Now that you have had some time to digest Scout.com analyst Brandon Huffman's thoughts on the state of UCLA football recruiting, let's focus on the strength and weakness of the Bruin staff when it comes to recruiting. Here are Brandon's thoughts on the topic in response to some of our queries in Part 2 of our 3 part with Q&A.
BN: Do you think our staff is spending too much time recruiting out of state kids at the expense of local talent?
Huffman: I do. I've always been of the mindset, being a Southern California native, that USC and UCLA could comprise 80-85% of their class from SoCal and have a top 10 class, and I don't ever think that should change. So I think you still need to always prioritize your backyard before prioritizing nationally.
BN: Aside from Coaches Adrian Klemm, Demetrice Martin, and Angus McClure who is UCLA's next best recruiter?
Huffman: You would have to include Jeff Ulbrich in that mix. After the linebacker class he signed in 2013, with three Scout 300 prospects, including the West's top middle linebacker and top outside linebacker, Ulbrich is back in it heavily in the 2014 class.
BN: Would love to hear your thoughts on how big of an impact (if any) Coach Alosi has on recruits? Is our S&C program actually selling well with recruits?
Huffman: It seems like Alosi is having a bigger impact on the team, as you'd expect him to, but his name is rarely mentioned by recruits. Honestly, fans seem to find the marriage between the S&C coach and recruits to be more beneficial than recruits. Sure, the S&C coaches have an impact, but it's not as big an affect on recruits as fans think.
BN: What are some fundamental differences in the way that Mora approaches recruiting, compared to Karl Dorrell and Rick Neuheisel?
Huffman: He's not afraid to go after elite talent or evaluate under-the-radar guys and see how they fit. Dorrell never really tried to recruit elite talent, but would instead try to out-evaluate people. Neuheisel tried too much for elite national guys and didn't do a good job evaluating lesser-touted prospects and try to find them a spot. Mora is right down the middle.
BN: What do you think UCLA should do (besides winning on the field) to become more consistently good at recruiting?
Huffman: Emphasize their backyard. Put your best recruiters in the Southland. Make Klemm and Martin the best friend of every campus secretary in a 30-45 mile radius of UCLA.
BN: What role does Coach Mora play in the recruiting process? Assistant Coaches come and go, and the good ones will always be in high demand. Do you think Coach Mora is involved enough in the event one or two of his ace recruiters move on?
Huffman: I think Mora has a big role in it, but I think he could spend more time early in the process, instead of being a closer. He doesn't need to do it to Rick Neuheisel's extent, where it seemed like Neuheisel was the only one who cared about recruiting, from beginning to end, but as soon as they offer a player, Mora needs to be in communication, best he can within the NCAA rules, with those guys. You hear commits say "I hear from Urban Meyer or Nick Saban a lot," but with UCLA, it seems to be primarily the assistant coaches early in the process.
Stay tuned for Part 3 and 3 of our Q&A with Brandon tomorrow.