Jim Mora and Aaron Hester, Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
For the tenth edition (double digits, woot!) of Go Joe Bruin’s 26-part recruiting profile series, we’ll take a look at one UCLA signee that isn’t getting the kind of hype he deserves. While the media swoons over Priest Willis and Tahaan Goodman (and rightfully so), another talented defensive back is flying far under the radar.
Tyler Foreman, a 4-star safety from Encino, Calif. (Crespi), committed to Jim Mora and the Bruins following an official visit in late January. Foreman was a late addition to the 2013 class after decommitting from the Wisconsin Badgers in the wake of Bret Bielema‘s shocking move to Arkansas.
The signing of the 6’2″, 195-pound defender was an unexpected bonus for UCLA, especially considering he boasted offers from seven other Pac-12 teams and the powerhouse Oklahoma Sooners. And given the roster concerns in the secondary, Foreman’s pledge is all the more meaningful for the Bruins.
With Foreman in the fold, UCLA has four top-flight DBs coming in as freshmen in the fall. Willis, Goodman, Foreman and cornerback Johnny Johnson should all factor into the equation next season with the entire 2012 secondary lost to graduation or dismissal.
The expectation, or at least speculation, is that Willis will make the permanent switch to CB, while Goodman and Foreman will compete for spots at safety. The Bruins return rising sophomore Randall Goforth and redshirt junior Dietrich Riley at safety, but beyond them the depth chart is wide open for the last line of defense.
For that reason, it seems unlikely that Foreman will take redshirt in 2013. Odds are that he will see the field as a true freshman, possibly as a starter but definitely as a reserve. He could also contribute on special teams as a gunner or returner, much like Fabian Moreau and Goforth did last season.
But no matter his role, there’s no doubt UCLA is getting a polished playmaker in Foreman. As a senior in 2012, Foreman racked up 39 tackles to go with five interceptions, three forced fumbles and two pass break-ups (according to 247Sports). The Bruins lost a bona fide ballhawk when Tevin McDonald was sent packing before spring practice, so we can only hope that Foreman brings those stellar ball skills with him to the college level. If UCLA can force more turnovers on defense, it would be a huge boost to the Bruins’ offense, giving QB Brett Hundley extra opportunities to move the rock.
The start of the college football season is rapidly approaching, with UCLA’s opener versus Nevada exactly 100 days away. We’ll have to wait and see what happens when the Bruins head to San Bernardino in August, but today it looks like they’ll be in pretty good shape. Tyler Foreman could a tremendous reason why.