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Neu Connections In Football Recruiting

We talked about couple of future Bruin baseball players foregoing college to go straight to the pros in our last post. Let’s stick with that topic of future Bruins and shift our attention to football. A pretty interesting note from Chris Fetters, the Northwest recruiting analyst for and also a frequent contributor to, on the Seattle Times’ Husky football blog re. Neuheisel’s recruiting reach out in the great Northwest:

Do you think Rick Neuheisel's presence at UCLA will give the Bruins a greater presence in the Northwest given his history at UW?

FETTERS: Absolutely, but maybe not for the reasons that are readily apparent. Sure, Neuheisel still has plenty of friends in the Seattle area. But his most important one may not be in the high school coaching ranks. Taylor Barton, who played under Neuheisel at Colorado and Washington, is now running camps with his father Greg in the Seattle area and is quickly becoming a major influence when it comes to how high school football prospects are nurtured and developed during the off-season. Barton is a Neuheisel disciple in every way, shape and form, and I would fully expect him to give his mentor a heads up on top prospects coming from the state, just like he would his other coaching contacts in the Pac-10.

The key is, Neuheisel is such a dogged recruiter and would trust Barton's recruiting eye implicitly. There's a reason UCLA has already offered Skyline freshman WR Kasen Williams, as well as sophomore QB Jake Heaps --- both connected to Barton through his football camps. Those players, as well as Skyline WR Gino Simone and Mitch Mathews --- a receiver prospect from the Portland area --- are all traveling to Westwood at the end of the month to take part in a UCLA one-day camp. Expect the number of area prospects heading south to camp with the Bruins to grow as long as Neuheisel is coaching there, especially since the 2010 and 2011 area classes appear to be strong.

It’s interesting to hear someone from Chris about RN’s effectiveness as a “recruiter.” You would think after all the negative press Neuheisel received following the end of his UDub tenure, someone like Fetters would downplay his effectiveness as a recruiter. Instead Fetters’ thoughts on Neuheisel’s recruiting reach is encouraging.

Meanwhile, there are other ways the Neuheisel connection could potential help UCLA’s QB situation in the coming years. From the LA Times:

Quarterback Jerry Neuheisel, a sophomore transfer from Brooklandville (Md.) St. Paul's who's the son of UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel, made his debut for Loyola Friday during a passing tournament at USC.

Neuheisel showed off a nice passing touch and left little doubt once he gets acclimated, he'll be a factor in the competition for a starting position.

He has moppy surfer-like blond hair, which makes him easy to identify. He'll be a big addition to the Cubs who need to find an effective quarterback to be successful in the tough Serra League with Crespi, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame and Bishop Amat.

No doubt Jerry will be someone to keep an eye on for next couple of years.

With Neuheisel in charges recruiting connections are opening up and down the coast for UCLA.