Wash.).  The top tight end prospect in the West, Seferian-Jenkins is one of the top 10 recruits in the West in the 2011 class, and has the offer sheet to back it up.  He actually verbally committed to UCLA last spring, at the tail-end of his sophomore year.  But since then, he's been offered by everyone.  Texas and Washington are two schools considered as frontrunners, with the Bruins still in the mix.  Texas, though, hasn't offered, but Seferian-Jenkins plans to visit Austin officially.  Offered. 

Raymond Nelson, 6-5, 215, Modesto (Calif.) Modesto Christian.  The younger brother of UCLA basketball player Reeves Nelson, the younger Nelson was an all-state defensive end in 2009 after helping lead Modesto Christian to the CIF State Small Schools title.  He wants to play offense in college, though, and he's a nice, big rangy target.  UCLA is a school he'd love to play at, especially with his brother there, and he was told to come to the UCLA camp.  After Pomee, Nelson was the best performer there, and earned that offer.  UCLA is the considerable favorite for Nelson.  Offered. 

Dillon Van Der Wal, 6-6, 240, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian.  Van Der Wal is one of SoCal's best tight ends, and he's also a pretty good defensive end to boot.  He's been more productive on defense, but he projects to offense in college, and this year figures to be a big part of the Oaks passing game.  He's got offers from several schools, but UCLA is a schools he's very serious about and he was at the Bruins' Junior Day in February and their camp in June. 

Frank Clark, 6-3, 205, Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville.  Clark came to the UCLA 7on7 tournament in June as part of the Raw Talent Tour.  He was impressive too.  While he doesn't have an offer from the Bruins yet, he'd like one.  Clark is another player in the Pomee/Presley mold, a bigger receiver, but smaller tight end.

Other Tight Ends to watch:
Sam Meredith, 6-4, 250, La Mesa (Calif.) Helix.

OFFENSIVE LINE (5-6)

UCLA has been making the offensive line a priority, with four commitments in the class of 2011 and then added JC Casey Griffiths and his four-for-three eligibility. Two of the commits are pure tackles, while the other two are more likely to play inside.  UCLA will probably bring in at least one more lineman.

Torian White, 6-6, 275, Lakewood (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  White is an intriguing player- a guy with upside off the charts, but is still raw.  He missed almost all of his junior year with a hernia, but has come out this spring and summer and starred at numerous camps, earning MVP honors at two of them and then doing well at the UCLA camp in June, which garnered him an offer and committed on the spot.  White has good length and great athleticism (his dad is an AAU basketball coach), and UCLA was his dream school growing up, so it's a nice match.  His best football is still ahead of him.  Offered. 

Marc Mustoe, 6-7, 275, Arvada (Colo.) West.  COMMITTED.  One of the first players from Colorado to commit to a Pac-10 school and say the Buffs entry into the Pac-10 was a reason he picked another Pac-10 school.  Mustoe committed to the Bruins on an unofficial visit to Westwood last month.  He's the other likely tackle of the group, with White. Since his verbal commitment to UCLA, Notre Dame has offered.  Offered. 

Ben Wysocki, 6-4, 275, Los Alamitos (Calif.).  COMMITTED.  Wysocki had his recruitment really take off in the spring, with several Pac-10 schools offering and heavily recruiting him.  Wysocki got an offer from the Bruins after their first camp in early June, then committed to the Bruins a month later.  While he plays tackle for Los Al, he'll likely end up as a guard in college.  Offered. 

Jacob Brendel, 6-4, 285, Plano (Texas) West.  COMMITTED.  Brendel is one of the top centers nationally, ranked sixth by Scout.com.  He committed to UCLA earlier this month and while he said he's committed, he is still open to other options.  Offered. 

Paulay Asiata, 6-5, 285, Honolulu (Hawaii) Word Of Life.  Asiata is Hawaii's top prospect, and UCLA is hoping to make it three years in a row of landing a big boy from the Islands.  Asiata is one of the top three linemen in the West too, and can play tackle or guard.  UCLA is a school he's very high on and the prohibitive favorite.  Offered. 

Cyrus Hobbi, 6-3, 285, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro. UCLA is definitely in the mix for Hobbi, who's good friend and Saguaro teammate Kody Innes signed with the Bruins in February.  Hobbi is part of a stellar lineman trio from Arizona, and schools all over are noticing as Alabama, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are some of the national programs who've offered.   Offered. 

Patrick Flavin, 6-7, 260, Lisle (Ill.) Benet.  Flavin just was offered by UCLA in the spring, and he said it caught him by surprise, since he'd only recently sent film.  Flavin is now going to take a closer look at the Bruins and will take an unofficial visit August 3rd. .  Notre Dame is in a good place with him, though.  Offered. 

Stephan Nembot, 6-8, 250, Van Nuys (Calif.) Montclair Prep. Nembot is originally from Cameroon, and is a very impressive physical specimen and athlete. One of the reasons he came to Southern California was because of UCLA's former basketball players from Cameroon, Alfred Aboya and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. He attended UCLA's linemen's camp and then received a scholarship offer, and it's believed UCLA is among a small group of favorites. He could end up playing defensive end, even though his body will probably go the way of an offensive tackle in college. Offered

Matt  Williams, 6-7, 290, Wahpeton (N.D.) North Dakota State.  A recent offer recipient, Williams is another JC prospect that the Bruins would like to bring in.  He also has offers from California, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State.  Offered. 

Donovan Smith, 6-7, 280, Owings Mills (Maryland) High. Smith is the 27th-ranked offensive tackle in the nation, and has offers from across the country. UCLA has made his short list and has a chance, even though it's always considered tough to pull a kid out of the eastern seaboard. Offered

Ray Ball, 6-7, 325, Westerville (Ohio) Westerville-South. Another east coaster that UCLA has offered and has listed the Bruins on his short list, Ball has said he wants to visit Westwood. Again, a kid from the east coast that has many schools in his area pursuing him aggressively has to be thought of as a longshot. Offered

Other Linemen to watch:
Akeem Gonzales, 6-4, 250, Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany
Brian Moran, 6-7, 305, Atherton (Calif.) Sacred Heart
Faitele Faafoi, 6-5, 300, Tustin (Calif.)
Kalvin Cusick, 6-3, 282, Provo (Utah) Timpview
Jacob Welter, 6-5, 280, Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista
Brian Farley, 6-7, 280, San Diego (Calif.) Patrick Henry
Patrick Carroll, 6-5, 275, La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis
 


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