clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UCLA Football Recruiting Reset: The Early Signing Period Begins Soon

New, comments

The Early Signing Period for college football is less than two weeks away. Let’s take a look at where the Bruins stand with the 2019 recruiting class.

NCAA Football: UCLA at Oregon
Chip Kelly and his coaching staff are out recruiting now, hoping to improve the Bruins’ 2019 recruiting class.
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row, college football will have an Early Signing Period. This year’s Early Signing Period starts on December 19th and ends on December 21st.

Last year, no one was quite sure how it was going to work from the perspective of the players. For the most part, the guys who were firmly committed to their schools signed early. The downside of that is that removing all of those guys from recruiting boards around the country left more schools trying to get those who still hadn’t signed, intensifying the competition for the unsigned recruits.

So, where does the UCLA Bruins’ 2019 recruiting class currently stand?

This year’s recruiting cycle has not gone well for the Bruins to this point. There are really two valid critiques that can be made of Chip Kelly’s first full-time class. First, the class is small so far. Second, there isn’t much blue chip talent in it.

In fact, until offensive tackle Sean Rhyan committed last week, there was no blue chip talent in it.

The recruiting rankings that come out are anything but an exact science. As Bruin fans, we’ve seen blue chip guys come to Westwood and fail to accomplish much of anything during their time on campus like Soso Jamabo while also watching a walk-on transfer like Joshua Kelley become a Bruin legend by running for 289 yards against Southern Cal. So, why exactly is blue chip talent acquisition so darn important?

While some may say it isn’t, there’s plenty of evidence to support the fact that, in order to win a national championship, a team must recruit well. How well? SB Nation’s recruiting analyst Bud Elliott argues that, for a team to win the national championship, a team must have a “Blue-Chip Ratio” of at least 50%. That is, at least 50% of a school’s recruits who sign must be a 4-star or 5-star recruit.

No school has won a national championship in recent history with a BCR of less than 50%. So, when someone says “The star system is flawed and the number of stars a player has shouldn’t matter,” take it with a grain of salt because it certainly matters when it comes to winning a national championship.

The star system used to rank recruits is not perfect by any shape of the imagination, but, in order to compete for a national championship, a school needs a consistent flow of top talent.

So, where do the Bruins stand so far?

At this point, UCLA has commitments from one 4-Star guy in Rhyan, nine 3-Star guys and two 2-Star guys, even if the 2-Star guys each come with a caveat. One of the 2-Star guys is running back Keegan Jones. He gets an asterisk because, technically, he was a 2018 grayshirt. So, he graduated from Cleveland HS in Cleveland, Tennessee in June, but he won’t enroll until at least January. He was originally committed to Navy, but backed off that commitment over the summer and UCLA won a battle with Michigan to land him.

The other 2-Star guy the Bruins have a commitment from is Nicolas Barr-Mira. He is the younger brother of Bruin legend Anthony Barr. But, don’t expect him to be subjecting opposing quarterbacks to a new Barr Exam anytime soon. That’s because he’s a kicker who committed on Wednesday. While he committed to the Bruins, he comes to Westwood as a walk-on from Loyola HS here in LA. Generally, when we talk recruits, we are talking about guys who have been offered a scholarship. Barr-Mira will have to earn one if he wants it.

Here’s the complete list of the 2019 UCLA Football Recruiting Class, which we will be updating as necessary between now and National Signing Day in February.

2019 UCLA Football Recruiting Class

Recruit Name Position Current School Composite Rating Commitment Date
Recruit Name Position Current School Composite Rating Commitment Date
Sean Rhyan OT San Juan Hills HS (San Juan Capistrano, CA) 4-Star Signed
Michael Martinez TE Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA) 3-Star 6/19/2018
Shamar Martin CB Morse HS (San Diego, CA) 3-Star Signed
Charles Njoku WR Wayne Hills HS (Wayne, NJ) 3-Star 1/25/2019
William Nimmo S Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, CA) 3-Star Signed
Duke Clemens OG Punahou HS (Honolulu, HI) 3-Star Signed
John Ward LB Palmdale HS (Palmdale, CA) 3-Star Signed
Datona Jackson OLB College of the Desert (Palm Desert, CA) 3-Star Signed
Beau Taylor OG Bishop Gorman HS (Las Vegas, NV) 3-Star Signed
Chase Griffin QB Hutto HS (Hutto, TX) 3-Star Signed
Siale Liku DT Oakland HS (Oakland, CA) 3-Star Signed
Jahmon McClendon RB Monte Vista HS (Spring Valley, CA) 3-Star Signed
Carl Jones DB Bakersfield HS (Bakersfield, CA) 3-Star Signed
Kain Medrano ATH East HS (Pueblo, CO) 3-Star Signed
Jaylen Erwin WR Hutchinson CC (Charlotte, NC) 3-Star Signed
Noah Keeter OLB Bucholz HS (Gainesville, FL) 3-Star 1/12/2019
Hayden Harris ATH Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, WA) 2-Star Signed
Josh Carlin OG Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, CA) 2-Star Signed
Keegan Jones RB Cleveland HS (Cleveland, TN) 2-Star Signed
Jack Landherr LS Chino Hills HS (Chino, CA) 2-Star** 10/11/2018
Nicolas Barr-Mira PK Loyola HS (Los Angeles, CA) 2-Star** 12/5/2018
** denotes 2019 key walk-ons. Composite Ratings are from 247Sports.com. For individuals who do not have a composite rating, 247Sports.com’s site ranking is used.

For those who may not have been following football recruiting until now, you can catch up on all of the 2019 commits in our recruiting section. And, of course, we’ll have full recruiting coverage of new commits as well as the Early Signing Period and National Signing Day over the coming weeks and months.


Go Bruins!!!

UPDATE (12/11/2018): The recruiting class table has been updated to add another walk-on specialist: Jack Landherr from Chino Hills HS in Chino, who committed on October 11.