National Signing Day is behind us and Head Coach Jim Mora and his staff did a nice job of reeling in a special recruiting class. Now it is up to the program to turn that potential into results on the field next season. Now that the dust has settled, Bruin Bites will start today with a peak at how the class was ranked by Scout, Rivals, 247 Sports and ESPN. We'll also take a look at the other goings-on in UCLA sports in today's Bruin Bites. Unfortunately, not all of that news is good news.
UCLA Football Recruiting
UCLA Football's 2016 recruiting class was highly ranked among the three primary recruiting services, and a bit less highly ranked by ESPN (which IMO, does not employ the same type of reasoned and logical analysis used by other services, and suffers from SEC bias due to it being the flagship for the SEC Network, but that is another story for another day).
Scout ranked the class at #7, first in the PAC 12, with the centerpiece, Mique (pronounced Mee-Kay) Juarez the #8 overall prospect in the country. Juarez will apparently enroll in time for spring ball, and should compete for a starting position as a true freshman.
Rivals ranked the class at #11, second in the PAC 12 behind the Southern Cal Trogans.
247 Sports ranked the class at #12, second in the PAC 12 behind the Trogans.
ESPN ranked the class at #15, third in the PAC 12 behind the Trogans and Stanford. UCLA languished at #19 in ESPN's rankings for much of the NSD, but received a 4 spot boost with the signing of Juarez and Boss Tagaloa.
If you average those rankings, UCLA is #11, on the cusp of the Top 10. Tip of the cap to Coach Mora and his staff for a job well done.
Bruins Nation gives a special shout out to UCLA's Linebacker/Special Teams Coach, Scott White, who was named the PAC 12 Recruiter of the Year by Scout. Coach White has only been on staff for one season, so this is a tremedous accomplishment for him and for the future of UCLA football recruiting. Way to go Coach White!
Can't wait for spring practice.
The #14 Women's basketball team fell to #8 Arizona State in Tempe last night, 65-61. Despite falling behind early, the Bruins fought back to make it respectable. The loss drops UCLA to 16-6 (8-3 in the PAC 12). UCLA faces the Arizona Wildcats tomorrow in Tucson at noon PT.
The #1 ranked Men's Volleyball team suffered its first setback of the season at Hawai'i, succumbing to the #5 Rainbow Warriors in 4 sets, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-18. UCLA gets quick chance for revenge: the teams play again tonight at 9 p.m. PT.
The #9 Men's Tennis team swept #16 University of San Diego, 7-0, yesterday afternoon at the L.A. Tennis Center. In singles play, Karue Sell, Joseph Di Giulio, and Martin Redlicki won their matches in straight sets. Mackenzie McDonald's return from injury last week has been a big boast for the Bruins, as he won both his singles match (against the #35 ranked player in the nation), and his doubles match along with Redlicki.
The Bruins next travel to the University of Virginia for a stiff test against the #1 Cavaliers on Tuesday at 3 p.m. PT.
UCLA gymnastics faces off against the Utah Utes in a few hours at Pauley Pavilion, at 1 p.m. PT. The Bruins are coming off a grueling road trip and hope to bounce back after a tough loss at U.C. Berkeley on Monday.
It's GAME OVER for Bruin Bites today. I hope that you are enjoying your weekend and that you enjoyed today's Bruin Bites. Oh, and I hope you enjoy that OTHER game tomorrow.