This had already been a big week in UCLA Football recruiting, with the commitments of Stephen Johnson and Andre James while in Oregon participating in The Opening, while existing commits Josh Rosen and Alize Jones worked out and worked their fellow elite prospects at the same event. Now the Bruins have closed out the week in style by picking up another major commitment tonight from Honolulu (St. Louis HS) offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry.
"I just called up Coach Mora and Coach Klemm and committed to #UCLA," Hawaii OL Fred Ulu-Perry— Greg Biggins (@GregBiggins) July 12, 2014
Perry spent the past week at The Opening along with this week's other new Bruin commits, and per the opening to Biggins' story on tonight's commitment, opened plenty of eyes with his performance.
There wasn't a better interior line prospect at The Opening last week than Fred Ulu-Perry. He had a dominant couple of days and it's tough to imagine there being a better center prospect anywhere in the country.
According to Scout.com's latest set of rankings, he is their 2nd ranked center prospect, and 262nd in their top-300 national ranking regardless of position. His measurable are a little on the small side for an elite O-Line prospect at 6'2.5" and 295lbs - as measured this week (crazy, right!) but that height isn't as much of an issue at Center, where most scouts agree that his future lies. Rivals only gives him 3 stars, but rates him as the 5th best center prospect in this year's class, while he sits 76th overall in ESPN's Top 300 ranking of 2015 recruits, and their #5 prospect at guard.
247 Sports gives him 4 stars and sees him as one of the nation's top-200 recruits while several of their writers praised his performance this week at The Opening - culminating in his being named to their Dream Team for the event.
OG – Fred Ulu-Perry – Ulu-Perry was another revelation from the event. He was maybe the least impressive physically but he was very effective. He used leverage, strength and technique to slow down some of the names that nobody was limiting.
Even noted USC honk Scott Schrader had this to say after Wednesday's session.
He’s not the biggest player in attendance but Fred Ulu-Perry had the biggest performance on Wednesday. The 6-2.5, 295-pound center showed outstanding feet, strong hands, good hand placement, toughness and resiliency. If he lost a rep, it one or two tops and he was going up against some of the best in attendance. Ulu-Perry was the only OL to slow down Kahlil McKenzie and he did it on consecutive reps.
After breaking news of the commitment today, Greg Biggins talked with Fred about how he made his decision to become a Bruin - the post is not currently behind Scout's paywall and is free for all to read.
"I love UCLA as a school and the direction the program is going in. They're building something really special and I'm excited to be a part of this recruiting class. I think we're putting together a dominant OL class with Andre James committing and hopefully Dru Samia too, it would be great to play with those guys in college."
Ulu-Perry went on to talk about his comfort level with the Bruin coaches and did note that he does plan to take a couple other official visits as he has little experience with schools outside of Hawaii and SoCal. He actually leaned toward Southern Cal early on, but after starting to talk with coaches and experiencing the campuses and programs, that feeling flipped.
"... I grew up liking USC but I think things worked out the way they were supposed to," Ulu-Perry said. "I camped with them and they said they loved me and wanted to offer but even if they did, I really think UCLA is the best fit for me.
"Early on, I didn't know what I was looking for in a school, I was just looking for who had the biggest name. After talking to the coaches and visiting the two schools, UCLA is definitely where I'm most comfortable. I love the coaching staff and the players on the team and it's going to be excited to be a part of what UCLA is doing right now."
HUDL.com has a collection of Ulu-Perry highlight videos, including this tape.
Daniel Ross got a couple of minutes with Fred during UCLA's elite camp earlier in the spring (via youtube)
Fred is UCLA's 10th commitment in the 2015 class. As of now, the Bruins are 11th in their overall team recruiting ranking due to the smaller number of players, but the 3.90 average star rating puts UCLA at #1 in that metric.
Yes, Congrats Fred! And welcome to Westwood!