The race for the best 2021 football recruiting class took a turn earlier this year when in-person, official visits were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Things got even harder when the recruiting dead period was extended through the end of June.
Still, some colleges have been able to overcome such difficulties and hammer out commitments like normal. USC currently holds the Pac-12 lead with 13 commitments while Oregon is just behind them as the only other team with double-digit pledges.
While the race for the No. 1 spot in the Pac-12 football recruiting power rankings will go through USC and Oregon for the time being, UCLA’s latest two pledges put the Bruins firmly into not only the top half but into fifth place behind only Washington, Cal and the aforementioned duo of Oregon and USC.
Tyler Kiehne and Benjamin Roy committed in a three-day span just a week after Devin Kirkwood became the third commitment of the class in the middle of May.
Kirkwood’s place in the class is that of the highest-rated recruit to date but Kiehne and Roy represent high-ranking positional players for the future of the program. Kiehne is the state of New Mexico’s highest-rated player while Roy is the state of Nevada’s seventh-highest and the nation’s 17th-best center prospect.
They join Devin Aupiu, a three-star outside linebacker and wide receiver DJ Justice in the class that now sits fifth in the Pac-12 and 71st nationally, according to 247Sports.
The class would get a big boost if players that the Bruins are reportedly ‘high on’ would begin to commit. Players like QB Miller Moss and RB Byron Cardwell, who are considered high hopefuls and have UCLA in their shortlist.
With the new-found ways of head coach Chip Kelly and his staff receiving commitments (three over the past three weeks means they’re on a hot streak), it wouldn’t come as a surprise to start seeing some of these recruits knock out their commitment soon.
The Pac-12’s best recruiting class for 2021 is still a long way from being finalized but the recent hot streak only means good things for the UCLA Bruins. Especially considering we have at least 30 more days of the dead period to get through.