UCLA Football Recruiting Roundtable - Part 3: Filling "Needs", the Quarterback Battle, and Linebacker Predictions

Continuing our roundtable discussion regarding Coach Mora's first recruiting class, today we're addressing filling "needs," the pending quarterback battle and predicting the impact of our class of linebackers. In case you missed it, in Part I of our recruiting roundtable discussion on Coach Mora's first recruiting class, we gave letter grades and discussed our favorite offensive and defensive recruits. We followed in Part II by discussing our "impact players" on both sides of the ball, predicting which freshmen might play immediately, and discussing our favorite "unheralded" recruit.

8. Do you think the staff addressed the areas of need?

AHMB: When a staff signs 26, you know they are looking for an infusion of talent. I thought the staff closed well with the wide receivers, which was a definite area of need. Overall, the class is fairly balanced, but could end up a little thin in the secondary if Perkins moves to running back and Goforth moves to wide receiver.

Ryan R.: Undoubtedly. It's my favorite thing about the class. I don't think we're particularly thin in the secondary. Sure, we'll need a couple more next year, but we're fine for now and that's true at another position or two as well. I can't think of any position in which I feel we're thin and that's because we addressed every need in this recruiting class.

Achilles: Was there any position on the field that wasn't an area of need? They did the best they could but they would have needed to sign 40 guys to cover every area of need.

Bellerophon: Definitely. We got the QBs we need for the future (you always need to bring in at least one QB per year, so that you always have depth, but that you're never relying too much on one recruit to turn into "the guy"). We got WRs, which we really need. And we upgraded our talent across the board, plus adding some very good big uglies along the offensive line. I'm very pleased with this class.

Nestor: Yep. We needed WRs. Eric Yarber closed with what appears to be 4 good ones. We needed DBs. We brought in a bunch of good ones. We plugged the obvious hole at QB depth chart. Perhaps it would have been amazing to bring in someone like Shaq Thompson or Seth Jacobs. But really there is nothing to complain about here. I am very happy.

Freesia39: Heck yes. QBs? Check. OL? Check. WR? Desperately needed, double check. This is a very well rounded class, and the main reason why this was a happy signing day.

gbruin: Yes. There were lots of concerns about oversigning. I see that as Mora addressing his concerns with the roster and bringing in the kind of player he wanted going forward. I think coming back from last year that we are pretty good at RB and TE and maybe DB. We saw this staff bring in good talent and depth at QB, WR, OL, DL, LB and DB's to fill in the holes.

9. Looking into the horizon, what's your prediction on the pending Hundley-Millweard-Fuller quarterback battle?

AHMB: With UCLA's recent luck, we might need 10 quarterbacks on the roster. All three look like incredibly talented players. Hundley will have a head start because of his year advantage, but Millweard is coming in as an early entrant and will play in spring ball. While Fuller may not arrive until the summer, his physical gifts will help make up for lost time.

Ryan R.: I've seen lots of video and read a lot about Millweard and Fuller, but especially at the QB position, that's not enough. You have to see them play. I'll say Hundley wins out because he has an extra year of practice under his belt, but I'm not going to pretend to be capable of a good prediction.

Achilles: By pending, do you mean in two years? Because I think Brehaut and Prince are still in the mix for the upcoming season, particularly Brehaut. Down the line -- I dunno. I'm excited to see Fuller play.

Bellerophon: I think Hundley ends up being the starting QB. He has all the physical tools. It 100% depends on how fast he can pick up Mazzone's system. Prince just doesn't have the ability to make accurate throws, so I think he's out of the running. Brehaut doesn't seem to have his head into it (at least from his public comments), so I think he's out too. Millweard is the prototypical Mazzone QB, but Mazzone won't be able to run his prototypical offense this year, with how thin we are at WR, so I think Millweard redshirts, but ends up starting as a RS SO once Hundley's time is up.

Nestor: I still think we cannot count out Brehaut, like I mentioned above. I have a feeling Brehaut has a chance to shine in Mazzone's spread oriented attack. I think this kind offense, which will look to stretch the field with quick strikes, could be a good fit for Brehaut who has been served with very poor coaching at UCLA. Remember Brehaut was also a 4 start, Elite-11 QB when he arrived in Westwood.

So if Brehaut attacks spring ball this year, I could see him emerging as a starter. That said if Brehaut doesn't get it done, I could see Hundley breaking into the lineup by third or fourth game like Tommy Maddox did back in 1990 season when the Brett Johnson-Jimmy Bonds nightmare ended after the first few games.

As for Fuller/Millweard, it is difficult to project how it will turn out. Fuller seems like the obvious candidate to get some action as a true frosh, but don't forget Millweard is enrolling early, giving him a head start in Mazzone's scheme. The competition should be fun to watch.

Freesia39: I think Hundley will win among the three, but we will have a senior QB to start the season in the fall. Which one, I'm not sure. I think Brehaut has the edge, but I never, ever count out Kevin Prince.

gbruin: Hundley. If he were included in this recruiting class, he'd still be our number one QB prospect. Having a year on campus under his belt makes him more comfortable assuming the necessary leadership role. I think the recent comment from the coaching staff that one of the three will be the starter says a lot about the fates of Brehaut and Prince.

10. Which linebacker do you see making the biggest impact at UCLA?

AHMB: When all is said and done, I think Iese and Castro will make the biggest impact simply due to the fact that they project to rush the passer more than Porter or Kenny Orjioke. Castro looks like he can roll out of bed and sack a quarterback. He will probably make an earlier impact than Iese, but Iese may have more rounded utility than Castro in addition to the ability to rush the passer.

Ryan R.: It sounds like we will be playing both 4-3 and 3-4 so I'll go with Porter because he's such a good all-around linebacker that he's capable of playing very well in both schemes.

Achilles: Gonna skip this one, too. Just haven't seen enough of these players to really guess. I'm hoping Anthony Barr makes the most impact as a new linebacker.

Bellerophon: Aaron Porter is probably the least physically gifted, in terms of raw athletic ability, between him, Orjioke, Castro, and Iese, but he strikes me as the most cerebral. I see him in that Christian Taylor mold of MLB. Not the fastest guy, but I think he'll be the QB of the defense in his later years at UCLA.

Nestor: I love our LB class. Absolutely love it. The potential of this class reminds me of the class from two years ago when we brought in Jordan Zumwalt, Aramide Olaniyan, Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr (yes, Barr was listed as an OLB). It is difficult to pick from this year's class of Aaron Porter (6-2/230), Kenny Orjioke (6-4.5/223), Jeremy Castro (6-3/245) and Nate Iese (6-4/238) and figure out who will make the biggest impact at UCLA. I think Castro and Iese could potentially be explosive playmakers in the 3-4 scheme. Orjioke is just getting started as he is barely 17 (!). Porter has the potential to be an anchor. Sorry to take the easy way out. I call this a dead heat. Told you I love this class of LBs. GO BRUINS.

Freesia39: I am going with Castro.

gbruin: Hard to say at this point. I want a guy with great lateral speed, pursues the right angle, and who is a sure tackler. Since Tele hasn't posted the videos of the LB class yet (!)(ed. note, it's hard to watch these guys side by side. But based on the prior recruiting posts, I will say Aaron Porter. He sounds like he is quick and makes great reads, both of which are key to solid LB play. I am also really excited about Kenny Orjioke. This kid sounds like a great athlete who is just learning the game and who will only get better. He could be a freak real soon.

***

That concludes the Bruins Nation roundtable discussion on Coach Mora's first recruiting class. Fire away with any additional thoughts and comments.

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