While we stop to bask in the glory of the Bruins' first National Championship in baseball, the rest of the U.C.L.A. sports world moves on, and unfortunately there is some disappointing news. Dominick Jackson, the big OL from College of San Mateo (CA) who committed to U.C.L.A. three weeks ago flipped his commitment from U.C.L.A. to Alabama (HT to Scott_E_G for the fanshot). Our friends at Roll Bama Roll have details here.
There is no doubt that Alabama is sitting on top of the college football world these days, so to see a big time recruit go there is not much of a surprise. It's hard to say no to Nick Saban. Having said that, I wouldn't count U.C.L.A. out just yet. Coach Adrian Klemm has been an ace recruiter, and he and Coach Mora may have something to say about this before all is said and done. Also, Jackson is a California kid, so if home has anything to say in this, the Bruins shouldn't be discounted yet.
Losing Jackson is eased just a bit by the fact that the OL has become very talented and very deep by the efforts of Klemm, and it is one of the positions where the Bruins could better tolerate losing a top recruit. The Bruins are in good position with another top JUCO commit in Jermaine Eleumunor. Eleumunor recently visited Ohio State and reported he was very impressed, as any high school kid would understandably be, but he did not change his commitment after the trip and still is considered to be a Bruin. Also, the Bruins are still considered the front runner for top HS OL Demetrius Knox from Texas and they are working hard on local product HS OL Damien Mama (St John Bosco in Bellfower) . Of course, football recruiting and commitments are extremely fluid at this time, there is still an entire season to play which can sway kids' minds, and nothing is official until those LOI's are signed. (Right, Notre Dame?)
Anyone who knows Bruins Nation knows we aren't down with moral victories, but it does say something about the state of U.C.L.A. football when we are butting heads with Alabama for recruits. If Jackson sticks with this commitment and heads to Alabama, we wish him all the best, because that is a long way from home. In the meantime, we will count on Mora and Klemm and the staff will continue working overtime to bring the best recruits to Westwood. This also should re-emphasize the importance that Apathetic Director Dan Guerrero improve the football facilities in Westwood and get them competitive with the top programs in the country.
Enjoy that Baseball title, Bruins. Our football opener is in 66 days.