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UCLA Football Recruiting Reset: The Early Signing Period Is a Week Away

The Early Signing Period for college football is less than a week away. Let’s take a look at where the Bruins stand with the 2020 recruiting class.

UCLA v Cincinnati
While Chip Kelly’s next recruiting class may currently be well-ranked, it’s more a product of quantity than quality.
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

For the third year in a row, college football will have an Early Signing Period. This year’s Early Signing Period starts on December 18th and ends on December 20th.

It’s now become clear that the first day of the Early Signing Period has displaced National Signing Day in February as the primary commitment day for Division I college football. Schools are looking to fill as many spots as possible during the Early Signing Period and National Signing Day is really more of an afterthought at this point.

So, where do the UCLA Bruins stand as the 2020 recruiting class prepares to start signing?

It’s a bit of a mixed bag.

On one hand, has UCLA’s recruiting class ranked 27th in the nation. That’s a significant improvement over last year’s class which was ranked 40th.

But, a closer look at the class seems to indicate remarkably similar results.

Currently, the Bruins have 21 guys in the pipeline, including three Juco transfers and one Division I transfer. But, just like last year, there is just one blue chip recruit in the class. Last year, it was tackle Sean Rhyan. This year, it’s four-star quarterback Parker McQuarrie from St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.

I’ve written extensively about the need for UCLA and Chip Kelly to recruit at a higher level in order to win a national championship. At this point, it’s pretty obvious that the notion of Chip Kelly winning a national championship at UCLA is an absolute pipe dream.

Forget the fact that Kelly is a stubborn mule who refuses to fire the worst defensive coordinator in America. The fact of the matter is that, when it comes to recruiting, Kelly can’t seem to gain much in the way of traction with top recruits.

How bad has recruiting gone under Kelly? He has gotten just two blue chip recruits in this year’s and last year’s classes out of a total of 39 signees. That overall number excludes Deavyn Woullard, who is no apparent relation to former Bruin QB Asiantii Woulard and who will be transferring from the Air Force Academy. That’s a 5.1% blue chip ratio over two classes and is well short of the recommended 50% or more needed to win a national championship.

So, there’s virtually no way the Bruins will be in contention for a national championship under Kelly, at least not anytime soon. But, things don’t bode much better for competing in the Pac-12.

Last year’s class was ranked sixth in the conference while this new class is ranked fourth. Sure, that’s an improvement, but not much of one.

How bad is recruiting under Chip Kelly? Well, let’s just say that, if the Athletic Department and/or Chancellor’s Office were capable of understanding how important recruiting is to building a winning program, Kelly’s failure to improve recruiting much from last year should be a reason for the school to move on and find someone else who can improve the football program.

That’s how bad recruiting has been under Chip, despite the number of pictures seen on social media of Chip and the coaching staff being out on the recruiting trail.

So, who exactly is in UCLA’s recruiting class at this point? Let’s take a look.

2020 UCLA Football Recruiting Class

Recruit Position Composite Ranking School (City, State)
Recruit Position Composite Ranking School (City, State)
Parker McQuarrie QB ★★★★ St. Paul's School (Concord, NH)
John Humphrey CB ★★★ John Muir (Pasadena, CA)
Logan Loya WR ★★★ St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
Jonathan Vaughns OLB ★★★ St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
Choe Bryant-Strother ILB ★★★ Greater Atlanta Christian School (Norcross, GA)
Nathaniel Jones RB ★★★ St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
Kenny Mestidor DE ★★★ St. Thomas More (Oakdale, CT)
Matt Sykes WR ★★★ St. Louis School (Honolulu, HI)
Mitchell Agude DE ★★★ Riverside C.C. (Riverside, CA)
Jay Max Jacobsen DE ★★★ Temecula Valley (Temecula, CA)
DJ Warnell CB ★★★ Dickinson (Dickinson, TX)
Caleb Johnson ILB ★★★ Fullerton College (Fullerton, CA)
Myles Jackson DE ★★★ Mill Creek (Hoschton, GA)
Bruno Fina G ★★★ Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, AZ)
Patrick Selna OT ★★★ Piedmont (Oakland, CA)
Jake Newman S ★★★ St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA)
Ioholani Raass DE ★★★ Skyridge (Lehi, UT)
Jeremiah Trojan ILB ★★★ Hamilton (Chandler, AZ)
Rachaad White RB ★★★ Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA)
Luke Akers K ★★★ Ravenwood (Brentwood, TN)
Deavyn Woullard S ★★★ Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, CO)
The composite ranking column uses the composite rankings.

At this point, the class is pretty full. There could still be a few surprises between now and next week, but, for the most part, this class is set. With an NCAA limit of 25 scholarships each year, there are still four possible spots, but Chip Kelly has spoken about needing to leave some room for potential transfers. So, I don’t expect to see more than one or two more guys added to this class over the next week.

While I’m sure each of these recruits is a fine young man, it doesn’t change the fact that a 5.1% blue chip ratio over two classes is absolutely unacceptable and the next Athletic Director needs to look at that among factors when deciding whether to keep Chip Kelly beyond next season.

Go Bruins!!