But, for Jim Mora’s outburst on ESPN about Josh Rosen’s ups and downs in 2016, it was a bit of a quiet signing day for the Bruin football team compared to years past.
Eric Sondheimer of the LA Times rounds up the Bruin class by focusing on the two five stars that Mora was able to haul in on the defensive side of the ball.
There’s little doubt that the Bruins’ 18-member recruiting class announced Wednesday is topped by two players already displaying [toughness and competitive greatness]: defensive end Jaelan Phillips from Redlands East Valley High and cornerback Darnay Holmes from Calabasas.
Thuc Nhi Nguyen provides another round up of the class at Inside UCLA.
The group, headlined by defensive stars Jaelan Phillips and Darnay Holmes, is ranked 21st in the country by Rivals and Scout and 18th by ESPN. It addressed several needs for UCLA (defensive line, secondary, offensive line), but lacks many playmakers on offense.
Mora said the staff felt confident in its young roster at running back and receiver, which was why the Bruins didn’t end up signing anyone at those positions. The coach admitted the staff was targeting one receiver who ended up falling through. UCLA returns all five running backs who took carries last year and lost only Kenny Walker and Ishmael Adams from the receiving corps.
Head Coach Jim Mora addressed the media on Wednesday about the 2017. Overall, he spoke about the recruiting class overall and some of the recruits like Jaelan Phillips, Darnay Holmes and Stephan Zabie, in particular. But, he also spoke about the recruiting process and how the coaching staff evalutes recruits. He also addressed the lack of receivers and running backs in the class as being a limitation of the number of scholarships they had available.
He stopped short of calling it the "best" class he's had, partly, out of deference to the other guys he's recruited who are still in the program, but he did go through a bunch of the guys in this class and what he likes about them. He also indicated that they have plan in place for graduate transfers but stopped short about naming guys they hoped to bring in because he wasn't sure that he could discuss their names.
Mora also explained that being able to text recruits was a big thing because "that age group believes texting to be talking." He mentioned that there was "only positive feedback" on the Under Armour apparel deal and that the Wasserman Center is ahead of schedule and that they should be moved in by June 1st.
Early enrollees Jaelan Phillips, Darnay Holmes, and Jimmy Jaggers also spoke to reporters. Here's what each of them had to say.