As the college football bowl season winds down, the recruiting season will start to pick up. The dead period is underway still, but that doesn't stop players from making commitments during the All-American game season.
There are three big All-American games this weekend (and other smaller ones around the country). The first up is the Under Armour All-American Game on Thursday.
Under Armour All-American Game (Thursday, January 2 at 1 PM Pacific on ESPN)
The Bruins don't have any commits playing in this one, which, because it is on ESPN, is essentially an SEC and east coast recruit showcase. Expect to see a lot of LSU hats picked over the course of this contest. As far as UCLA targets, there are a couple of notable players to keep an eye on.
Malachi Dupre from John Curtis Christian High School in Louisiana has UCLA in his final three along with LSU and Florida State. He's arguably the top WR recruit in the country and I'm a big fan of what I've seen of him on tape. Would likely be a first year starter wherever he ends up.
Rashaan Evans out of Auburn, Alabama is another player that has the Bruins on his short list of four teams and has looked like a force in the practices I've checked out on ESPNU. Hasn't spent a lot of time as a LB in high school, but from the looks of this (#11 on defense plugging a hole against the top OT prospect in the country), he'll transition pretty well.
(credit to ESPN's Recruiting Nation for that Vine)
Adoree' Jackson from Junipero Serra High School is one of only 4 California players in the UA game, along with John "Juju" Smith from Long Beach Poly. Both are UCLA targets to some degree. Marlon Humphrey out of Hoover in Alabama is another target of the Bruins to keep an eye on.
The defensive players in this game could really shine as a number (I think four) of the QBs originally slated to play in this game were unable to either due to injury or other issues.
Army All-American Bowl (Saturday, January 4 at 10 AM Pacific on NBC)
This will be the one to really keep an eye on as two huge UCLA targets will be announcing at some point during this contest and lots of UCLA commits and targets will be participating as well.
First, the big events of the day:
- Joe Mixon, RB from Freedom High School in Oakley, CA, will announce at the Army All-American Game
- Bryce Dixon, TE/WR from St. Bonaventure in Ventura will announce at the Army All-American Game
Joe Mixon will choose between the Bruins and traditional RB factories Oklahoma and Wisconsin. He's the best running back recruit in California and arguably the nation. If you haven't seen Mixon play, check him out during this game and in the clip below from Nike's The Opening in the offseason, where he makes a couple of Pac-12 prospects look ridiculous.
(credit to Blair Angulo for this Vine)
Bryce Dixon is another elite prospect at TE, though he looks to be more of a WR (like a Y in UCLA's offense) in build and skillset. He'll decide between UCLA, Southern Cal and Texas, with most thinking it is between the Bruins and Trojans. Below are his senior highlights (thanks to Scout for posting the video)
That's a player that is ready to go as a weapon in the passing game right away.
The Bruins also have three commits playing in this contest, all four star guys according to Scout. Those three are:
- Ainuu Taua, top defensive tackle prospect in California from Lompoc High School.
- Jaleel Wadood, very dynamic two-way player at CIF State Championship St. John Bosco
- Austin Roberts, the top WR and one of the top overall prospects out of Indiana.
Other Bruin targets in this contest are big time linemen prospects Damien Mama (5 star Guard) and Soloman Thomas (5 star DE), both of whom have UCLA on their short lists. Also playing is linebacker Kenny Young, who is a teammate of Malachi Dupre in Louisiana, will be visiting UCLA officially in late January and has the Bruins on his short list. Linebacker Zach Whitley, DE Davon Godchaux, DT Trey Lealaimatafao are all considering the Bruins despite currently being committed elsewhere.
Semper Fidelus All-American Bowl (Sunday, January 5 at 6 PM Pacific on Fox Sports 1)
The last big name contest features 2 UCLA commits and another announcement by a UCLA target.
- Kammy Delp, OL from Diamond Ranch High School will announce at the Semper Fidelus All-American Bowl
Delp is a three star prospect by most services, but with great size at 6'3", 330 pounds (likely much lighter than that). He'll supposedly have 5 hats on the table, but the assumption is that it is a race between UCLA and Arizona State. You can check out Delp's year highlights below (again, thanks to Scout for posting the video):
There are two players playing in this game currently committed to the Bruins. Those two are:
- Adarius Pickett, four star cornerback from El Cerrito High School and already enrolled at UCLA
- Cameron Griffin, linebacker from View Park High School
There are several other Bruin targets in this game as well. The third of the John Curtis Christian trio of players (along with Malachi Dupre and Kenny Young, all officially visiting UCLA in late January) is three star safety Mattrell McGraw. Quarterback Brad Kaaya from Chaminade will also be in this game, as the Bruins try to flip him away from his Miami commitment. The Bruins are trying to do the same thing with offensive lineman Kenyon Frison, committed to Utah currently.
All in all, these will be fun game to watch and I'll be sharing my thoughts in the comments below and hopefully we will all be sharing in the excitement of seeing these kids don UCLA gear this weekend and in the future.