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UCLA’s Jim Mora Loses a Big Early Quarterback Recruiting Battle to Texas A&M

While it’s still early UCLA’s Jim Mora suffered a setback on the recruiting trail losing a key QB recruit to Texas A&M and finds himself scrambling to focus on alternate targets.

Mora and Taylor Mazzone (left of Mora) needs to bring in an elite QB in this year's class.
Mora and Taylor Mazzone (left of Mora) needs to bring in an elite QB in this year's class.

The big news of the day is Jim Mora losing out on a key QB recruit in the early going as hot shot blue chip QB out 0f Scottsdale (Ariz.) Desert Mountain - Kyle Allen - surprised everyone in the industry by committing to Texas A&M over UCLA and Notre Dame.

On paper there are few big reasons for Allen picking the Aggies. First, the Aggies are the team of national sensation - Johnny Football. So it's not all that difficult for Kevin Sumlin and his assistants to sell that kind of vision for Allen. Second, as noted by our friends at SBNation's mothership Allen helps the Aggies feel a bit more secured at the QB spot at a time they are "in serious danger of losing 2013 signee Kohl Stewart to the MLB Draft." Plus, it's not that difficult to get a kid excited about playing in a program that is trending up in a conference like the SEC in the heart of a football crazy state, while in-state rival Texas is trending down under Mack Brown.

Still Allen's decision is somewhat interesting because it's not guaranteed that he is going to waltz into the starting spot in College Station as even if they lose Kohl Stewart the Aggies already have a stacked deck at the QB spot with 4 star freshman Kenny Hill and Matt Davis (another 4 star recruit with some outstanding offers), who will be redshirt freshman. The depth chart at College Station is going to be a little different for Allen compared to competing against Asiantii Woullard (a project), T.J. Millweard and Jerry Neuheisel.

Well - we wish best of luck Mr. Allen. Hope it all works us.

Now, turning back to UCLA - what is going to happen with Bruins' QB recruiting? The answer is muddy. Here is a current list of prospects supposedly on UCLA's radar. Local hotshot Brad Kaaya is committed to Miami. It's unclear whether someone like Brandon Dawkins is an even option at this point. From what we have heard - it doesn't appear that Jim Mora and his assistants had a contingent plan in place in case Allen had not committed to UCLA. And, that is somewhat troubling coming off last year when UCLA had to scramble in the last minute to land Asiantii Woullar, comes in with a lot of upside in terms of athleticism, but remains a question mark as to whether he can emerge as a viable replacement for Brett Hundley.

Obviously it is way too early to worry. Recruiting is a year long and the coaches who are tenacious but steady with strategic plans in place, usually come out on top during signing day. To his credit Mora has pulled it off on the recruiting trail since he has been year. But today's news was a big setback. Let's hope he already has mapped out a plan with staff to focus on viable targets.

Not to mention it becomes even more important for UCLA to put together a huge season this year so that Bruins can reel in a big name recruit for a position that remains a question mark beyond Brett Hundley (the super star QB who was brought in by Rick Neuheisel, not Mora).