Football Recruiting Reset: Defense

Rasheem Green

Emerging from a big recruiting week -- when UCLA conducted its series of camps -- the recruiting picture has changed a bit, with some new offers and developments...

As we've said in previous Recruiting Resets, UCLA football recruiting for 2015 is a bit different than it's been in Jim Mora's first three recruiting classes, because of a few factors. First, UCLA has limited scholarships for 2015, probably ultimately giving out 18-20, and the depth chart has some considerable young talent; combine that with a stronger interest in UCLA from recruits because of UCLA's success under Mora, and the staff is being far more selective – and specific. Not only are they pursuing fewer recruits, and a higher level of recruit, but they are targeting recruits more specifically for certain roles.

In the past under Mora, UCLA just needed talent. The theory was – get the most talented and plug them into a position later. Now, with UCLA having established some defined roles on both offense and defense, and its luxury of being able to be picky, it can target recruits for more specific needs. For instance, it's clear that UCLA is pursuing pass rushers, specifically five-technique types of rush defensive ends (think Cassius Marsh). It's also specifically targeting rush outside linebackers (of course, think Anthony Barr). On offense, it's looking for speed and elusiveness at wide receiver and in the slot.

Here's a more specific resetting of the recruiting table, given how UCLA's recruiting is different for 2015.

These lists aren't comprehensive, but are comprised of the prospects UCLA has offered that they have a legitimate chance to get, prospects UCLA is fairly close to offering, and those we feel have a good chance to garner a UCLA offer.

In analyzing UCLA's defensive recruiting needs for 2015, the recruiting efforts have gotten more specific at defensive line and linebacker but, interestingly, more general in the secondary. UCLA is targeting specific types of player in the front seven, but looking for the two or three best elite defensive backs who want to jump on board regardless of their specific positioning. Both of these developments come from UCLA having a good amount of talent on all the defensive units and how UCLA's defends against a spread. On the front seven, UCLA is looking to enhance various packages, mostly its pass-rush package. In the secondary, since it uses nickels and dimes and various other looks, UCLA wants versatile prospects who can do it all – be strong in coverage when they line up as a cornerback but also roam the field and move forward against the run as more of a safety type.

This is how it is when UCLA wins – it can be far more selective and pursue such a higher-caliber of prospect.


DEFENSIVE TACKLE

Needs at Position: 1

As we said, UCLA's recruiting needs have changed for 2015, and gotten more specific than in past years, which they can afford to do since they have a good deal of talent in the program. That impact might be the most felt in defensive line recruiting, where Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure has a strong depth chart and can almost pick and choose the types of DLs he needs to plug into his crew. Defensive tackle, or the nose guard spot in the 3-4, is always hard to find, so almost every year any program is in the market for one. There's also a decent chance that UCLA's current DTs are talented enough to jump early to the NFL, so getting one in 2015 is a priority. UCLA is being selective so far and has only a limited number of offers for DTs out.

Tim Settle, 6-3, 310, Manassas (Virg.) Jackson
Ranking: #15 Overall, #3 DT OFFERED

Settle is the #3 defensive tackle in the nation and has almost 40 scholarship offers, including those from the nation's elite programs. He recently released his top 15, in order: Tennessee, Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Texas, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Penn State, West Virginia, UCLA, North Carolina, North Carolina State, LSU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. UCLA running 10th doesn't seem very promising, but we've heard that he's decided UCLA will be one of his official visits, which gives the Bruins a fighting chance.

Neville Gallimore
Thomas Toki, 5-11, 290, Mountain View (Calif.) St. Francis
Ranking: #233 Overall, #19 DT OFFERED

Toki is only about 5-11, and that's his knock right now, but he looked good at SoCal Nike Camp in spring. He's verbally committed to Washington State, but has visited UCLA, Cal and other schools, so the WSU verbal is a little shaky. The thought is that UCLA could probably flip Toki, but it appears, as least recently, that UCLA hasn't been recruiting Toki that aggressively.

Neville Gallimore, 6-3, 300, St. Catharines (Ontario, Can.) St. Catharine's
Ranking: #90 Overall, #10 DT OFFERED

Gallimore is one of the hottest DTs in the class of 2015 at the moment, garnering a wave of new interest from some big-name programs this spring, like Notre Dame, Florida, Ohio State and Florida State. UCLA Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure traveled all the way to Ontario during the Spring Eval Period to see Gallimore. UCLA is recruiting him because they have a connection -- current UCLA defensive tackle Eli Ankou is from the same hometown in Ottawa and knows Gallimore. UCLA is pretty solidly in Gallimore's top five, and at this point would be in line for an official visit.

Deonte Reynolds, 6-5, 325, San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa JC

UCLA recruited Reynolds in high school and is looking into him again going into his second year at the JC. He's obviously a big kid, and would have to trim down some, but he has good athleticism for his size. He currently has offers from Cal, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Maryland, Arizona State and Boise State, but many schools started to get on him this spring. McClure went to see him a couple of weeks ago, and then McClure took Ulbrich with him to see Reynolds this week, so the Bruins are seriously considering offering.

Vaimoe Sekona, 6-3, 280, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Ranking: #37 DT

Sekona is a guy we could see UCLA getting on quite a bit more seriously this fall. He looked good at the SoCal Nike Camp, he's in UCLA's backyard and other programs are getting on board, with a big offer from USC. UCLA has been trying to get Sekona on campus, and an unofficial visit will probably go a long ways to potentially getting him a Bruin offer.

Kyon Clark, 6-1, 360, Rialto (Calif.) Carter

Clark is the younger brother of current UCLA defensive lineman Kenneth Clark, and attended the UCLA Lineman Camp. He's clearly got some weight loss ahead of him, but for a guy his size he can really move nimbly, to go along with natural strength. A UCLA offer is unexpected at this time, but with some further body-sculpting we could easily see UCLA projecting him to play at the Pac-12 level, and opting for Clark as a gray shirt, or possibly even a mere redshirt.

DeShawn Fortune, 6-0, 250, Etiwanda (Calif.)

Fortune came to UCLA's Lineman Camp, after the UCLA staff and McClure were anticipating getting a good look at him. He didn't necessarily disappoint, being the best DL at the UCLA camp, but he didn't do enough to get a scholarship offer either. He's about 6-0 and 250, but his body type projects him as a nose tackle. At the camp, he showed good quickness and motor. He's definitely someone UCLA will watch this fall.


DEFENSIVE END

Needs at Position: 2

UCLA is looking for Datone Jones/Cassius Marsh/Owamagbe Odighizuwa – a guy about 6-4 to 6-6, with a frame able to hold 260 to 280 pounds, and who can rush the quarterback. We think UCLA will take two of these types, but we wouldn't be surprised if they end up with three.

Rasheem Green, 6-5, 275, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Ranking: #17 Overall, #3 DE OFFERED

Rasheem is the Dream. He's the potential NFL prospects UCLA wants to keep plugging into its defensive line, and pretty much the perfect guy to step into that Cassius Marsh/Owa Odighizuwa role. He's strong and explosive and actually still pretty raw, with a huge upside. The previous assumption was that he was a USC lean, just by association with Serra, but his mom is a Bruin and we've been hearing lately it's more of a UCLA/Stanford battle, with the family -- and Green -- being very academic minded. He took a very long unofficial to UCLA's campus this spring, and has visited quite often. This is a big one for UCLA in the 2015 class, and after some late-game misses with 2014 recruiting, we believe UCLA and Mora are going to go to the mattresses for Green.

Canton Kaumatule, 6-6, 260, Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou
Ranking: #28 Overall, #6 DE OFFERED

Kaumatule is close to the same level of a prospect as Green, and is the type of pass rush defensive end UCLA is looking for in its 3-4. His brother goes to Stanford, but we're hearing that Kaumatule will more than likely not have the grades for Stanford, and next on the list is UCLA, but also USC. Kaumatule has been injured and he's gone a bit underground, and it's very difficult to get recruiting information about him.

Tyrone Wheatley, 6-6, 240, Buffalo (New York) Canisius
Ranking: #138 Overall, #19 DE OFFERED

Wheatley recently just cut his list to a top five of UCLA, Alabama, USC, Michigan and Miami, and he intends to take official visits to those five. UCLA has been recruiting Wheatley hard for a long time, and he showed interest when he unofficially visited during spring practice. He might want to play tight end in college, but UCLA is recruiting him as a DE. It's going to come down to his official visits, and it's probably a recruitment that won't get decided until winter.

Takkarist McKinley
Takkarist McKinley, 6-4, 230, San Pablo (Calif.) Contra Costa JC OFFERED

McKinley is a highly-athletic prospect, with great mobility and length. UCLA offered him out of high school, but his academics were sub-par, so he committed to Cal, where he ultimately didn't go. Now, the same UCLA coach who recruited him out of high school, Angus McClure, is back on him, and UCLA is reportedly doing well with him. He has already arranged an official visit to UCLA in October, and has official visits set up with Arizona State, Oklahoma and Texas. The final fifth official visit will be Oregon, Missouri or USC. His former high school teammate is UCLA receiver Kenny Walker, who is recruiting him pretty hard. The word is that UCLA is probably McKinley's leader at this time, but it looks like he could take all of his official visits and it's probably a winter decision.

Benning Potoae, 6-4, 265, Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes
Ranking: #226 Overall, #27 DE OFFERED

UCLA offered Potoae early, and has stayed on him pretty consistently – and it's paid off. It's probably safe to say the Bruins are 1-2 with Washington for him, and could even be the leader. Potoae is a motor guy, and combines perfect size and agility for defensive end in UCLA's 3-4. Washington State and Oregon State are also pushing hard for him. UCLA might be going after slightly higher-ranked prospects (the guys on the list above), but we think Potoae is one of the DEs most likely to end up a Bruin.

Byron Cowart, 6-3, 255, Seffner (Fla.) Armwood.
Ranking: #20 Overall, #4 DE OFFERED

One of the elite defensive end prospects in the nation, Cowart is only on this list because he has said he's a package deal with CeCe Jefferson and that he and Jefferson plan to visit UCLA officially. Oregon and Florida are probably pretty certain to get visits, too, and he implied recently that Oregon could be his leader, but Florida is going to be tough to beat.

Rick Wade, 6-5, 231, Santa Margarita(Calif.)
Ranking: #52 DE OFFERED

Wade was the best defensive lineman at UCLA's Lineman Camp in mid-June, and garnered a UCLA offer as a result. He's long and with a frame that could easily put on more weight, which projects him as a guy who could fulfill a number of roles along UCLA's defensive line. He could even possibly project to an offensive lineman, if his body goes that way. The word is that, with the UCLA offer, the Bruins are now the leaders and Wade could possibly pull the trigger soon.

Porter Gustin, 6-5, 235, Salem (Utah) Salem Hills
Ranking: #61 Overall, #8 DE OFFERED

He's a jumbo athlete who plays some linebacker, with good agility, and with a body that projects him with his hand down. It's thought that USC is his leader, even though some sources close to him think he's fairly wide open and will go through the process. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Florida State will be involved, too. It wasn't a good sign that Gustin came to SoCal and went to USC for camp week, and didn't visit UCLA.

Austin Bryant, 6-4, 230, Thomasville (Georgia) Thomas County
Ranking: #245 Overall, #28 DE OFFERED

Jeff Ulbrich visited Bryant in spring, and the buzz we've heard from sources in Georgia is that Bryant really has a bond with Ulbrich and that UCLA has a very good chance with him. He had previous intentions to visit UCLA this summer, but that hasn't happened yet. Stanford is a serious contender, too, and it appears like Clemson could be the team to beat at this time.

Rick Wade
Christian Rector, 6-4, 225, Los Angeles (Calif.) Loyola
Ranking: #40 DE OFFERED

Rector came on this spring from having virtually no offers to getting them from UCLA and USC and more. With a UCLA offer, he competed at UCLA's camp, and has good height and decent athleticism. He's projected as a guy who will need a couple of years in a college program to get stronger and change his body a bit. UCLA assistant Kennedy Polamalu coached at Loyola last season so he has an obvious connection, while Rector also has USC ties. He'll probably take a couple of official visits across the country, so it's not expected a decision is coming soon.

Russell Ude, 6-3, 245, Atlanta (Ga.) Westminster
Ranking: #92 DE

Ude has had a curious recruitment. He emerged this spring, and garnered a good number of scholarship offers. But then he would look good in one event and then so-so in the other. In June he had just an okay performance at the UCLA camp but then won the USC DL MVP at their camp. Ude's dream school was previously UCLA but, at this point, UCLA's offer isn't a commitable one, and we could see UCLA and Ude fading.

Joseph Wicker, 6-4, 255, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Ranking: #146 Overall, #21 DE

Wicker was impressive at the SoCal Nike Camp, looking good physically, with long arms, and having a nice burst, and then was probably the best DL at the B2G Elite Camp. UCLA has been recruiting him, but not enough to offer just yet. We could see UCLA holding out for a while for the guys above Wicker on this list, but we could easily envision UCLA coming around to offering, potentially by fall.


RUSH LINEBACKER/DEFENSIVE END

Needs at Position: 1-2

With the departure of Anthony Barr, something missing in UCLA's projected depth chart is really that big-time pass-rushing linebacker. Perhaps some current players will step up into that role in the next couple of years, but UCLA wants to continue to stock up and even upgrade its pass-rushing, and it has the Anthony Barr position/role to sell (in fact, other programs are selling the Anthony Barr-type role to recruits). It's a case that if UCLA was able to get more than one elite prospect of this type it would definitely take them.

Keisean Lucier-South
Keisean Lucier-South, 6-5, 220, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran
Ranking: #22 Overall, #5 DE OFFERED

UCLA has used the prospect of being the next Anthony Barr on many recruits, and perhaps the #1 candidate to fill those shoes in the 2015 class is Lucier-South. He was a beast at the Nike Camp, just too quick and long for any OL to come close to containing him. He also, though, is so athletic and runs so well that he very well might be capable of dropping into coverage, too. He's a perfect fit for the Barr position in UCLA's 3-4, and it's a great place for Lucier-South to develop his linebacking skills, rather than being slotted as a pure DE in a 4-3. It's pretty evident now that UCLA is leading for him, the recruitment is probably going to be a long haul until Signing Day.

CeCe Jefferson, 6-3, 245, Glen Saint Mary (Fla.) Baker County
Ranking: #4 Overall, #1 DE OFFERED

Jefferson is the #1 pass-rushing defensive end in the nation. He visited UCLA last spring, with his mom, and he says he's returning this summer, with his mom. He'll tell anyone who will listen that he's very interested in UCLA, and raved about UCLA in an interview this spring. The word out of the south is that Florida might be the leader, however. He's also supposed to be a package deal with Byron Cowart. Even though he raves about UCLA, we're skeptical UCLA really has a shot, and he'll almost certainly play up the drama all the way to Signing Day.

Malik Jefferson, 6-3, 220, Mesquite (Tex.) Poteet
Ranking: #2 Overall, #1 OLB OFFERED

We're also skeptical UCLA has a real chance with the super-elite other Jefferson, who is perhaps the best pass-rushing outside linebacker in the nation. He indicated in spring he'd visit UCLA this summer, but that hasn't come to fruition (perhaps when he's in Oregon for The Opening).

Ricky DeBerry, 6-2, 240, Richmond (Virg.) St. Christopher's
Ranking: #24 Overall, #2 OLB OFFERED

UCLA has definitely gone national looking for the next Anthony Barr. One guy in their sights is DeBerry, who is one of the best pass-rushing linebackers in the country. He has a huge offer sheet, as you'd expect, and Alabama has prioritized him. UCLA coaches went to see him this spring, and some believe UCLA has a chance here. He's supposed to visit sometime this summer.

Jeff Holland, 6-3, 230, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Ranking: #44 Overall, #4 OLB OFFERED

Holland is a pass rusher with a great motor who loves to hit people. His offer sheet is ridiculous, being able to go anywhere in the country, with probably Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Florida State, Florida and UCLA leading the pack. His friend and high school teammate, Victor Alexander, is committed to UCLA, so he'll help in Holland's recruitment, and Holland has said a couple of times he would like to leave Florida for college. He plans to visit UCLA with Alexander, and that will be a key trip in his recruitment.

Cassius Peat
Cassius Peat, 6-4, 235, Tempe (Ariz.) Corona Del Sol
Ranking: #137 Overall, #12 OLB OFFERED

Peat is similar to Barr in size and playing style, being more of a stand-up defensive end most of the time. He's one of the best pass rushers in the west, and has many programs pursuing him. He took an unofficial visit to UCLA in March and it reportedly went very well, to the point that UCLA is among his leaders, but it could be difficult to get him away from local ASU. The more we hear about Peat's recruitment, it sounds like a UCLA/ASU battle, with the hometown Sun Devils having to get the edge.

Adonis Thomas, 6-4, 210, Lawrenceville (Ga.) Central Gwinnett
Ranking: #268 Overall, #21 OLB OFFERED

Thomas is considered one of the best prospects in the state of Georgia for 2015, and one of the best pass rushers in the South. UCLA was on his list of 10, but recently said Florida, Alabama, Notre Dame and LSU are at the top. UCLA has been trying to get him committed to an official visit, but he could make a decision before his season – before he probably has a chance to get out west.

Bo Wallace, 6-4, 210, River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian
Ranking: NR OLB OFFERED

Wallace is a bit of a sleeper, which is curious since he comes from such a high-profile high school and he has a great highlight reel. But programs have gotten on him this spring and summer, like Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Tennessee – and UCLA. He's high school teammates and friends with UCLA-signee linebacker Kenny Young, so that will help, and definitely help to get Wallace out to see UCLA.


LINEBACKER

Needs at Position: 2-3

In a 3-4 defense you need a good amount of linebackers, so UCLA will probably always be looking for at least 2 linebackers every year, other than the Anthony Barr-type pass-rushing linebacker. These are guys that could plug in 1) on the outside, in the Myles Jack role – the athletic guy who not only pass rushes but is capable of dropping into coverage, and 2) at the two inside spots.

Victor Alexander, 5-10, 225, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian
Ranking: #35 MLB COMMITTED

Alexander might be under-sized, but that's probably good, because it's kept many programs from offering, and gave UCLA a chance to swoop in and get a commitment from him. Despite being 5-10, Alexander is a force, with a great instinct and hitting ability, and plays exactly like you'd want your inside linebacker to play. The issue will be UCLA having to hold on to him as the rest of the country catches on. Florida has offered, and they could be a threat.

Osa Masina, 6-4, 210, Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton
Ranking: #52 Overall, #6 OLB OFFERED

You hate to make the comparison, but he looked a bit like Myles Jack in the Pylon 7-on-7 in Las Vegas this spring. For his size, and he's pretty big, he looked very impressive dropping and in coverage. He could probably play that Myles Jack outside linebacker spot or inside at UCLA. He visited UCLA's campus in early March and, from what we've heard, loved it, as did his mom. He has probably been the guy who has taken the most unofficial visits this spring, and has narrowed his list to eight: UCLA, USC, Michigan, Wisconsin, Stanford, Arizona State, Notre Dame and local Utah. We've heard that UCLA is in a good spot for Masina, potentially leading at this point.

Roquan Smith
Roquan Smith, 6-1, 207, Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County
Ranking: #86 Overall, #3 MLB OFFERED

Smith really has exploded on the scene after a great junior season, and is a hard-hitting, athletic force inside. Picture a more athletic Eric Kendricks. The country is on him now, but the word is that UCLA is doing very well with him, constantly in contact with Mora and the UCLA staff. He visited UCLA in June and the word is that he's UCLA's to lose.

John Houston, 6-3, 200, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Ranking: #27 Overall, 32 OLB OFFERED

Houston is a combo of very good size and exceptional athleticism, so his physical and athletic upside are considerable. He'll have to continue to add good weight and learn to play with more of a mean streak, but he's a promising prospect. It's long been thought he's leaning to USC, but we know that Mora is after him. Even though he wore a UCLA visor to the B2G Camp, he said USC, Florida State, Oregon, Oklahoma and Florida are standing out.

Josh Woods, 6-2, 210, Upland (Calif.)
Ranking: #33 OLB

One of the hottest recruits this spring and summer in the west, Woods really got on UCLA's radar by looking very good at the UCLA Camp. He has good size, and a body that could gain weight, and really moves exceptionally well. He was under the radar because he sat out his junior season due to eligibility issues. After the performance at the UCLA camp we could easily see UCLA offering. The Arizona schools could be the biggest competition.

Kyahva Tezino, 6-0.5, 200, Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian
Ranking: #216 Overall, #17 OLB OFFERED

Tezino is interesting. He's undersized for a linebacker, and doesn't have a great body, but he's a guy who makes plays. UCLA offered early on, but we don't think they've been recruiting him aggressively for several months, and he's not mentioning the Bruins prominently as of late.

Khaylan Thomas, 6-1, 217, Etiwanda (Calif.)
Ranking: #214 Overall, #9 MLB OFFERED

UCLA was one of the first schools to offer Thomas and he was at the Bruins' Spring Game. He's a versatile linebacker, able to play in the middle, where he's a physical and punishing hitter used to stopping the run and rushing the quarterback.  But he's really blossomed this spring playing outside linebacker and excelling on the 7v7 circuit, showing great lateral movement, pass coverage skills and ball skills. We think recently UCLA and Thomas have been going separate paths recently.


DEFENSIVE BACKS

Needs at Position: 2-3

Other programs have used UCLA's young and talented depth chart against them in recruiting 2015 defensive backs. UCLA does look pretty good in terms of the future of its secondary, and it doesn't have a great many spots for 2015 DBs. There are two clear spots open and, as we said, UCLA's Defensive Backs Coach Demetrice Martin is looking for the best guys available, regardless of their position – and looking for versatile guys who can fulfill different roles. If UCLA had a chance to get more than three it's safe to assume that it wouldn't turn down an elite prospect.

Dechaun Holiday
Dechaun Holiday, 6-2, 190, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills
Ranking: #73 Overall, #11 CB OFFERED

Holiday is big enough where you could see him almost grow into a linebacker, but he's shown this spring some exceptional coverage skills. He's the type of versatile guy that UCLA is looking for, someone who could, despite how big he is, be a cornerback but certainly play safety, nickel and mini-linebacker. UCLA was the first to offer and we know the early favorite but now the country is getting involved, with offers from Notree Dame, Oklahoma, USC, Texas A&M, Oregon and more.

Iman Marshall, 6-1, 190, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly
Ranking: #11 Overall, #3 CB OFFERED

Marshall is also a versatile prospect. He sees himself as a cornerback, and he has decent cover skills, but we think he projects as a safety, and a very good one. USC has been thought to be his leader, but he's recently spent some time on UCLA's campus, attended a couple of practices and UCLA's spring game, and Mora is all over him. We've heard that UCLA has a legit shot, but it's a recruitment that won't get settled until probably February.

Marvell Tell, 6-2, 180, Encino (Calif.) Crespi
Ranking: #46 Overall, #3 S OFFERED

Tell is a talented prospect, with very good size but with the agility and quickness to perhaps play other spots than safety. UCLA was his early leader, then USC surged, but we've heard since UCLA's spring practice, when Tell spent an entire day on UCLA's campus and with the program, UCLA is probably back on top. Regardless, Tell is going to be a recruiting battle, and just not between UCLA and USC, but with the likes of Oklahoma, Washington and even Washington State, who Tell visited in March.

Kendall Sheffield, 6-0, 180, Missouri City (Tex.) Marshall
Ranking: #7 Overall, #2 CB OFFERED

UCLA is using its Texas connections to get in on Sheffield, a top-ten national prospect. The biggest connection is that he goes to the high school of current UCLA linebacker Deon Hollins. Sheffield is an elite talent, with great speed and quickness. He literally is hearing from every program in the country, and it will be a tough recruitment for UCLA. UCLA was hoping Sheffield would visit this summer, and so far that hasn't happened. Demetrice Martin went to see him in Texas at the end of the spring Eval Period.

Kylan Johnson, 6-2, 205, Dallas (Tex.) Skyline
Not Ranked OFFERED

Johnson is pretty much unknown, to everyone but UCLA and Wisconsin. UCLA assistant Adrian Klemm, who has deep ties in Texas due to his days at SMU, was the first to offer Johnson, who is billed as a big, physical prospect. He's thought to be the size of a linebacker, actually, and might project as one in college. Other programs like TCU, Oklahoma and Arkansas have been showing him attention lately. He says he intends to visit UCLA soon.

William Lockett, 5-11, 165, Manvel (Tex.)
Ranking: #82 CB OFFERED

Lockett has emerged this spring/summer, and garnered offers from UCLA, Michigan State, Missouri, Maryland and more. He has good size, and good speed, to go along with good cover skills. He camped at UCLA, and the word was that, as a result of his unofficial visit, UCLA has emerged as the leader. While some were expecting a potential commitment, Lockett just said he wants to officially visit Missouri and Washington, as well as UCLA, this fall.

Marvell Tell
Isaiah Langley, 6-0, 175, Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill
Ranking: #73 Overall, #10 OFFERED

A great body for a cornerback – rangy with long arms and a smooth running ability. Langley has all the markings of a great cornerback, but the talent to play just about anywhere. In fact, he looks like a weapon as a wide receiver. He says he'll trim down his list, which includes 30 offers, in June. UCLA was on him pretty hard, and he showed up to a UCLA practice, for about 15 minutes. We're getting a feeling that UCLA and Langley are cooling off.

Quenton Meeks, 6-1, 185, San Diego (Calif.) Del Norte
Ranking: #53 CB OFFERED

Meeks is the father of former Indianapolis Defensive Coordinator Ron Meeks, who was the DC when the Colts won the Super Bowl in 2006. He has very good size and good coverage ability, which makes him unique. UCLA's offer was his first, and since others have jumped on -- like Stanford. In fact, the word is that it's a UCLA/Stanford battle at this point.

Stanley Norman, 5-10, 170, Gardena (Calif.) Serra
Ranking: #129 Overall, #15 CB OFFERED

Norman has had an interesting spring. He's clearly talented, and versatile, the type of guy UCLA is actually really looking for. But he's had some incidents that have made a few schools back away, and UCLA is looking like it's one of them.

Frank Buncom, 6-1, 180, San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine
Ranking: #160 Overall, #10 S OFFERED

Buncom has good size and instincts, and looked good all summer. He's a good student and has interest (offer) from Stanford, and the feeling is that the Cardinal is leading. UCLA was in a good place with him a couple of months ago, but we're uncertain just how actively they're recruiting him at this point.

Other Possibility:

Justice Shelton-Mosley, 6-0, 180, Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian.
Ranking: #84 CB


ATHLETES

These are the guys that UCLA is showing serious interest in, but it would really be a reach to put them into any positional category at this point.

Stephen Johnson, 5-11, 185, San Leandro (Calif.)
Ranking: #30 CB OFFERED

Stephen Johnson
Johnson was probably one of the hottest prospects in the west this spring, getting some elite offers, with Oregon being among them. He clocked a 4.37 40 at the U.S. Army Combine and that got him a great deal of new attention, including from UCLA. UCLA wide receiver coach Eric Yarber has been on him now hard. He has said he's going to commit at the Opening, and the word is that UCLA leads Oregon at this point.

Dedrick Young, 6-1, 215, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial
Ranking: #32 OLB OFFERED

We've made some comparisons to Myles Jack, and Young's high school highlight reel really does look like Jack, on both sides of the ball. UCLA offered Young as a running back, but I think they'd take him as an athlete, and plug him into a position later. We think he ends up a linebacker, and a very good one on the Pac-12 level.

Ykili Ross, 6-1, 195, Riverside (Calif.) Poly
Ranking: #201 Overall, #25 CB OFFERED

Ross might be one of the best two-way prospect in the west, able to play at a high college level as either a receiver or defensive back. UCLA was leading for him early, but the latest is that the Bruins are fading a bit, and that he wants to get out of California for college. We've also heard that if he stays USC might be the favored destination.

Jay Jay Wilson, 6-3, 220, Valencia (Calif.)
Ranking: #65 WR

Wilson is ranked as a receiver, but he looked like many things at the recent UCLA 7-on-7. He could easily project as a linebacker, or an H-back or Y. Wherever the jumbo athlete ends up in college, he has shown this spring -- and at that UCLA 7-on-7 -- that he's a promising prospects. UCLA very well could offer.

Jaason Lewis, 6-3, 230, Virginia Beach (Virg.) Ocean Lakes
Ranking: #244 Overall, #31 RB OFFERED

Lewis is a big athlete, who was recruited by and committed to UCLA as a running back. He was previously considered a receiver, but there are those that think he ends up a linebacker. He looked very impressive at a recent Nike Camp, looking very big, and fast for his size. He verbally committed to UCLA after visiting in February, but then opened up his recruitment in May. He has said he'll announce by the end of summer, and it's thought that it will be somewhere besides UCLA.

DeAndre McNeal, 6-2, 210, Mesquite (Tex.) Poteet
Ranking: #26 MLB OFFERED

UCLA has been recruiting him for the last couple of months, and he's been responsive. He actually unofficially visited in June and, from sources close to the recruitment, was very impressed. He's been recruited by schools as a linebacker, receiver and a safety, which is where UCLA told him they project him. Texas, Alabama, Ohio State and Auburn, as well as UCLA, could be at the top of the long, growing list.

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