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Is the UCLA Football 2019 Recruiting Class Really As Bad as It Looks?

When you look at who Chip Kelly and staff offered, it actually looks worse than originally thought.

Cincinnati v UCLA Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, when we started analyzing the 2019 UCLA football recruiting class, there seemed to be a lot of Bruin fans who wanted to believe that the class was the result of Chip Kelly not recruiting blue chip recruits and, instead, recruiting “his type of players” so he could build the team with his guys.

It was an interesting, but flawed argument because it was based on the assumption that Kelly did not offer all that many blue chip recruits as part of the 2019 recruiting class.

After this month’s #8CLAP8TH event, I recapped not just the offers UCLA made on the 8th of February but also all of the offers made prior to February in order to present the most accurate snapshot of the 2020 recruiting class at this point. In one of my comments to that article, I wrote:

I could have gone back, and may still go back, to look at who was being recruited for 2019. I think that if the 2019 scholarship offers have a similar breakdown to the 2020 offers we have a very serious problem on our hands.

Given the fact that Bruins Nation hasn’t spent really any time until now looking at offerees, I decided that, in order for all of us to have the most accurate picture of the 2019 recruiting class, we do need to know who was offered and how many offers were made to recruits who were 5-star recruits, 4-star recruits and 3-star recruits because, if you’re like me, you probably didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to recruits being offered.

Heck, if I didn’t care about who was being offered because UCLA always seemed to have recruiting success under Jim Mora, then I’m not surprised if our readers weren’t following along either.

So, let’s take a few minutes to look at all of the offers UCLA football extended for the 2019 recruiting class.

2019 UCLA Football Recruiting Offers

Recruit Position Ranking Signed With
Recruit Position Ranking Signed With
Bru McCoy ATH ★★★★★ Southern Cal/Texas
Jordan Whittington ATH ★★★★★ Texas
Ryan Hilinski QB ★★★★ South Carolina
Jayden Daniels QB ★★★★ ASU
Jordan Wilmore RB ★★★★ Utah
Zach Charbonnet RB ★★★★ Michigan
Austin Jones RB ★★★★ Stanford
Kyle Ford WR ★★★★ Southern Cal
Joe Ngata WR ★★★★ Clemson
Jameson Williams WR ★★★★ Ohio State
Puka Nacua WR ★★★★ Washington
Kam Brown WR ★★★★ Texas A&M
Drake London WR ★★★★ Southern Cal
Jude Wolfe TE ★★★★ Southern Cal
Jason Rodriguez OT ★★★★ Southern Cal
Nathaniel Kalepo OT ★★★★ Washington
Sean Rhyan OG ★★★★ UCLA
Enokk Vimahi OG ★★★★ Ohio State
Sataoa Laumea OG ★★★★ Utah
Troy Fautanu OG ★★★★ Washington
Brad Whitworth C ★★★★ Washington
Laiatu Latu DE ★★★★ Washington
Jermaine Johnson DE ★★★★ Georgia
Isaiah Foskey DE ★★★★ Notre Dame
Steven Parker DE ★★★★ Kansas
Joshua Pakola DE ★★★★ Stanford
Siaki Ika DT ★★★★ LSU
Mase Funa ILB ★★★★ Oregon
Maninoa Tufono ILB ★★★★ Southern Cal
Daniel Heimuli ILB ★★★★ Washington
Josh Calvert ILB ★★★★ Washington
Andre White ILB ★★★★ Texas A&M
Eugene Asante OLB ★★★★ North Carolina
Kuony Deng OLB ★★★★ UC Berkeley
Mykael Wright CB ★★★★ Oregon
Trent McDuffie CB ★★★★ Washington
Kamren Fabiculanan CB ★★★★ Washington
Daxton Hill S ★★★★ Michigan
Nick Cross S ★★★★ Maryland
Tyler Owens S ★★★★ Texas
Chris Adimora S ★★★★ Texas
Kejuan Markham S ★★★★ ASU
Casey Kline ATH ★★★★ Boise State
Cale Millen QB ★★★ Oregon
Grant Gunnell QB ★★★ Arizona
Chase Griffin QB ★★★ UCLA
Kenan Christon RB ★★★ Southern Cal
Jahmon McClendon RB ★★★ UCLA
Keon Markham WR ★★★ ASU
Charles Njoku WR ★★★ UCLA
Taj Davis WR ★★★ Washington
Khyheem Waleed WR ★★★ Boise State
Tervon Clark WR ★★★ UC Berkeley
Jaylen Erwin WR ★★★ UCLA
Logan Gamble WR ★★★ TBD
Michael Martinez TE ★★★ UCLA
Ethan Rae TE ★★★ Southern Cal
Henry Ikehihifo TE ★★★ Nevada
Kyle Patterson TE ★★★ Air Force
Barrett Miller OT ★★★ Stanford
Cole Birmingham OT ★★★ Oregon State
Duke Clemens OG ★★★ UCLA
Beau Taylor OG ★★★ UCLA
Josh Carlin OG ★★★ UCLA
Bralen Trice DE ★★★ Washington
Aeneas DiCosmo DE ★★★ Stanford
Noah Keeter DE ★★★ UCLA
Nick Figueroa DE ★★★ Southern Cal
Datona Jackson DE ★★★ UCLA
Siale Liku DT ★★★ UCLA
Joseph Darkwa DT ★★★ Penn State
Dru Mathis ILB ★★★ Oregon
Drew Fowler ILB ★★★ Washington
Ralen Goforth OLB ★★★ Southern Cal
Orin Patu OLB ★★★ UC Berkeley
John Ward OLB ★★★ UCLA
Tuasivi Nomura OLB ★★★ Southern Cal
Cade Albright OLB ★★★ BYU
Peni Naulu OLB ★★★ Washington State
Hayden Harris OLB ★★★ UCLA
Shamar Martin CB ★★★ UCLA
Kyu Kelly CB ★★★ Stanford
Javin Wright CB ★★★ Nebraska
Cameron Williams S ★★★ Washington
Anfernee Orji S ★★★ Vanderbilt
William Nemmo S ★★★ UCLA
Carl Jones S ★★★ UCLA
Shae Suiaunoa ATH ★★★ Wyoming
Kain Medrano ATH ★★★ UCLA
Kenyon Reed ATH ★★★ Kansas State

In total, UCLA offered 90 recruits, which is a little bit better than 76, which is what had been tweeted by The Athletic’s Max Olsen on the first day of the Early Signing Period. Here’s how those 90 offers breakdown by recruit ranking:

UCLA Football Recruiting 2019 Offer Breakdown

Ranking 2019 Recruiting Class Offers
Ranking 2019 Recruiting Class Offers
★★★★★ 2
★★★★ 41
★★★ 47
Total 90

With those numbers, we can now compare the rankings of UCLA’s signees to the rankings of UCLA’s offers. These numbers clearly expose the fallacy that some have used to justify their bullish view of the 2019 recruiting class by saying that Chip was just going after his type of player. Of the offers UCLA made to 2019 recruits, 47.8% of them were made to blue chip recruits. For those just joining the conversation, a blue chip recruit is one who is ranked as either a 5-star recruit or a 4-star recruit.

Meanwhile, only one of UCLA’s twenty 2019 signees was a blue chip recruit. That’s just 5.0% of the 2019 signees. It had been 5.26%, but Sitiveni Kaufusi lowered the percentage slightly when he signed last week.

Another way to look at this is that UCLA offered 43 blue chip recruits for the 2019 class. Of those 43 offers, just one—Sean Rhyan—signed with the Bruins. That’s 2.3% of the blue chip recruits that Chip Kelly offered.

So, trying to spin the 2019 recruiting class as being “Chip’s guys” doesn’t really fly here. There really isn’t much of an excuse of signing 2.3% of the blue chip recruits you targeted, but that’s what happened here.

As I’ve written on several occasions this month, that’s a Dorrellian class, no matter how you look at it with only one exception. That exception, of course, is if you are one of the few out there who don’t believe in player rankings whatsoever. In that case, you may not be ready to rank this year’s class for four more years.

But, by then, UCLA will almost certainly have a new athletic director and, quite possibly, a new football coach if Chip Kelly doesn’t start signing significantly more blue chip recruits in the 2020 recruiting class.

Go Bruins.