Say it with me…Line Wins Games!
It also helps to have the best QB prospect in the country, along with a host of offensive weapons, and a fast and mean defense, but a successful team has to dominate in the trenches. U.C.L.A. got another great addition to its deep and talented unit when 4* offensive lineman Andre James appeared on ESPNU and announced from the Nike high school football showcase The Opening that he's committing to the UCLA Bruins.
Andre James is a 6-5 and 275 lb offensive tackle at Herriman HS in Utah, and I'd say we have a pretty good recent history with offensive linemen from Utah. Scout ranks him as the #13 lineman in the country and with a ton of offers, he picked UCLA over Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Southern Cal.
Taylor Mazzone is credited as James' lead recruiter and the young coach has added another huge commitment for the Bruins. The younger Mazzone's 2015 recruits already include Josh Rosen, Alize Jones, and T.J Simmons for the 2015 class.
Somewhere right now, Adrian Klemm is doing another 8 clap.
Here are links to James' profiles on Rivals, Scout, and 247. As you can see, the hole left by Jeff Baca's hairdo when he graduated to the NFL has been filled. But from the looks of things in his junior year highlight video, there are going to be plenty of other holes opening up with Andre James on the line.
James looks like the type of lineman that Klemm has been bringing in, big but lean with a frame to add some size to, great feet and athleticism, and a nasty streak in his blocking. Look at all the D line picking themselves off the ground at the end of those plays.
James talked about UCLA just a few days ago:
And UCLA? You were there recently and seemed to love it. What's the major draw there?
Again, I love California. They are probably one of my favorite coaching staffs. They have been one of my top three schools for a long time. The fact that they were one of the first schools to offer me matters a lot. I've really gotten to know the coaches. That relationship has been built for a long time. They're going to be winning games for a long time. I really like UCLA.
It's no coincidence that the Bruins rise the last couple years has been paralleled by the development of its offensive line, a unit which was woefully thin and often injured through the last two coaching regimes. Coach Mora made rebuilding the offensive line a priority, and bringing in ace recruiter and 3 time Super Bowl winner Coach Klemm as OL coach was the first step. James will add to an offensive line that under Klemm's guidance has become deep and talented and should be opening holes and protecting quarterbacks, and in James' own words, "winning games for a long time".
As always, these commitments are just verbals, and nothing is settled until the faxes roll in on National Letter on Intent Day in February. But seeing one of the nation's top offensive line prospects appear on national television from the country's hottest high school football showcase and pledge to those great 4 letters is always an awesome thing.
Welcome to Westwood, Andre!