Tracking Bobo (aka J'Mison Morgan)

Guess we can't ignore the story any longer. The rumor/story of former UCLA blue chip recruit J'Mison Morgan, who had committed to LSU getting out of his LOI (Letter of Intent) has been bubbling up the tubes for last 24+ hours. As bluestreet noted (in SFVBruin's diary) it was Bruinau who first posted the scoop on Bruinzone.com:

J'Misson Morgan has reniged on his LSU commitment (LOI) and is coming to UCLA.
Bruinau appeared pretty confident as he called the info. "official."

Bruinau's confident post appeared more credible when few hours later this popped up LSU's rival.com site Tigerbait.com:
J'Mison Morgan, a class of 2008 five-star prospect from South Oak Cliff (Texas) High School, will ask for his release from LSU, according to his AAU coach Jazzy Hartwell. One school will likely be at the top of the list if Morgan does make a change.
Menelaus then pointed us to this on TransWorldNews:
J'mison Morgan, one of the top 40 high school basketball recruits in the nation, has decommitted from LSU Monday, opening up his recruitment to other options.

Morgan, a 6-foot-10, 275-pound center from South Oak Cliff H.S. in Dallas, has officially asked for a release from his letter-of-intent that he signed to the LSU Tigers....

UCLA will be strongly considered once Morgan is released from his National Letter of Intent due to the departure of freshman sensation Kevin Love. UCLA has a top-five recruiting class without Morgan, but with him, the Bruins may be able to return to the Final Four.
Jeff Eisenberg from the Press Enterprise who to his credit has been tracking the Morgan story for a while then posted this latest tidbit referencing the Dallas Morning Star:
South Oak Cliff senior center J'Mison "Bobo" Morgan on Monday confirmed that he has asked for his release from LSU. Morgan is considering attending UCLA in the fall.
"It was a real hard decision for me," said Morgan, an all-state center.
"My comfort level was at LSU, but I felt like UCLA was a better fit for me as far as exposure."
Now before everyone starts thinking that Morgan to UCLA is a done deal, please note that the reports indicate that Morgan has "asked" for a release. I have not seen any confirmed report yet that indicates that LSU has granted his request for a release. Also don't forget that there is a Kansas angle to this story:
This is where it becomes intriguing against with Morgan, who wanted an opportunity to play immediately and wanted a chance to win the national championship. KU and UCLA could both offer both those opportunities.

Morgan is seeking a release because LSU made a coaching change, replacing John Brady with Trent Johnson. He is the No. 25 overall player in the class of 2008. KU, of course, has seven commitments for 2008 and is down eight players from the national championship team.

This is where the speculation comes in. Two of the eight -- Mario Chalmers and Arthur -- could return. Another option, should KU eventually over-sign, is to remove a scholarship from a current scholarship player, which KU has done in the past, though usually just temporarily.
I have no idea how this situation is going to play out. Obviously if Morgan wants to play a team that will contend for titles with him in the fold UCLA with return of Darren Collison and the Fab-4 recruits would seem like an attractive option. But recruiting is a crazy world, and you never how these scenarios work out. I did have some reservations earlier about whether Morgan would fit into UCLA during the first go around. Obviously those concerns are mitigated by indications that Coach Howland and his staff will be more than happy to have him in the program. Simply I trust Howland.

If this holds up, it will be more than a big get. Morgan coming to UCLA will round up not only Coach Howland's best recruiting class since his arrival at UCLA, it will be probably mark the best recruiting class since the incoming class of 1998 (Barnes, Young, Rush, Moiso and Gadzuric) that Lavin wasted away. Moreover, Morgan's arrival to Westwood could position UCLA as a top-10 team heading into this off season.

Then again, I wouldn't get too excited. As I said above you never know how this kind of recruiting situations work out. It was just months we were all getting excited about Ryan Mallet playing for Neuheisel/Chow at UCLA. Although I concede that the obvious difference here is unlike Mallett Morgan has already been to UCLA on an official visit and has a prior recruiting history. Still let's wait this out and see the story works out before projecting depth charts for next season.

GO BRUINS.
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