UPDATE: 11:01 a.m. Kalan Ballage has pushed his announcement back to tomorrow. Maybe he is waiting to see who else signs where.
SIGNED BRUIN RECRUITS
|Austin Roberts||NLI received 4:01 a.m.||Nice big receiver out of the mid-west (Indiana), an area UCLA has not recruited well in.|
|Aaron Sharp||NLI received 6:08 a.m.||A solid QB pickup from Texas. A little raw still but with Hundley, Woulard, and an older Neuheisel back, he should have time to develop.|
|Najee Toran||NLI received 6:37 a.m.||Offensive lineman from Texas. May need a little time to develop but could be a starter down the road.|
|Matt Dickerson||NLI received 7:11 a.m.||California defensive lineman who had a great junior season, hurt his back and missed his senior year. Was a Notre Dame commit who flipped to UCLA.|
|Cameron Griffin||NLI received 7:13 a.m.||Sporting a self reported 3.6 GPA the future Bruin linebacker has been listed by the L.A. Times as possibly the best player in City Section Division III.|
|Adarius Pickett||NLI received 7:14 a.m.||California defensive back who was somewhat of a pied piper for UCLA in this recruiting class. One of those guys that other players want to play with.|
|Denzel Fisher||NLI received 7:17 a.m.||California defensive back. Denzel will always hold a special place for us – he was the very first @BruinAuthority Twitter follower!|
|Ainuu Taua||NLI received 7:30 a.m.||One of the top Polynesian players in a very loaded Polynesian class of recruits this year. The California defensive lineman may be able to have in impact during his freshman season.|
|Alex Van Dyke||NLI received 7:55 a.m.|
|Kolton Miller||NLI received 8:32 a.m.||The big (did we say BIG) California offensive lineman has mucho potential down the line.|
|Jaleel Wadood||NLI received 8:58 a.m.||California defensive back with a big personality who could easily play multiple positions. Like Adarius Pickett, other players love to play with him. Kind of guy you want in the program.|
|Kenny Young||NLI received 9:13 a.m.||Linebacker from Louisiana. UCLA coaches worked hard on several recruits from the Bayou State and it is great that it paid off with this outstanding player.|
|Dwight Williams||NLI received 9:21 a.m.||California linebacker. Reports are that he had an up and down senior season. Our belief is that he has all the tools needed and with the right coaching at UCLA, he will be a player to be reckoned with.|
|Malcolm Bunche||NLI received 9:30 a.m.||Transfer offensive lineman from University of Miami. Has one year of eligibility and may be able to compete for a starting position next season.|
|Jacob Tuioti-Mariner||NLI received 9:55 a.m.||California defensive lineman from the top high school program in the nation.|
|Jordan Lasley||NLI received 10:06 a.m.||California receiver that we think may be one of the steals of the class. Huge upside.|
|Nathan Starks||NLI signed 12:28 a.m.||Big, strong running back that could be a difference maker in the running game.|
WHERE OTHER SELECTED UCLA RECRUITS HAVE SIGNED
Budda Baker – Washington
Malachi Dupre – LSU
Michiah Quick – Oklahoma
John Plattenburg – USC
Solomon Thomas – Stanford
Davon Godchaux – LSU
Kyle Allen – Texas A&M
Kammy Delp – Oregon State
Bryce Dixon – USC
Trey Lealaimatafao – LSU
Damien Mama – USC
C’yontai Lewis – Florida
Mattrell McGraw – Oregon
Adoree’ Jackson – USC
Derik Calhoun – ASU
Joe Mixon – Oklahoma
Jermaine Eluemunor – Texas A&M
Connor Humphreys – ASU
Demetrius Knox – Ohio State
National signing day is here and we at BruinAuthority.com have decided to lay it all on the line and make our predictions.
Unlike all the other sites, we won’t hedge our bets and we won’t be vague or cop out by saying “We think UCLA but it really could be any of these three schools…”, so we can later say “Hey look at us, we called it! We told you it could be LSU!” after the kid announces for the Tigers.
There are a lot of tough, tough, tough calls to make this year. In fact, this is the roughest year we can remember.
DISCLAIMER: Unlike some of the other sites, we don’t claim to be noble journalists impartial to UCLA. We love UCLA, we are pro-UCLA, and we are unapologetic about it. We have tried to be honest in our picks, but for the very few that are a complete toss up, we tended to favor UCLA. We didn’t randomly predict LSU or USC on these recruits just to show how “unbiased” we are as others are doing. If you believe in #BruinRevolution then you need to believe in the power of UCLA recruiting as well, and we do.
Recruits Verbally Committed To UCLA
We expect all the committed recruits to sign with UCLA. We have heard little to nothing about anyone possibly flipping so we will just list them.
Matt Dickerson – LOI in.
Denzel Fisher – NLI in.
Cameron Griffin – NLI in.
Jordan Lasley – NLI in.
Kolton Miller – NLI in.
Adarius Pickett – NLI in.
Austin Roberts – NLI in.
Ron Robinson – already enrolled
Aaron Sharp – LOI in.
Nathan Starks – NLI in.
Ainuu Taua – NLI in.
NaJee Toran – NLI in.
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner – NLI in.
Alex Van Dyke – NLI in.
Jaleel Wadood – NLI in.
Zach Whitley – already enrolled
Dwight Williams – NLI in.
Malcolm Bunche – transfer from Miami.
|Recruit||Our Fearless Prediction||Comments|
|Budda Baker||UCLA||UPDATE: Budda apparently moved up his announcement and announced for Washington on 2/4 at 5:30 p.m. We are not 100% sure if this is over yet. Remember Marvin Goodwin? Day before Signing Day he told the Ohio State coaches he was committing to them. The next day, he signed a LOI to UCLA. Or Durell Price? Holder of the most notable incident of fax machine failure in National Letter of Intent history. Price faxed his LOI to Ohio State. When they informed him it didn’t go through and asked him to send it again, he changed his mind and faxed his LOI to UCLA. Crazy things happen at this time of year. Crossing fingers because this is a recruit we REALLY liked. We’ll see what happens after Budda has a night to sleep on it.
Budda has a lot going on right now. Loves UCLA, and can see his future there. On the other hand, he has an ailing mother, an incarcerated brother, and a girlfriend, combined with a lot of local pressure to stay home and attend Washington. We think everyone let’s him follow his heart and give their blessing to sign with the Bruins.
|Kalen Ballage||UCLA||We are finding that new running back coach Kennedy Polamulu is a very impressive recruiter. Add the other coaches, the location, and the campus, and it may be tough for recruits that are on the fence to say “no.” With Mixon probably out, and no true “star” running back coming back, we think the ASU commit flips.|
||UCLA||UPDATE: Dupre committed to LSU.
By our count, Malachi has visited UCLA four times in the past year. Some on his own dime. This is a recruit that is obviously enamored with the Bruins. However, he still has a lot of pressure to stay in-state and sign with LSU.
One interesting development was LSU coach Cam Cameron booking the same flight to LAX as Malachi for his official UCLA visit. He even booked the seat next to Malachi. LSU probably believed that would show Malachi how much they want him. In our view, it is over-recruiting, and borders on stalking. It may be interpreted by the Dupre family as desperate and an attempt to interfere with his visit. The family is also friends with Mora and it may be seen as a sign of disrespect to the UCLA head coach. We are betting it could be just enough to sway him to UCLA.
|Rashann Evans||NOT UCLA
|Father attended Auburn. Mother attended Auburn. Rashaan attends Auburn High School right down the street from the University. Grew up attending Auburn games and since the day he was born, his destiny was to be an Auburn Tiger. Then UCLA entered the picture and made the decision very difficult. His other finalist is Alabama, and we just can’t see an Auburn kid like him going to the enemy.
He loves UCLA and the coaching staff and he would probably like to get far away from all the SEC recruiting craziness. However, at the end of the day, we think the enormous pressure on this young man to make family, friends, and locals happy will be too much of a burden to escape Auburn. If he signs with UCLA it will be the sign of a VERY strong young man, and we would love to have that kind of player on the team.
|Davon Godchaux||NOT UCLA
|Unlike the other UCLA recruits from the Bayou State, Davon is more of a country kid than a city kid. LSU is filled with kids like that. UCLA is not. We just think the bright lights big city aspect of UCLA may be appealing from afar but when he thinks about where he really fits in best, it may be LSU.|
||UCLA||Unlike ALL the other sites we have been consistent in saying UCLA has as good of a chance as everyone else. Logically it makes sense. He has a sister and other family members in the area and as far as football goes, unlike most of the kids who grow up in So Cal as USC fans, he grew up in the mid-west. So he has no particular allegiance to a particular school. In fact, as an 11th grader, UCLA has been THE team in Los Angeles for most of his time here.
As a long jumper with aspirations of participating in the Olympics, track and field is as big a part of his decision as football. UCLA is well positioned here as well. Drake Stadium is undergoing a complete renovation, including a new state of the art track. And UCLA track has received commitments from the top sprinter in the country and the top shot putter. There is every indication that the University’s commitment to the UCLA Track and Field program is on the rise. Combine that with access to the world class coaches and athletes who train at Drake Stadium and you can see why UCLA should be an attractive option.
And finally, he attended a UCLA party Saturday night with his good friend and UCLA commit Dwight Williams. Now this was not just any party, it was attended by just about the entire UCLA football team and many recruits, committed, uncommitted and some who were on their official visit. He enjoyed that enough that he came back Sunday with family member to talk to the UCLA coaches.
|Trey Lealaimatafao||NOT UCLA
|We think he loves UCLA and that would be the pick if the UCLA coaches showed more interest. It seems like they have told him “we have a lot of good players already here and more good ones coming in. We don’t know how you will fit in, but if you want to come we’ll give you a scholarship and see how it plays out.”
We think he will likely opt for another program, maybe Oregon, that is telling him he will be a difference maker in their program and how much they need him.
|Well, the Oklahoma commit had been saying for the last couple weeks that his recruiting was done and he wasn’t interested in UCLA.
Then everything changed.
Encouraged by his friend and UCLA commit, Adarius Pickett, Mixon took a secret visit to UCLA this past weekend.
Unfortunately, the visit had been reported by some sites, and the whole trip blew up. The Oklahoma coaches and fans freaked out and pressured him to re-affirm his pledge to the Sooners. We believe if the visit stayed a secret, Mixon would be signing with UCLA.
|Michiah Quick||NOT UCLA
|UCLA had been in a good position with Quick for the past year, but UCLA faded fast in the past month. We have heard nothing to indicate otherwise.|
|John “Juju” Smith||NOT UCLA
|UCLA still has a shot here, but it is a long shot. He really likes Kennedy Polamalu but USC has been a life long dream. We would not be shocked if he puts on a UCLA hat Wednesday, but are not really hearing anything to back that up.|
|Solomon Thomas||UCLA||As we have said repeatedly, Solomon has a Stanford offer, but never committed. Usually when Stanford offers and admits you, the recruiting is over. But it didn’t happen here. Our take is that UCLA is his favorite, Stanford has the degree and there is a lot of pressure to take it, and Arkansas, where his sister is a student and is close to home, is a dark horse third.|
|Kenny Young||UCLA||BOOM. COMMITTED TO UCLA. Lot’s of rumblings that UCLA has been dropping for Kenny. We don’t believe it. He just had his official visit to UCLA this past weekend and we think it solidified all the reasons he has always liked UCLA.|