Mora stays on a roll on the recruiting trail. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Hey let's not get too down with grim news from Dan Guerrero's pathetic basketball program. We will focus back on that dumpster fire tomorrow with a "huge" game against Oregon (although at this point many of us can see the writing on the wall). In the meantime, let's front page some good news, which right now is coming from the recruiting front of Jim Mora's football program.
Mora reeled in another highly coveted defensive recruit last night. Nate Iese, a 6-foot-5 and 250 pound TE/DE hybrid type explosive athlete from Sacramento committed to UCLA last night over Nebraska, Washington (withstanding a hard charge from uber recruiter Tosh Lupoi) and Cal. HTs Kenneth Powers and credobruin (news so good we will let repetitive post rule slide on this one). Here is a rave review from Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee:
Iese this past fall quickly emerged as a national recruit, fast and ferocious as a rush end at 6-foot-5 and 250 pound and equally as difficult a handle as a tight end. He has receiver speed with soft hands and was a sight to behold at his size racing down field. In a scrimmage before the regular season, Iese took a quarterback snap and rumbled down field, racing past some defenders and over others.
In short: a complete player.
When Jim Mora, fresh on the UCLA job, saw Iese run the floor in a basketball practice, gliding up and down with biceps to die for, the new coach muttered on the spot that he had to have him.
Now he's got him.
Iese on Thursday night gave a verbal commitment to play for UCLA. He has been enamored - and mutual - with the Bruins for months. He took a recent recruiting trip to the campus in Los Angeles, saw the Rose Bowl, soaked up the academic appeal and continued his good rapport with assistant coach Angus McClure, the former Sacramento State standout lineman and assistant coach.
"I'm really excited," Iese said. "I'm glad I was able to make this decision. They've been recruiting me since the beginning. I really like Coach Angus. He's very good at what he does. You can tell some coaches come and recruit and treat it as a job. Angus takes pride in what he does with recruiting and that really impacted me. He really stood out."
Well, we are really excited to Nate. I think the note about Angus is interesting. If you read the whole piece it becomes clear how pivotal McClure was in recruiting this kid. Perhaps that is an explanation wrt to why Mora kept him on the staff. As some have mentioned if UCLA is looking to play out of 3-4 scheme a lot Coaches Spano and Ulbrich are going to be play huge roles in shaping up the front line. So perhaps those concerns will be assuaged while Mora continues to take advantage of the benefits of McClure's skills on the recruiting trail.
More after the jump.
Getting back to Iese more on him from ESPN Insider ($). Tracy Pierson from BruinReportOnline.com also has the news here. Some video highlights (Fox71 should love it because there is no sound) to check out:
With Iese aboard Bruins now have a total of 27 commitments holding at the number 10 spot on Scout.com's national rankings. Expect that number to fluctuate in the coming weeks. To no one's surprise Hiva Litui fell off the board yesterday as he moved on from his previous commitment to Rick Neuheisel regime. We wish him luck in wherever he ends up. As AHMB noted earlier this week though this year features one of the deepest OL classes in West Coast in recent memory.
It appears that our own uber recruiter Adrian Klemm anticipated movement with Lutui and preemptively beefed up this class with number of quality recruits by securing commitments from Lacy Westbrook and locking on Mario Yakoo, Alex Ceachir, Carl Hulick and Colby Cyburt. I am not sure if Folasa is going to stick because of connections with Lutui but Klemm is already targeting number of other quality recruits. So not too worried about our OL recruiting right now.
Of course as we keep saying over and over again while we eat up all the good news on the recruiting front because we are junkies and because we know a program needs talent to compete at the top level, it is not going to matter much if our coaches do not develop that talent. We will get to that perspective in due time when we get ready for spring ball and offseason heading into the September opener against Rice. At least for now it is fun to see UCLA coaches competing like bull dogs at every corner of recruiting trail. Hopefully that tenacious mindset will show through with coaching success on the field.