Need good news after a gut-wrenching UCLA football loss to Oregon State?
Well, not that recruiting commitments mean much in September, but UCLA picked up two three-star commitments.
The first? Yet another offensive lineman in Poasi Moala (6’5”, 270 pounds out of Moreno Valley, CA), who’ll join the likes of Sean Dowling, Kenny Lacy, and a million other linemen in the 2013 recruiting class.
The second? Athlete Jalen Ortiz (5’9”, 170 pounds out of Peoria, AZ) who’s being recruited as both a running back and a corner.
Here’s a breakdown of what we can find on both bros.
First, a highlight reel from YouTube:
As we can see, Ortiz is a highly-talented athlete who’s pretty freaking athletic. He’s got a lot of versatility to his game and that’s crucial for both a corner and running back (and, truth be told, after watching Sheldon Price get torched regularly, we’d love it if Ortiz came on as a corner).
What do the scouting reports say? They seem to like him better as a corner than as a running back, but it’s safe to say they enjoy watching him running out of the backfield. He is, indeed, a total athlete with a lot of speed and quickness, and has the ability to play in various defensive schemes.
Of course, they feel he’s incredibly raw, and in need of some major development, physically and technique-wise. If you want a comparison, think Steven Manfro, since scouts love Ortiz’s ability to make big plays offensively and in the return game.
There aren’t any highlights, it seems on the big offensive tackle. So let’s jump straight into the scouting reports.
First, the scouting reports love Maola’s nimble feet and his solid explosiveness. Even further, the reports emphasize his footwork and his feet in general (Ed. note: No word if the scout who wrote the report is Rex Ryan.)
They do knock Moala’s stiffness in a lower-body aspect while they knock his lack of size and bulk, something that’ll come with age since the kid’s only 17 years old.
They also praise Moala’s ability to recover when beat and his poise in run-blocking.
Overall, both are welcome recruits, and while there are jack-asses who will scoff at the three-star rating, it’s not as if the “star-rating” system is a predictor of how good a prospect turns out to be. These kids could be solid contributors if coached correctly.
And let’s hope that’s the case.