BOOM x2! Lokeni Toailoa and Demetric Felton Commit To UCLA


Jan 2, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Paul Perkins (24) runs the ball during the first half of the 2015 Alamo Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night presented a seminal moment in the construction of UCLA‘s 2016 football recruiting class, as Lokeni Toailoa (Rialto, CA/Carter) and Demetric Felton (Temecula, CA/Great Oak) committed to Jim Mora and the Bruins at a ceremony held in Rancho Cucamonga.

Toailoa, who is a 4-star recruit and rated the #1 inside linebacker recruit in the country, and Felton, a 3-star composite recruit who projects as a slot receiver in college, both fill major needs in UCLA’s class and give the Bruins victories over the likes of USC, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, and other notable programs who had offered either or both of the two Inland Empire stars.

Notably, Toailoa and Felton are teammates on the powerhouse Ground Zero 7-on-7 team, of whom UCLA commits and elite defensive recruits Breland Brandt (Los Angeles, CA/Windward) and Krys Barnes (Bakersfield, CA/Liberty) are also members. As a result, it seems fair to say that the Bruins seem to be building a pipeline into one of the elite 7-on-7 programs in the region.

Go Joe Bruin speculated last week in its piece on Barnes’s commitment that the timing of Toailoa’s commitment on the heels of that of his close friend and fellow inside linebacker Barnes didn’t seem like just a coincidence, but actually a concerted effort by the two 7-on-7 teammates to bring their 7-on-7 Bash Brothers act to the college level. Indeed, that proved to be the case.

Toailoa, who has been on UCLA’s shortlist of top targets at linebacker in 2016 for a while now, is a hard-nosed tackling machine and defensive general who plays with a physical edge that sets him apart from nearly every other linebacker in the West in 2016. He plays the linebacker position with a tenacity and violence that make him a tackling machine and an intimidator in the middle of the field.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

After UCLA missed out on every inside linebacker it recruited in 2015, the position became of paramount importance to UCLA’s recruiting efforts in 2016 and it is remarkable that they have their needs at the position already filled, by two elite recruits in Toailoa and Barnes, so early in the 2016 cycle. That development is a testament to the recruiting prowess of new UCLA linebackers coach Scott White, who is making his mark on the recruiting trail in a hurry for the Bruins despite only being on the job for a month. With other big-named 2016 linebacker targets still in his sights like 5-star LB Caleb Kelly (Fresno, CA/Clovis West) and 4-star LB Curtis Robinson (Santa Ana, CA/Mater Dei), White’s emergence as a powerhouse recruiter in the 2016 cycle is poised to pay big dividends for UCLA.

Felton is an outstanding recruit as well, with the speed and elusiveness to be a potent and versatile weapon for UCLA’s offense at whichever skill position he ends up playing. Felton plays running back for his high school but has the soft hands to easily transition to receiver in Westwood and that is indeed the position the Bruins have recruited him to play.

Once Felton received his offer from UCLA a couple weeks ago, the Bruins became the runaway favorites to land his commitment and Felton confirmed that with his pledge to UCLA tonight.

With Toailoa and Felton in hand as of tonight, UCLA seems to have a lot of momentum on the recruiting trail at the moment and the 2016 class is currently shaping up to be a very impressive one.

Welcome to Westwood, Lokeni and Demetric!