The UCLA Bruins received a much-needed bump in the recruiting rankings with one simple gesture on Sunday: Tiaoalii Savea’s commitment.
Savea becomes the Bruins’ top-ranked recruit to sign their letter of intent for the Class of 2021 as the four-star prospect ranks as the state of Nevada’s third-best player and the 15th-ranked defensive end in the country.
He stands 6’3, 265 pounds and hails from Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas.
The race was close down the stretch as USC and UCLA made final pushes with official scholarship offers and what was almost a sure-fire help in recruiting from Korey Foreman’s commitment to USC, yet Savea is in, officially a Bruin and signed his letter of intent in December.
He put an end to the debate on social media late Sunday.
A big man who can even get bigger, Blair Angulo of 247Sports wrote this for Savea’s evaluation:
Well-proportioned frame. Carries weight well with plenty of room to add bulk. Athletic pass blocker with positional versatility. Still developing technique, but does well to maintain leverage through contact. Improving run blocker with noticeable nasty streak. Can seal the edge. Lacks elite strength and physicality, but still growing and oozes big-time potential. Must improve footwork and flexibility. Candidate to be a multi-year starter at Power Five level and NFL Draft Day 3 selection.
His commitment now means the two highest-ranked recruits for the Class of 2021 come on the defensive line, at defensive end as he joins Quintin Somerville as two huge coups for the class that Chip Kelly put together. Add in Devin Kirkwood and you’ve got three four-star recruits with extremely high rankings that find themselves in the top 270 prospects nationwide.
There is still one or two more spots for this class as well but if you take into account the transfer additions of Ethan Garbers and Kam Brown, that’s five incoming four-star players according to 247Sports.
And that’s big-time for a program lacking in top-end talent over the past few recruiting classes.
Savea might as well be called big-time nowadays if you watch his highlights:
Welcome to Westwood, Tia!