The Bruins wrap up the key recruitment weekend of this year today, but Coach Mora and the Bruin staff did not have to wait until recruits began to pack up and head home for one of them to decide that he wanted to spend his next four years in Westwood.
Coach Martin gave the first sign of a recruit giving a commitment early (and I mean early) this morning with this not-too specific tweet:
YEE YEE! SoundslikeBOOM!— Demetrice Martin (@coach_meat) January 20, 2013
Since then, it has come out that Johnny Johnson, a cornerback from Fresno (Central East High) and one of the top high school players in California has verbally committed to UCLA. He has been rumored to be a UCLA lean for a while, but had also strongly considered Washington and also holds offers from Stanford, Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and a number of other schools.
Johnny is a huge get for the Bruins - not just his elite status but particularly as an elite defensive back that we are all too short on. He is rated as a 4-star recruit by all of the major recruiting services: Scout.com rates him as the #8 CB in the nation and the #78 overall prospect regardless of position. Rivals.com rates him as the 20th best CB in this year's class, the #25 player in California and #210 nationally at all positions, while ESPN rates him as the #195 prospect in the nation and 19th best in California.
His highlight tapes are available to watch via HUDL.com. Fox Sports also has video on Johnny, as embedded below.
At a listed 5'10 and 180, he is a little smaller than we might prefer in a Cornerback, but plays well beyond his height. On Scout.com's profile page for Johnson (not behind their subscription firewall), Brandon Huffman gives this brief description after following Johnny.
Johnson is a true lock-down corner, with tremendous strength packed into a shorter, but more filled out frame. Johnson is good in press coverage and is real physical with opposing receivers. He takes a lot of risks but they usually pay off.
This is a major commit no matter how you slice it, and hopefully the first of a group of elite defensive backs strongly considering UCLA. There is still plenty of room in the class to build up the defense - if we can get a couple more of those DB's coming into the fold, along with a couple of the guys at other positions said to be serious about the Bruins, this has the chance of being the best defensive recruiting class ever for the Bruins.
Welcome to Westwood, Johnny!