The NCAA's newly-created recruiting dead period ended yesterday morning at 12:01am, and the Bruin coaches have already been taking advantage of the final couple weeks of recruiting before Signing Day. The compressed schedule meant that wheels were up early for our coaches who hit the road for in-home recruiting visits.
While Angus and Klemm stayed in-state, Coach Mora along with much of the staff was in the southeast on Thursday. You may be able to guess who they were down there visiting before heading back home overnight.
With the staff back in Westwood, the program will be hosting six recruits on official visits this weekend. Along with already committed Denzel Fisher, Cameron Griffin, Jordan Lasley and Nathan Starks will be a pair of recruiting targets - Sacramento-area offensive tackle Kolton Miller and Texas quarterback Aaron Sharp. Miller holds a pretty nice set of offers, including Arizona, ASU, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State and Wisconsin. Sharp is a Kansas State commit, but is looking at coming west and also has an official visit to Washington scheduled for next weekend.
The staff will also be welcoming at least one unofficial visitor - Cincinnati, OH Junior offensive lineman George Brown is coming to Southern California this weekend, planning to drop in to Westwood and Souhern Cal. There is a divergence of opinion right now among the recruiting services on Brown's talent. While Scout rates him as a 3-star and not particularly high in its positional rankings, Rivals.com has George as the 115th best player in next year's class regardless of position and a top-15 prospect at tackle. His offer list more closely reflects the Rivals assessment of his abilities, and getting him on campus is a good early step toward one of next year's big recruiting battles.
Ryan Bartow with 247 Sports has written up a story looking at the 12 best assistant coaching hires of this offseason in terms of recruiting impact. UCLA's lone move is on his list.
Kennedy Polamalu, Loyola (Calif.) assistant coach to UCLA RBs - Regarded as one of the most well-respected coaches/recruiters in Los Angeles. This hire gives Jim Mora continued respect in its backyard as the battles against USC and the rest of the Pac-12 transpire in the years to come. ...
With the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft done and college football's major coaching moves completed, some media outlets have updated their early predictions for the 2014 season. ESPN released their second version of that ranking this morning. UCLA remains at #7, but moved up to 2nd among Pac-12 teams after Stanford fell to #9 with their early draft losses now factored in.
Former Bruin Tennis player John Mapes and family donated $1 million earlier this week toward endowing the scholarships of future UCLA student-athletes. Sports Illustrated noted that the Bruins were one of the fortunate teams when it comes to players leaving early for the NFL Draft, along with Oregon's benefit of Marcus Mariota staying in Eugene. That October game at the Rose Bowl is starting to look like a real classic, and probably won't be the only time the two teams will play each other next season.