It had been a quiet month in UCLA Football recruiting. Sure, players had taken official visits to campus and games, and we even picked up a commitment from a punter. But there had not been a major commitment for a month. That changed yesterday when Ammon Barker, a receiver from Sandy, Utah committed to UCLA coaches.
Jake is one of Fox/Scout.com's recruiting analysts. Ammon's history with the UCLA coaches began over the summer when he traveled to Westwood to participate in one of the summer football camps on campus. Bruin coaches kept an eye on him through the early part of his senior season, with Coach Tui extending a scholarship offer last week.
Ammon is been under the radar to date - His other main offers have come from Utah and Hawaii. Scout rates him as a 2-star WR (though their scout covering Utah has hinted that his rating was slated to improve prior to the commitment), while Rivals and ESPN have not ranked him - but has the size and speed that any team should want to take a chance on: 6'4, 207 and a reported 4.45 40-meter time.
Ammon has his own recruiting-focused website, hosting his early highlight videos. Tape from this season's games and a general Senior-year highlights film are streamable via Hudl.com. Salt Lake's Deseret News reported on his commitment, and added this bit toward the end.
But Barker may not be the only Utah player to don the UCLA powder blue next season.
Cottonwood's three-star recruit Siale "Havili" Fakailoatonga announced via Facebook his intentions to also sign with UCLA next year.
"Me an my boy Ammon are gonna tear it up at UCLA next year!! Too excited!!" Fakailoatonga wrote.
Havili is a Tight End/Y receiver, rated 3-stars by Scout , Rivals and ESPN and also holds a UCLA scholarship offer. He told the Deseret reporter that he plans to take an official visit to Westwood soon and plans to commit on the spot assuming the trip goes well.
Ammon's coach also talked with the same reporter about his commitment to the Bruins.
"I knew that (UCLA) offered him last week and it's somewhere Ammon has wanted to go for a while," Stephens said. "I'm glad it worked out for him and he's going to do a great job down there. They're going to love him."
His coach also spoke to the Salt Lake Tribune about Barker's decision, while noting that with some inconsistency in his past, he has plenty of room to grow as a football player.
"You know, I think it's been a dream of his to play for somebody like UCLA," Stephens says. "He's made so much progress in all aspects of football. I'm really proud of the work he's put in from Day 1. He's the kind of kid who can turn a 15-yard reception into a 50-yard touchdown."
... "I think he'll match up really nicely in college, and he'll be an impact player," Stephens says. "I think there's a lot more to be tapped into there."
Welcome to Westwood, Ammon!