Well, National Signing Day 2016 is next Wednesday, exactly one week away!
Last week, we took a look at the current state of UCLA Recruiting in our "Reset." In Part 1, we covered the offensive players committed and targeted by the staff, and in Part 2, we discussed the defensive and special teams players.
Since my resets, we've had some new additions to our incoming class.
Four-star QB Devon Modster was committed to the Bruins right as I was writing the first reset, while three-star mean dude DE Jake Burton committed to the Bruins right as I was writing the second reset.
A huge position of need was center on the OL, well G reported that Texas graduate Jake Raulerson will come to UCLA to pursue his further studies and play football (in that order!). With two years of eligibility left and the experience of a true Senior (meaning he will join UCLA after three years at Texas), this is more than just a simple stopgap.
Finally, we welcome local Anaheim kid Keyon Riley. At 6' 2", Riley has ideal size for a safety but was a bit of a late bloomer. However, never count out a hardworking player with potential.
By numbers (using Scout):
|Team ranking (as of 1/27/2016)||#12|
|Number of commits:||22 (23*)|
|Estimated maximum number of spaces:||30-35|
|Blue-chip ratio:||41% (43%*)|
*Counting Jake Raulerson.
The maximum potential of this class, in terms of team rankings, is in the bottom top 10. Right now, at 12, we are on the outside looking in. A few big-time players could sign with UCLA (Mique Juarez, Boss Tagaloa, Devin Asiasi) though other star players will also sign with other teams so our class is right about low top 10. Historically, UCLA hauls in top 15 classes so this is essentially slightly above (our historic) average. This is not to trivialize the great student-athletes that will come play for UCLA, as this is a solid class that is well though-out which addresses all the areas of need.
Early enrollee Theo Howard is that elite speed (4.38, 40 time), big-play potential wide receiver that we've been missing the last few years. As he's already on campus, he has plenty of time to get to know Josh Rosen to earn immediate playing time in the fall. Look out for athlete Demetrick Felton to make an impact in kick/punt returns as he has those video game moves and the athleticism (or naiveté?) to pull them off in college.
The blue-chip ratio is taking a big dip below championship caliber (according to Bud Elliot, this is defined as 50% or higher) as last year we had a ridiculous (and totally unsustainable) 80% blue-chip ratio built with four 5*s (Rosen, Jamabo, Keisean Lucier-South, and some guy) and eleven 4*s. Sadly, this year we have no 5* which is a bummer to some but don't forget that 4* players are equally rare though perhaps not "as sure of" a home run as 5*s. After the high of last year's class with the phenomenal skill position players (Rosen, Jamabo, dot dot dot) this class was reasonable going to lack that sort of excitement. If Mique, Boss, and Devin all commit to UCLA the blue-chip ratio could end up "healthy" at exactly 50% but that's unlikely since we have enough room to sign many more players who likely wont be 4/5*s.
Finally, the commitment of Modster immediately signals the upgrade in QB coach and recruiter that Marques Tuiasosopo offers from his completely unqualified for the job predecessor. Additionally, the heavy emphasis on tight-ends and fullbacks could signal an offensive shift with new OC Kennedy Polamalu, or simply correct for their negligence by the previous OC.
Don't forget to join us next Wednesday for BruinsNation all day coverage of National Signing Day!