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Manning, Jr. Becomes the Sixth UCLA Football 2017 Decommit

UCLA lost its sixth committed recruit of the 2017 recruiting class when Jeffery Manning, Jr. announced that he is decommitting.

Student Sports

UCLA lost another football recruit on Saturday. This time, it was Jeffrey Manning, Jr. who announced that he is re-opening his recruiting process.

It was just last month that Manning, Jr. announced his commitment to UCLA. So much for UCLA being his "dream school."

Now, of course, we have no idea exactly what has caused Manning, Jr. to re-open his recruiting process since he didn’t offer any kind of an explanation for the decision in his tweet which announced it.

While losing six recruits who had verbally committed is discouraging, there may be different reasons why each one chose to re-open their recruiting process. And, of course, academics may be a big factor in some of them.

Bruin fans need to remember that these are 17 and 18 year old kids who are making the biggest decision of their lives to date and they are certainly entitled to rethink their decisions or have their doubts about them.

Heck, I remember back when I was a high school senior. I didn’t make my decision to go to UCLA until graduation night. So, I can understand why some indecision is possible.

At the same time, the overall trend is certainly disturbing to Bruin fans.

As derhessian points out in his fanpost, the number of decommits is now twice as large as the list of remaining commits. That’s troublesome.

What else is troublesome is the fact that Manning, Jr. is the third decommit from Cathedral HS. (While Manning attended Bellflower HS last season, he is transferring to Cathedral HS for his senior year.)

It raises the question as to what is going on with Cathedral High and the UCLA Athletic Department. Are the coaches at Cathedral High steering their players away from UCLA because of the Kobe Paras situation? Is the Kobe Paras situation somehow influencing football players at Cathedral HS?

After all, Cathedral is an all-boys Catholic high school with an enrollment of about 750 boys. That means that, roughly, each Cathedral class is made up of approximately 150-200 boys. That’s small enough that it could affect things.

Could the Cathedral coaches be looking at the Paras situation and suggesting their players re-open their recruitment by comparing current players’ grades to Paras’ grades? Certainly.

To be sure, there’s a whole host of issues which could be causing the current UCLA Football recruiting issues. At this point, there’s only one thing which is sure to reduce the concern about the 2017 recruiting class and that’s for the coaching staff to convince more recruits to commit to UCLA and get them to stay committed.

Go Bruins.