Post-S.D. Inside Story: Serendipity

Alex Redmond

We finish our series by tying up some of the loose ends of the 2013 recruiting season, filling in some of the blanks of what happened behind the scenes with some recruitments...

There were many developments during the recruiting season that went unexplained to the public.

Even now, at least a good portion of the details for many of the situations still need to remain private.

But we know there's a huge amount of curiosity out there about a few different 2013 recruitments. So here's our best shot at giving you enough information to satisfy that curiosity.

Jermaine Kelly – In fall, the Los Angeles Salesian defensive back prospect and long-time UCLA verbal had been having second thoughts for a while, mainly for a few of reasons: Washington was coming on strong in their recruitment of him; UCLA looked like it was bringing in a loaded defensive back class and he could get buried beneath it; and he was getting influenced by a source close to him. In early December, Kelly called UCLA defensive back coach Demetrice Martin and told him he was considering de-committing, with Kelly citing some of the mis-information he had been told. Martin was pretty tough on Kelly, and understandably so. It's difficult when you've spent so much time and effort recruiting a prospect and then you might lose him because of mis-information. Martin tried to dispel the mis-information, and also told Kelly he should welcome the competition. But it seemed like it was too late. Jim Mora later called Kelly, and with some considerable charm and persuasion, had Kelly almost turned back around. But the experience, and the continued influence of the inaccurate information, was enough to keep Kelly from coming back into the UCLA fold. He committed to Washington and stuck with the Huskies through Signing Day.

Patrick Enewally – The defensive back from Cerritos Gahr had been a guy UCLA wanted but wasn't a must-have kind of prospect; they knew they had some big-time defensive back recruits that would be committing in the 2013 class. But Enewally was, still, a very solid prospect and he'd be a very good addition to the 2013 defensive back class. He visited Boise State in early December, and Boise State became the favorite. He then visited Washington a week later and Washington became the favorite. Washington recruited Enewally heavily. In fact, the word was that Enewally had verbally committed to Washington. In late January, he then took his official visit to UCLA, and was blown away. He verbally committed to the staff on the visit. It's why there were some Twitter leaks about it. Enewally, however, didn't want it public because he needed to tell Washington about his UCLA commitment. He told the UCLA staff he would be informing the Washington staff during the week and then announce his UCLA commitment at the West Coast Bowl that coming Sunday. The week went by and Enewally didn't talk to Washington. The thought was that it was, like for many recruits, just too tough to tell a staff he wanted to go elsewhere. This UCLA staff has made it pretty clear they don't want to waste too much time with waffling recruits. They contacted Enewally and gave him a deadline to inform the Washington staff. It was then learned that Enewally was then going to not play in the West Coast Bowl but officially visit an Cal. UCLA then pulled its scholarship offer. Washington, from what we hear, was frustrated with Enewally also, and came very close to dropping him, too, but needed the defensive backs more and hung in, got through all the waffling and the visit to Cal, and signed Enewally.

Terrell Newby – There were many stories about how, after his Nebraska visit, in January the Chaminade running back was reconsidering UCLA. But there was nothing to that story. Newby would have had to do a little academic work – not too much, but some – to get into UCLA.

Tyler Foreman – The elite defensive back prospect from Encino Crespi was thought to be a really good fit for UCLA early on and, if you remember, the word was that UCLA was the early leader. He, though, had had a feeling he'd like to get out of the L.A. area for college. He also is a kid that didn't necessarily love the recruiting process and was uncomfortable with all the attention from college coaches. Because of that there were times when Foreman didn't randomly take calls from coaches, or didn't return them. In the recruiting game, when a college coach has so many recruits he has to be contacting, and you have a recruit who might not be picking up or returning your call, a few weeks can go by without any contact with a certain recruit, while another program merely gets lucky, time it right and get the recruit on the phone. It seemed like this happened with Foreman and UCLA. Wisconsin did a good job of recruiting Foreman, and it was certainly far enough away from L.A. In November, he surprised many by verbally committing to the Badgers. It was a bit of a shock, even to coaches from other programs recruiting him. After a few weeks, UCLA resumed its recruitment of Foreman. UCLA, if it did one thing particularly well with the 2013 class, it kept recruiting various prospects who were committed elsewhere. The theory is that you never know what's going to happen in any recruitment, or with any program a recruit is committed to. And that was very much the face with Foreman. In early December, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema then left Wisconsin for Arkansas, and Foreman was a bit up in the air. UCLA then continued to solidify its relationship with Foreman. They got a better feel for his personality, which was a bit more reserved than typically other recruits. There were a few other developments since November, too, that made staying close to home more attractive for Foreman. UCLA and coaches from other staffs started to seriously recruit Foreman, and he then officially de-committed from Wisconsin in early January. UCLA had a good chance at this point, and UCLA coaches Demetrice Martin and Angus McClure quickly scheduled an in-home visit with Foreman. Perhaps UCLA's biggest roadblock was that the coach at Wisconsin who had been recruiting him, Andy Buh, had become the defensive coordinator at Cal. Foreman then took his official visit to UCLA January 18th, and the trip was a huge influence. UCLA had now established a very good personal relationship with Foreman, with Mora really doing an excellent job of getting to know Foreman, and that was very important to him. He verbally committed to UCLA, but had told Buh that he'd take an official visit to Cal. He honored that visit, but called the UCLA staff on the Saturday night of his visit to Berkeley to tell them they had nothing to worry about – that he was very much committed to UCLA.

Alex Redmond – the monster offensive lineman from Los Alamitos liked UCLA early on, last summer. But there was an exchange between Redmond's father and UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm that was kind of misinterpreted by both parties, and as a result, UCLA backed away from Redmond. Redmond was the type that wanted to get his recruitment over with early, and didn't want the decision to drag on. Oregon then offered Redmond, he unofficially visited Oregon and Washington, and then verbally committed to the Ducks in early July. By November, however, Redmond was having second thoughts. There were some things that he wasn't feeling about the Oregon program, mostly whether its style of offense is conducive for developing OLs for the NFL. He also had been hearing about Chip Kelly potentially jumping to the NFL. After watching the college football season, there were other programs he started to admire, that mostly being UCLA. How these things work out sometimes is that two parties don't even remember what was issue was previously between them. As soon as Redmond de-committed from Oregon, Klemm quickly patched up things with the Redmonds. Klemm and Mora arranged an in-home visit, and the indication from the Redmonds was that if UCLA offered on that visit Alex would commit, and that happened in early December.

Asiantii Woulard – After UCLA and Eddie Printz went their separate ways in early fall, the indication from UCLA was that they weren't going to sign a quarterback in the 2013 class – that they thought they were well-stocked at the position and they needed the scarce scholarship for other positions. But as fall wore on, the situation changed. Brett Hundley was pretty much a phenom as a redshirt freshman quarterback, so the first question was just how long would Hundley be at UCLA. He could conceivably leave after his sophomore season, and perhaps most reasonably after his junior season. Then, UCLA's young depth at quarterback, through the season, didn't look as, well, deep. Jerry Neuheisel looked capable of being a viable back-up level quarterback, but not a starter. T.J. Millweard looked like he had a ways to go and there were some questions if he had what it took to get there. Devon Fuller was converted to a wide receiver and his future at quarterback was now completely in question. All of a sudden, UCLA looked like it, indeed, needed to take a quarterback in 2013, to give it an even better chance of finding a starter-level guy when Hundley did leave. It was, though, pretty late in the game when UCLA came to this realization. UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone had, though, continued to recruit Hayden Rettig, the LSU-committed prospect, and it was looking fairly good he would flip to UCLA. But Rettig was an early entry, and he made his decision to stick with LSU in time to enroll there by early January. Lucky for UCLA; if he had not been an early entry and didn't have to make a decision by early January, Rettig very well might have dragged out his ultimate decision until Signing Day, and then opted, like he did, for LSU. But the fortuitous development of Rettig re-committing to LSU gave UCLA some time. Not much, but about a month to try to find a quarterback. It was serendipity, then, that Asiantii Woulard from Florida, the Elite 11 Champion, was still available, and that so many factors just happened to work in UCLA's favor. He had been verbally committed to South Florida, but de-committed when coach Skip Holtz was fired. A number of the bigger-named programs in the southeast, like Florida State or Florida, were done in their quarterback recruiting. But why would a kid from Florida want to come to California for college? Woulard had been out to Southern California for the Elite 11 last summer, and loved it. Then, the clincher: Trent Dilfer, the ex-NFL quarterback, was one of the main organizers of the Elite 11, and he had become somewhat of a mentor to Woulard. Dilfer, too, was close to Mazzone and respected him as a quarterbacks coach. In other words, the stars were aligned. Woulard came out for his official UCLA visit, fell in love with L.A. even more and he signed with UCLA.

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