The weekend was not kind to the Bruins on the football field, falling to Oregon State in a mess of a game. The loss knocked the team out of the top-25, but not off of the recruiting trail, as UCLA picked up a pair of verbal commits to the 2013 class.
Hearing from multiple sources that #UCLA may have received a commitment from OL Poasi Moala, who's at the Rose Bowl, a current UW commit— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) September 22, 2012
On Saturday, Rancho Verde High offensive lineman Poasi Moala made the trip from Moreno Valley over to the Rose Bowl to catch the UCLA/OSU game. Before kickoff, he verbally committed to the UCLA, flipping his prior (shaky) verbal to Washington. In addition to UW, he also had been offered by Arizona, ASU, Boise State and Oregon State.
Earlier today, the program got a second Arizona commitment for the month, when Jalen Ortiz joined Kenny Lacy in jumping across the state line to become a Bruin. In making his verbal commitment to UCLA, Jalen sorted through offers from schools including the Arizona duo, Boise State, BYU, Purdue, Utah and Washington. He visited Utah last weekend, and has previously scheduled official visits upcoming to Boise and Washington, but it is uncertain whether he will take those trips.
Considering the issues that the team is having, and has historically had with Offensive Line depth, the staff is loading up in this class. Poasi is the 6th O-Lineman in what is currently a 13-man recruiting class. Scout.com rates him as a 3-star recruit, and the #37 offensive tackle prospect in this year's class. Rivals.com also has him as a 3-star, and the #60 tackle in his class while ESPN shares in the 3-star rating and sees him as the #64 tackle and #80 player overall in California. Much of the available scouting reports on him are behind subscription firewalls (ESPN Insider), but there are some highlight videos around, and he also talked with 247 Sports earlier in the year.
As kiwibruin noted in his fanpost sharing the news of his commitment, Jalen Ortiz could fill any number of roles on either side of the ball for UCLA, but look for this 5'9" athlete's first shot to come out of the slot in Coach Mazzone's offense. He is a 3-star recruit per Scout.com, the #58 running back in this year's class. Rivals has him as a 3-star "athlete" and the 8th best senior in Arizona. ESPN gives him 4-stars, considering him the #29 cornerback prospect in the nation, and the 3rd best prospect in Arizona.
Sounds like another couple of solid additions to next fall's incoming class. We can never get enough offensive linemen, and Ortiz sounds just like a Mazzone-type athlete. There are still a few months to go in the recruiting process for Mora, Mazzone and Co to find more guys; also time for other coaching staffs to go after the young men that are currently in the fold. It is a long road to National Signing Day, but this is a nice waystop.
Welcome to Westwood, Poasi and Jalen!