UCLA Football Recruiting Reset

At this point, UCLA has 21 "commits" with 17-18 scholarships to give out. "Commits" is used in quotation because no letters of intent have been signed at this point, and the number of scholarships to give is not certain because there are ways to manipulate the number. For example, UCLA may have early enrollees which count against last year's class, greyshirts which will count against the following year's class, etc. The key number is 85 - each team, except that school across town, can have 85 scholarship players.

It should also be noted that many of the "commits" were recruited by Rick Neuheisel, as were many of the players currently on the team. There are usually a few defections each year when the head coach is retained due to injury, unhappiness, or academic reasons, and the number generally increases during coaching changes.

What this all means is the Coach Jim L. Mora has room to sign more players, despite the fact that we're currently oversigned by 4-5.

Quarterback

Status: Kevin Prince, Richard Brehaut, Nick Crissman, and Darius Bell will all be seniors next year, leaving Brett Hundley as the only scholarship QB on the roster past next season. In my opinion, a quarterback is a must sign this offseason.

Commits: None.

Targets: Devin Fuller; Jake Heaps (BYU transfer) [Transferred to Kansas]

Outlook: Fuller is a highly sought after 4* dual threat quarterback out of New Jersey. He has a pretty impressive list of offers that includes Alabama, Nebraska, Michigan, Florida St., TCU, and Ohio St. He's being recruited by Mike Johnson, but he has yet to schedule a visit to UCLA. Nebraska, TCU, and Rutgers are the only schools who have scheduled visits. Heaps recently announced his intent to transfer, and it's simply pure speculation at this point where he ends up.

Running Back

Status: Jonathan Franklin and Damien Thigpen will be seniors next year, leaving Malcolm Jones, Jordon James, Anthony Barr, and Steven Manfro at the position.

Commits: Steven Lakalaka; Psalm Wooching

Targets: D.J. Foster; Imani Cross; Barry Sanders Jr.

Outlook: Lakalaka and Wooching are both 3* prospects out of Hawaii who committed to UCLA early in the process. Lakalaka has not wavered, while Wooching has essentially reopened his recruitment and will be taking a visit to Colorado later in January. Of the two, Wooching is the more sought after player (he might end up at LB), but Lakalaka is out of the Punahou School, which is a very important pipeline in Hawaii. Foster, Cross, and Sanders are all highly sought after out of state recruits. Foster was previously an ASU lean, but the hiring of Broussard and Mazzone gives us a fighting chance. Cross and Sanders are both longshots, but neither appears to have a frontrunner. Of the three, Foster would fit Mazzone's offense best.

Wide Receivers

Status: The last two classes were thin at WR. Devin Lucien certainly has the potential to become a good WR, but the position needs to add depth quickly to facilitate Mazzone's wide open attack.

Commits: None.

Targets: Kenny Lawler; Jaydon Mickens.

Outlook: Lawler is a 4* WR out of Upland HS and Mickens is a 3* out of Dorsey, and I think they'll both end up in Westwood. Lawler is a big outside WR, while Mickens is a smaller slot receiver. They both fit well in Mazzone's system. In addition to those two, I suspect that some of the DB recruits will play WR.

Tight End

Status: Mazzone did not really use a TE at ASU, but I suspect that he might figure out a use after working with Fauria. Raymond Nelson and John Young are on the roster for the foreseeable future, and Anthony Barr could be explosive at this position if Mazzone finds a way to exploit his athletic ability.

Commits: Ian Taubler

Targets: Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick

Status: Taubler was an early commit who has reopened his recruitment and will take visits to USC and UW. Cope-Fitzpatrick is a longtime USC commit who has been rumored to show some interest after Mora came on board. Frankly, both of them could be moved to the offensive line on the next level once they add weight.

Offensive Line

Status: Rick Neuheisel left the offensive in exponentially better shape than the condition it was in when he arrived. Jake Brendel, Ben Wysocki, Torian White, and Will Oliver were all able to red shirt this year. Xavier Su'a Filo returns this year, and Kody Innes, Alber Cid, Chris Ward, and Wade Yandall all have at least 2 years of eligibility remaining.

Commits: Hiva Lutui; Lacy Westbrook; Isaiah Folasa; Mario Yakoo; Alexander Ceachir

Targets: Arick Armstead; Kyle Murphy; Jeremiah Poutasi; Colby Cyburt; Max Tuerk; Jordan Simmons

Outlook: This is one of the richest offensive line classes in the west in recent memory. Of the commits/targets, only Lutui is from east of Nevada, and he is from Texas. Lutui has apparently reopened his recruitment, but he is being recruited by Inoke Breckterfield.

Armstead is arguably the #1 recruit in the country, and Mora visited him during his trip to Sacramento. He would be a huge coup. Tuerk and Simmons are both USC commits, but there are rumors that Adrian Klemm has a good relationships with both of them and has both of their ears.

Defensive Line

Status: There is young talent on the roster. Cassius Marsh, Seali Espenesa, Brandon Willis, Kevin McReynolds, and Brandon Tuliaupupu all have at least two years of eligibility remaining on the inside, while Iuta Tepa, Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Keenan Graham, Wesley Flowers, and Sam Tai all have at least two years of eligibility remaining from the end position.

Commits: Eli Ankou

Targets: Ellis McCarthy; Aziz Shittu; Milo Jordan; DeForest Buckner; Nate Iese; Polo Manukainiu

Outlook: Ankou is a Canadian native who has flown under the radar but is said to have been very impressive in the camp circuit. Morgan Breslin was a recent decommit to USC.

Of the targets, McCarthy is one of the best DT's in the country, and Shittu is not far behind. Neither are leaning towards a particular school at this point, but we are at least getting a look with the new staff. Jordan is a previous ASU commit from Centennial who appears to be a UCLA lean at this point. Buckner is a Punahou product that we have after for a long time, and Manukainiu is from Trinity HS in Euluss, TX and a teammate of Lutui and fellow commit Moeakioli. Iese is another Sacramento product. He appears to be a Nebraska lean, but we may make a late push.

Linebacker

Status: Jordan Zumwalt, Erick Kendricks, and Isaiah Bowens all have multiple years of eligibility, but there is not much behind them.

Commits: Aaron Porter; Kenny Orjioke; Psalm Wooching

Targets: Seth Jacobs; Salamo Fiso; Matthew Rowe

Outlook: Porter was an early commit who appears to remain solid. Orjioke may end up at DE, OLB, or S, which is a testament to his size and athletic ability. Wooching's most likely landing spot is LB. Fiso and Rowe are former ASU commits from Long Beach Poly recruited by Coach Broussard.

Secondary

Status: We have ran out of warm bodies in the secondary for two straight years due to injury. The staff has made a clear effort to rebuild the secondary, and it's showing by the sheer number of offers given out at these positions. It should be noted, however, that many of the commits may move to WR or LB.

Commits: Marcus Rios; Raymond Ford; Taylor Lagace; Paul Perkins; Justin Combs; Trayvon Watson; Laiu Moeakiola; Jerico Richardson; Shannon Edwards

Targets: Shaquille Thompson; Ishmael Adams; Davonte Neal; Kevon Seymour; Gabriel Marks; Brandon Beaver;Randall Goforth; Richard Smith; Alphonso Marsh; Bryan Harper

Outlook: Technically, Orjioke was recruited as a safety and could be included in the list of commits here as well. The number of secondary recruits is staggering, but it goes to show the depth of secondary talent in the west this year as well as indicates the amount of help the staff believes we need.

Thompson and Adams would both be huge recruits, but they both appear to be Cal leans at this point. We did catch some momentum with them with the coaching change, and who knows what may happen on signing day.

Goforth and Smith are both ASU commits who are looking our direction, and Marks was a former SMU commit who is also being recruited hard by WSU.

Special Teams

We signed K Ka'imi Fairbairn from the Punahou School. We all witnessed what can happen if the team doesn't have a healthy kicker, and the offer makes me wonder if Kip Smith is ok. I do not know if Fairbairn has potential as a punter.

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