Sep 26, 2014; Las Vegas, NV, USA; St. John Bosco Braves quarterback Josh Rosen (3) couldn’t help but cast a long shadow over UCLA’s 2016 quarterback recruiting efforts. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
How it went down: With Rosen’s shadow looming large and California having a thin group of high-end quarterback prospects just a year after it was bursting at the seams with them, UCLA was always likely to face hurdles in finding its man in 2016. The Bruins were, again, early to the recruitment of their top target Malik Henry, but after Rosen’s commitment to UCLA, Henry quickly narrowed his choices down to Florida State and Notre Dame instead (eventually picking the Seminoles).
UCLA then turned its focus to one of the few other local blue-chip quarterback recruits: Tesoro’s Devon Modster. Wait, Tesoro? That’s in south Orange County. My people!
Despite being considered the favorite to nab Modster, UCLA again found itself haunted in quarterback recruiting by the Specter of Rosen, as Modster surprisingly chose to be the second quarterback in Arizona‘s 2016 class rather than the only one in UCLA’s class.
By the time Modster had made his decision, the local QB pool, as shallow as it already was, had essentially become barren, with the likes of Armani Rogers (Los Angeles, CA/Hamilton), Max Gilliam (Thousand Oaks, CA/Thousand Oaks), and Ian Book (El Dorado Hills, CA/Oak Ridge) all making commitments to rival Pac-12 schools. Consequently, the only available local quarterback who had anything resembling Pac-12 potential was Patrick O’Brien (San Juan Capistrano, CA/San Juan Hills), but, preferring more of a dual-threat quarterback than a pro-style one for their offensive system, the Bruins instead left the state to nab Matt Lynch out of Colorado, a former Colorado State commit who became available after Jim McElwain left the Rams to take the Florida job last winter.
^The Bruins also recently picked up class of 2016 4-star athlete Dymond Lee (West Hills, CA/Chaminade) nominally as a quarterback, but for our purposes, he won’t be included in this analysis since it is almost inconceivable that he will end up at any position other than wide receiver down the line (a la Devin Fuller).
Commitments: Matt Lynch
Next: Analyzing The Recruiting Fallout And Impact