WOW, what a day Wednesday. I totally didn't expect that, did you??!?! Okay, okay... Just breath Bruin faithful, I know it suck. Feels like 50-0 all over again right? WRONG! Lemme put some insight on what REALLY happened and what @UCLA has done to become a BIG time player in upcoming recruiting classes for 2015 and beyond. Breathing yet? No, well put down the beer, joint, whatever you're using as a release right now and just follow me... Lemme hit you with the GOOD NEWS FIRST.
Can you say, PIPELINES, or are some of you still lost? I see some of you still have a whats that smell look on your face. What i mean by this are. Last year, the @UCLA was just trying to get in the home's of recruits and going to high school to high school passing out flyers saying "UNDER-New Management." Slick Rickie was SOOOO good at this. I wont lie when @CoachNeuheisel was here, if he was able to get into home of a kid, he was a flat out MONSTER closer and charmed kids and their parents is why he was able to have such good classes after bad season.(Karl Dorrell(aka Wandy Sykes, I have no idea what he was doing TBH.) BUT, Neuheisel gift, was his defining curse. Yes, he was great at closing, but when you actually go back and see some of the Pipelines he created for @UCLA they were all SFV(San Fernando Valley) and the kids from those pipelines i'm sorry to say, but they were "softer than continental tissue," don't get me wrong... now some of them could play and flat out ball, but let's be real the rest of them are why @UCLA had that stigma and reputation of a 'SOFT WHITE BOYS SCHOOL' and in that same time frame when @CoachNeuheisel & @CoachDorrell were at @UCLA, look at what @PeteCarroll was doing with @USC, he created pipelines with high schools such as Poly, Dorsey, Carson, Taft, Centennial, Serra, Oaks Christians, John Bosco, etc etc... What @UCLA wouldn't recruit or even think of recruiting Pete and @USC were ALL OVER Southern L.A. They feed on inner city kids creating a pipeline that we are JUST NOW ALLOWED TO TAP INTO TOO. Did you not hear it yourself. Adoree' Jackson pretty much summed it up, "I watched Reggie Bush and them, I wanted to be just like them." On top of taken them 5 Star Valley kids from Mater Dei and Mission Viejo too. So do you understand what is going on here...
Feeling better yet? .....NO, arggh okay, well peep this....Take a look at this quote by Jim Mora in the L.A.Times today and tell me what you got from that; "We were bridesmaids, might even been the ring girl on a couple players, but we were in the wedding!" We were in the wedding... @UCLA when have we EVER, been in the wedding of MANY players from Los Angeles to Alabama? When was the last time, that happened? I've been alive 29 years and I have yet to see @UCLA becoming a BIG player with recruits in the South of SEC country with LSU, Alabama(and beating them out for a recruit), Northeast(Penn St/Rutgers/Cincinnati), Midwest(Notre Dame/Mich/Ohio St/Nebraska), and Fla, outside of this year... Great Job to Coach Mora and his staff he's put together and kept.
When was the last time you heard of a Serra kid commit to @UCLA over @USC, yet alone a Serra WR at that? @robertwoods, Marqise Lee, those names ring a bell? Anyways, I could stay on this subject for days, but if you were to take away anything from this article I want you to know this. What most SC fans and other big times schools aren't realizing, we have created lasting relationships with schools and recruits with school who NEVER would have consider UCLA before. Ucla has tapped into those Pipelines of schools such as USC, LSU, Bama, and as of right now have a Fla. commit in the class of 2015. Coach Mora has done something with UCLA that has been done since the glory years of Bob Toledo & Terry Donahue. So, now that you have calmed down, lemme break down the kids who have committed this year, and give them the respect that is DUE too them.
Jordan Lasley, WR 6'1 186, doesn't have the sheer size or speed of his two predecessors in Lee and Woods coming out of high school, but he's still is a dynamic player in his own right and the fastest of the current commits, possess the ability to take a swing pass to the house, while attacking the ball at it's high point being 6'1. Will need to pack on a few pounds and work in the weight room, can be that weapon UCLA needed to keep spying LB's off of Brett.
Dwight William, LB 6'1 205, went from a 4-Star to a 3-star by a lot of people once they found out he was becoming a Bruin(weird), but is labeled as an under sized middle linebacker, but they said the same about Eric Kendricks who is a full inch shorter than Dwight look how that panned out. I will say Dwight is a bit undisciplined from time to time, but he possesses the rare athleticism to recover and is GREAT in pass coverage, is a big time hitter, and has side-line-to-side-line speed. I heard he ran a better 40-yard dash time than his team mate at Serra(Jordan Lasley.)
Matt Dickerson, DT/DE 6'5 275, one time Notre Dame commit, I think has the potential to play at both end and DT on passing downs. at 6-5 could eat up blocks inside and control the pocket. With Owa coming back, and the current DE's and speedy LB's UCLA has(including this class,) finding time on the Dline this year is gonna be at a premium this year.
Cameron Griffin, LB 6'3 210, has been called the steal of their class said by some coaches, they love this kid and see great potential in him with a high ceiling, he did play in a weaker league in California, but he was FLAT out dominate at 6'3 210. He will battle the other linebackers next year for time on the field. I see him taking a RS this year.
Ainuu Taua, DT 6'0 280, an undersized DT at 6'0 280, Packs a punch and has speed to match.. Will look like sonic on the field chasing down running backs from behind with his 'Tory Polamalu' like mane coming out the back of his helmet. Can play any position on the Dline, but i see him next to Eddie clogging up the middle eatting blocks to keep their LBs free.
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, DE 6'4 250, has your typical NFL size body, has great footwork from playing volleyball, and was one of the few kids on that LOADED Bosco team who is over looked. Great upside, and quick first step on the snap of the ball that keeps him in the backfield of the opposing team. Look for him next year as he will be another RS.
Zach Whitley, LB 6'2 223, an early enrollee so expect to see him on the field next year. Is one of thee best tacklers in this years class, great in open space and stopping the run, doesn't have the best hips to cover WR/TE's in space tho. Which is really a mental, because when you see him change direction or chasing a RB he has great hips. Lacks coverage confidences. But will be an impact players at UCLA trust me!
Kenny Young, LB 6'2 220, called the crown jewel of UCLA's class as he was the ONLY commit, too commit live to UCLA. Also, if Kenny doesn't red shirt next year. He will be a Jordan Zumwalt clone he loves, Loves, did i mention he LOVES contact. I will predict now he will have the hardest hit this up coming year by any Bruin on Defense this year, if he sees considerable time whither it's as DE, LB, or on special team.
Adarius Pickett, DB 5'11 175, East Bay player of the Year, a true 6' coner with lockdown ability. He also, did double duty as a RB in high school too. I don't see him flipping to running back tho. Will RS this year
Denzel Fisher, DB 6'2 170, he is the definition of a LONG corner. at 6'2 his wing span is that of someone 6'6(I believe) and he's not done growning. I will say he is about 165 Wet. He's listed at 170, but I highly doubt that! Coach Alosi will undoubtedly be his best friend this year and all off season. I believe he could be the best corner of this class. NFL is trending to bigger corners and he's one they will keep an eye on. Will RS this year!
Ron Robinson, S/DB/LB 6'2 190, yep, he's that versatile! At 6'2 190(built like a rock) he will need to find out where he fits best at in this defense. He is another "long arm of the law" type players with a crazy wing span. So i would like to see where they put him. Depending on where he goes, I still see him taking a RS this year too.
Jaleel Wadood, S 5'11 170, named LA Times Player of the Year, As a two way athlete is probably the best instinctive player on the team now or second behind Eric Kendricks. Will be a big time player maker for Ucla at Safety and Punt Returner.
Nathan Starks, RB 5'11 200, comes to Westwood already as our biggest back. Depending on how much we run that speical formation with Jack, Eddie, who ever will replace J.Zumwalt. I see him playing on short and goal or 1 to go. He has good vision and is a patience back, something that pledge last years Backs... they'd just put there head down and plug into the hole, when there were other lanes open... Can't wait to see how much better the RB's look under coach Polamalu.
Alex Van Dyke, WR 6'4 205, a physical receiver, who knows how to use his body, Has good speed, with a LONG STRIDE deerish like. Out of all the receivers he has the high ceiling, because he still raw. Can get faster and better at running routes, but already possesses good - almost great hands and attacks the ball in the air.
Austin Roberts, WR 6'2 211, is another big body receiver, I believe he's already filled out and is ready to play today. He will learn a lot from Jordan Payton as well. Has under rated speed, but his ball skills are almost second too NONE. If it's in his area he will go up and get it 90% of the time.
Aaron Sharp, QB 6'3 190, former Kansas St. commit, is built just like Brett Hundley, coming out of high schools, is faster, but has a weaker arm, currently isn't as strong as Brett, but can get there. His throwing motion and footwork will need work, but he can make ALL the throws including with accuracy on the run.
Najee Toran, OL 6'3 265, coming from Houston, wont make an immediate impact right away, but will start on the line some time in the future... RS this year.
Malcolm Bunche, OL 6'7 327, transfer from Miami can star right away and will bring leadership to a older but still young Oline, with X' leaving to the NFL.
Kolton Miller, OL 6'8 280, tall, long with arms, and good athleticism. NFL BOUND barring injuries.
I believe the key to our success will be the Dline, they are stacked. I think we have more talent on our line than Stanford, with better linebackers. I see the potential of having a top 5 defense even with the offensive fire power the Pac12 contains. This class is heavily a Def of class, but with great potential from Lasley, Roberts, and Starks. I will say we this upcoming year and most of our upper class-men return to health, it should make for some CRAZY spring ball practice. Even if we are hit with the injury bug this up coming year, the experience last year, and Depth added... Bruins can make a SERIOUS step this up coming season....
April 26th. Sping game... 77 days and counting...