While Trogans keep jumping off Hello Kiffin’s ship, offensive line recruits keep jumping on UCLA. As you guys have noted in the fanshots already per Chris Foster from the LA Times (hey looky here! a "UCLA beat reporter" for the LA Times broke a story on our Bruins!!!) Bruins got a commitment from an OL recruit from Northern California:
UCLA picked up immediate help on the offensive line, as American River College guard Casey Griffiths has committed to the Bruins.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Griffiths will join the Bruins in August and will have three years of eligibility remaining. He played his freshman season at American River.
Griffiths is the second lineman the Bruins have acquired this week, as Jacob Brendel, who will be a senior at Plano East High School this fall, said he has committed to UCLA.
According to Jon Gold’s post Griffith "will enroll this season." Brandon Huffman from Bruin Report Online confirmed that as well in his story behind subscription firewall. It appears Chris is going to come in around this August (provided he meets all the qualifications under UCLA admissions). He is listed as part of incoming class of 2010.
Welcome to Westwood Casey.
I am not sure if coaches are looking for Griffith to contribute immediately. Still the pickup is great for number of reasons. Despite coming in this season, he will have three years to contribute at UCLA. This means he will have time to build up his frame and compete for a spot in Palcic’s regular rotation in his junior and senior seasons at UCLA.
"I can't tell the future; right now I'm very, very excited about a chance to go to UCLA and play football. But there are schools out there that I'm more excited about. Those schools really aren't an option for me right now. But if they do become an option, things might change. Really, there's always an option. Right now, it's only words. There's no paperwork."
Nothing in there should be surprising to anyone who has been following recruiting for years. That is how it always has been. Recruiting is not a spectator sport. It is filled with realities in which both sides are always looking for best fit. If anything, you have to appreciate the honesty and candor of Jacob for calling it like it is (at least for him). So with that you know he is not BSing around when making comments like this about Palcic:
"Palcic has been around - he's been a coach in the NFL, many colleges, and I feel like he knows what he's talking about," Brendel said. "He's not learning. He's learned all he needs to learn. He's an expert at what he does, and he shoots it to his players and coaches straight. He doesn't sugar-coat things, and I don't sugar-coat things. The bond between he and I will be strong for years to come."
"The passion that he has for UCLA, his alma mater, came out the first second I met him," said Brendel, who is listed on Scout at 6-foot-4.5 and 240 pounds. "I just knew that he loved where he was. He loves his job. Really, that made it for me. I trusted him then. What's the importance of a relationship with him? He calls the shots. Same with my head coach at Plano East. You need to have a relationship with that person, so he knows what kind of player you are. Player and man."
You can consider those as his sincere reflections given his above referenced candid remarks about the process. That bodes well for UCLA. Either way we hope it all works out for him and of course UCLA at the end. Given the way right now CRN is on a roll on the recruiting front, I think we should just sit back, enjoy and watch it unfold. As I mentioned last week when Wysocki committed, this is kind of fun. Let’s keep enjoying the ongoing recruiting ride.