Signing Day Roundup

So today is signing day. I imagine lot of folks are going to be glued to their keyboards from coast-to-coast. CRN and his dream team is on the verge of polishing up a very solid class of 23-25 recruits (depending on the news of the day).

Let’s begin this recruiting roundup with a compelling profile of Derrick Coleman, a blue chip RB from Troy HS (Fullerton). Brian Dohn writes how Derrick has overcome adversity off the field to put together a spectacular high school career:

A gene defect resulted in nearly complete hearing loss for Coleman, but it didn't deter him in the classroom or on the field. Today, as high school seniors around the nation sign national letters of intent to play college football, Coleman stands out as much for what he does on the field as for what he overcame off the field.

The running back out of Troy High of Fullerton is one of at least 21, and possibly 25, players who will sign on and be part of new UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel's first class, which is rated in the top 15 by recruiting services.

"I am amazed he's playing football and how well he's doing," said May Hamlin, Coleman's mother. "He's really worked hard, and it makes this so special."

Coleman is a bruising 6-foot, 220-pounder who will enter UCLA as a tailback, although a move to fullback is possible. He ran for 2,464 yards and 38 touchdowns as a junior, and totaled 1,084 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior.
The young man is not just a star on the field. Just like other UCLA recruits education was a key factor in why he chose our school over glorified community colleges serving as football factories:
Coleman, who now wears a skull cap to keep his hearing aids in place, became such a hot commodity during his senior season that USC offered him a scholarship, and he nearly flipped to the Trojans. However, Coleman, who is contemplating a pre-law major, stuck with the Bruins.

"I talked to my family about it, and that education you get at UCLA, it's really hard to top that unless you go to Stanford or Harvard," Coleman said. "That's how I look at it. I know I'm going to play football, but I want to get the best education I can."
Like I said Coleman is going to fit in Westwood really really. Also many of you already know by now Bruins received a commitment from Kevin Prince:
Prince, a lifelong Bruins fan, committed to Washington in the fall after former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell pulled back the Bruins' recruitment of Prince. But the latest turn came last week when new coach Rick Neuheisel and offensive coordinator Norm Chow visited Prince.

"It's kind of a dream come true," Prince said. "It all kind of played out at the end the way it was supposed to. It was kind of crazy how it happened, but it's cool I'm going to be able to go to UCLA and play for coach Neuheisel and coach Chow."

Prince will sign his binding national letter of intent today, but he is uncertain when he will enroll at UCLA.

As a junior, Prince completed 112 of 197 passes for 1,422 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Kevin may not enroll at UCLA next season because he is deciding whether he is going to serve his mormon mission. He also didn’t play his senior season because of tearing his ACL. I know some folks have wondered why CRN and Chow would take a chance on him. I am not going to be one of them. From what I have CRN and Chow decided to recruit him after watching his tapes. I am not going to second guess the judgment of two of the best offensive minds in the college game. Yes, that’s what happens when UCLA has coaches with track record and credibility making decisions. They get the benefit of the doubt.

As for suspense from today’s signing day, two key guys to keep an eye on. Hamani Stevens is choosing between UCLA and Oregon and superstud TB Milton Knox was described "stressing out" between UCLA and Notre Dame. Nothing to stress about Milton. Do you really want to be stuck in some dark, dreary, gloomy, cold, rainy, snowy fly over country, in the middle of nowhere during this time of the year or be out in Westwood learning to play offense under CRN and Norm Chow. This is not that tough my friend.

We will update this thread when we get news throughout the day.

GO BRUINS.

UPDATE: For people who love hitting that refresh button. Here are two tracking sites: Daily News and BRO. Those guys are updating that page as LOIs are coming in. Looks like Dantone Jones solidified his earlier commitment. We are now down to just one soft verbal: Milton Knox. Hamani Stevens would be a huge bonus get. GO BRUINS. _N

UPDATE II: CRN will have a press conference at 3 pm PST on our recruiting class. You can watch it live and get all other info. from the official site by going here. Also the official site has put up a list of all the recruits who have sent in their bios. You can read that official list and bios by going here. From that link CRN giving credit to whom its due:
"I would be remiss if I did not credit Karl Dorrell and his staff for assembling this class. Most of these young men committed to this institution when he was the head coach and our staff, especially DeWayne Walker, was able to convince them that UCLA was still the right choice. Together, we are going to build something special."
Class all the way. GO BRUINS. -N

UPDATE III: The last soft verbal just came in, with UCLA getting the commitment of Milton Knox. Per the Daily News:

Birmingham High of Lake Balboa running back Milton Knox, the Daily News player of the year, is going to UCLA, according to his father.

Milton Knox Sr. said his son "was leaning" toward Notre Dame, but after talking about it as a family stuck with UCLA. Knox originally committed to UCLA in June, but was contemplating a switch to Notre Dame after making an official visit over the weekend.

GO BRUINS. -M

UPDATE IV: Sounds like Knox had a little fun on FSN:

" UCLA is right next to home; Coach [Rick] Neuheisel, Coach [Norm] Chow, Coach [DeWayne] Walker, a great staff. Notre Dame is a great place, I love the coaches, I love everything about it. Florida, [there’s] Coach [Troy] Starr, who’s there and recruited me.

"So the school I will be choosing will be . . . (he grabs the Notre Dame hat and then puts it down) . . . UCLA."

He followed up by saying "UCLA, you can’t go wrong. I have a chance for my family to see me at home and also with Audre Dean, two running backs, a 1-2 punch will be just dynamic for the offense. I actually took him on his official visit, I show him around L.A. So, why not be home.

"It’s all over now, the paper’s going to be faxed in." He added that he appreciated that Neuheisel said he was for him no matter what his decision was and "they were the first people to offer me and also [Neuheisel] was the most loyal person in coming to visit and come to my house and seeing me. So it’s a done deal. Man, I can just breathe now."
Welcome home Milton. If you can't wait till my roundup tomorrow am here are CRN's initial impression and specific thoughts on his signees. What's striking is CRN's command on details re. specific signee. He sounds dare I say "Howlendesque." GO BRUINS. -N
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