Go Joe Bruin takes a look at UCLA Football recruiting and the current list of Bruin commitments for the 2016 season. After hauling in one the their best classes in 2015, the Bruins look to continue loading the roster with talent, specifically for their individual needs.
Recruiting is a year-round job. A recruit can commit any time of the year based on multiple factors and because of that, it is completely unknown where a high school student-athlete will go to play football. Because of that, we here at Go Joe Bruin would like to keep you updated on UCLA Football recruiting and bring you the current list of 2016 UCLA football commits… so far.
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A quick side note, GJB writer and recruiting specialist Michael Hanna has been huge factor in our coverage of UCLA football recruiting. Whether it is his offensive/defensive big boards, articles on recent commits or in-depth analysis on the recruiting process, Hanna has been a great addition to Go Joe Bruin and we recommend you follow his articles as well as his Twitter (@MichaelMHanna) where he has a lot of valuable insight.
UCLA Football Recruiting: Offense
Currently, UCLA has five very good players committed to the Bruins. Aside from fullback Jalen Starks (#2 FB in the country) and quarterback Matt Lynch (who has been surprising at recent camps) who are both 3-star prospects, the Bruins have three wide receivers that are all 4-star rated.
Aside from not having any other offensive players committed (do not worry Bruin fans, give it time), these five commits are important because of how thin the Bruins have been at these positions during recent recruiting classes. Do not underestimate how important this is, especially the WRs.
UCLA utilizes a lot of receivers, meaning they spread the ball around a lot. The downside to this is that they do not have a #1 go-to guy. Now that may be an issue with certain receivers as they want to be in the spotlight, but coaches Jim Mora and Noel Mazzone are looking for a specific type of player and have gotten three in Darian Owens, Dymond Lee and Demetric Felton.
UCLA has also been utilizing the fullback spot more in recent seasons and landing Starks, one of the top FBs in the country, is huge and will only help the Bruins in the future.
As for the QB spot, with Asiantii Woulard recently transferring and freshman Josh Rosen looking to take over (and possibly start three straight years), getting another QB to commit was a concern. That concern is no more as the Bruins landed Lynch, who had impressed scouts at a recent quarterback camp.
UCLA Football Recruiting: Defense
Another concern the Bruins are addressing is the defensive line. In 2015 the Bruins only landed one DL recruit, Rick Wade. So far, they have three and could get a few more if a few big name prospects announce for the Bruins, which seems likely.
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Uncommittted Oluwole Betiku, Justin Madubuike and Boss Tagaloa are three players that have the Bruins medium to high on their lists but it is yet to be seen if they choose Westwood as home to start their collegiate football careers. Though the Bruins stay hopeful, right now, they have a good crop of D-liners in Breland Brandt, Osa Odoghizuwa and Marcus Moore.
The Bruins have also added a few players to the linebacking and secondary units. Right now, UCLA has commitments from 4-star inside linebackers Lokeni Toailoa and Krys Barnes (the #1 and #2 ILBs in Califonrina, respectively) as well as 4-star cornerback Jordan Parker (the #2 CB in CA).
UCLA Football Recruiting: Special Teams
The Bruins have a triple threat in recruiting in 2016 as they landed commits for three of the most important positions on special teams. The #3 kicker J.J. Molson committed to UCLA a few weeks ago and has been one of the more talked about commitments over the summer.
A few weeks later, the Bruins landed a commitment from a stud punter, Bailey Raborn. Add that to the commitment from long snapper Johnny Den Bleyker who made a pledge to be a Bruin back in March and the Bruins are set at special teams for the next several years.
Stay with Go Joe Bruin as we continue to bring you UCLA football recruiting information as it becomes available. Go Bruins!
Since we published this piece, a couple of big things have happened for UCLA Football.
July 16, 2015 – 4-star cornerback Jordan Parker has de-committed from the Bruins and is opening up his recruitment. This is big for UCLA because they not only loss one of the best cover corners in the state, but now the Bruins do not have a defensive back committed for the 2016 class.
July 22, 2015 – UCLA Football picked up a commitment from 3-star tight end Jordan Wilson from Tennessee. Though he is wanting to play TE/Y-receiver, depending on his talents, there is a chance he could also play on the defensive line.