Bumped. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
Hello again! I know we're focused on basketball's impending matchup against Florida, but this past week also featured the commitment of top QB Josh Rosen. Rosen's commitment is huge from multiple standpoints, so I thought I'd break it down in no particular order.
- Reminder: Star Ratings Matter - This should be obvious, but it bears repeating. Before you continue, go read this article at Football Study Hall. In it you'll find some info that, again, should seem obvious: that the best teams tend to have the best talent. While recruiting rankings are, at a very basic level, an educated guess on how a player will do in college, And while outliers exist, the general idea remains that a 5 star talent is more likely to positively contribute than a 3 star. For UCLA to continue establishing itself as a national power, bringing in more high 4 and 5 star recruits will help keep momentum going.
- The strength of an early commitment - First, a quote from Rosen:
I'm very excited and ready to start recruiting. I've already been recruiting for the past few months and I think you're going to see UCLA finish up with a pretty nice recruiting class this year
So, how should we look at early commitments? Certainly we can all agree that an early commitment from a top prospect is a boon to any program. It allows coaches to go into the home of other prospects and sell a future. This works especially well when your top prospect is a future starting QB. In addition, an early commit can then go out and talk to other commits about going to the same school, with that recruiting being completely legal. In the past few years, UCLA has utilized these tactics with past recruiting classes with guys like Jaleel Wadood and Ishmael Adams. But having someone of Rosen's caliber, at the quarterback position, is huge. With national #1 TE Alize Jones also in the fold, UCLA coaches (and Rosen) can go into the homes of top WR recruits like Christian Kirk and Cordell Broadus and get the elite playmaker that UCLA has been missing.
- Taylor Mazzone Triumphant - Questions still abound over the younger Mazzone's coaching ability, but there can be no doubt that T. Mazzone is acquitting himself well on the recruiting trail. With Rosen's commitment, the three top commitments thus far in the 2015 class (Rosen, Jones, and Jaason Lewis) can all be traced back to Taylor, along with current Bruins Thomas Duarte and 2014 QB commit Aaron Sharp. With Mazzone also considered the lead recruiter for a number of other top talent interested in UCLA (the list of which you can find for free here), 2015 might shape up to be Taylor Mazzone's coming-out party.
- The creation of a talent pipeline - Josh Rosen represents the third commitment UCLA has gotten from a player from St. John Bosco since the 2014 recruiting cycle. With Bosco using concepts straight out of the N-Zone offense, and the apparently-friendly relationship between Bosco coaches and UCLA,it appears St. John Bosco could turn into Mora's first true elite talent pipeline, which would be a huge boon to the program going forward.
- The future - Rosen represents a bright future for UCLA once Hundley (presumably) leaves next year. Due to Rosen graduating from college early, and running a similar offense in high school, Rosen is expected to compete for the starting job with current backup Asiantii Woulard. Best case scenario would be Woulard winning the competition, allowing Rosen to redshirt and better acclimate to the college game, but Rosen has the tools to win the job as a true freshman. Either way, the future at QB hasn't looked this bright in a long time.