UCLA Football Receiver Roster and Projected Depth Chart


The UCLA football receivers have a lot of talent and are very deep, which is good for a team that likes to get up to eight receivers (or more) involved in the game. With questions circulating about who the starting quarterback will be, there seems to be very little question about the UCLA receivers.

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The UCLA football team is in a time of transition, yet is as cohesive as ever. This fall, the Bruins will have a new quarterback behind center and though that is cause for concern, the rest of the team seems to be in very good shape, especially the receivers. This year, the Bruins will be deep and have several players that will contribute on offense.

The running game will be stellar behind Paul Perkins and an experienced offensive line. That might lead one to believe we should expect more running from the UCLA football offense, but with this much talent in the passing game, the Bruins need to find a way to get the ball out to their receivers to be really effective this season.

For even more analysis on the receivers, check out Go Joe Bruin writer Nathan Eberhardt‘s piece UCLA Football: Deep At Wide Receiver from a few weeks back.

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MORE ROSTERS AND DEPTH CHARTS: UCLA Quarterbacks and Running Backs

So Much Talent, So Many Choices

Nov 28, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Devin Fuller (7) runs against Stanford Cardinal linebacker Peter Kalambayi (34) during the second half of the game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

If you did not know about all the talented Bruin receivers, you will. UCLA uses the services of several wide receivers and this year they are also several layers deep. The only thing the Bruins have to be worried about are the WRs trickling in on signing day, which may be an issue in a few years, but for now the Bruins are stacked with size, speed, talent and even a traditional tight end.

Let us begin with the starters. The Bruins lost guaranteed starter Devin Lucien to transfer (he will play his final year of college ball at Arizona State). Without him, the other three starters Jordan Payton, Devin Fuller and TE/Y-receiver Thomas Duarte (who we will get into more in the next section) are all returning and have at least two years experience in the UCLA passing game.

Payton and Fuller will be automatic for the Bruins and should once again be the #1 and #2 WRs. With Payton on the sideline and Fuller moving from slot to the Z, UCLA will have a lot of experience out wide. Closer to the line, the slot position should be filled by either Mossi Johnson or Eldridge Massington, two young receivers that made great strides last season. Though Eldridge could have the edge, he might also be better suited for the Z, leaving the slot open for Johnson. Although in offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone‘s offense, who knows what a receiver will do at any given time.

Oct 11, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Eldridge Massington (82) tries to get around Oregon Ducks defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (14) during second quarter action at the Rose Bowl. Oregon went on to a 42-30 win. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Having all of this experience is going to be very important for the Bruins simply because they are going to have a new quarterback tossing balls to them. The Bruins have a lot of experience, though it has all been behind Brett Hundley. That changes this year and so might the dynamic. Fortunately for the Bruins, both current QBs Jerry Neuheisel and Josh Rosen know the system, so hopefully it is not a rocky transition.

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Traditional Tight Ending

Thomas Duarte is one of the bigger UCLA receivers that has held down the tight end/Y-receiver position by himself for the last two years. He has great hands, is a decent blocker and can get down the field pretty quickly for a big man, but he has been doing it alone. This fall he not only has help, but it will be from from the top high school TE in the nation last year, Chris Clark.

Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Thomas Duarte (18) against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This is very good for UCLA Football. Not only do the Bruins get to make more TE-oriented plays, but the versatile Duarte gets some much needed back-up. The freshman Clark can catch, he can block and is one fantastically big offensive player. It will be very interesting to see both of them in Mazzone’s schemes.

Additionally, the Bruins have Colby Cyburt, an offensive lineman turned tight end. His move from offense to defense this past Spring Practice was not without bumps in the road, as expected, but he held his own. Aside from Cyburt needing to understand the position better, he did very well for himself and proved he can work at the TE spot. If anything, his presence gives the Bruins proper depth at tight end.

Youngs Guns, Too

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UCLA Bruins

In the last few years, the Bruins have had up-and-down luck with receivers in recruiting. In 2014, the Bruins landed Jordan Lasley, Alex Van Dyke and Austin Roberts. This year, the Bruins only got one WR, 4-star Cordell Broadus and nearly had at least two other potential commits that eventually fell threw.

Though there will be issues with depth if UCLA does not pick up a few more receivers in the next few years, right now they have a lot of young players that at times look as good as the Bruin veterans.

If Spring Practice was any indication of how the receiver competition will be in the fall, then it is going to be a very fun one. Though Lasley, Van Dyke, Roberts, junior Kenneth Walker III and redshirt freshman Aaron Sharp will be back-ups, expect to see them a lot throughout the season. Mazzone likes to do a lot of different things with his receivers so expect to hear a lot of these younger Bruin’s names this fall.

Oct 18, 2014; Berkeley, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins wide receiver Kenneth Walker III (10) prepares to make a catch before the start of the game against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

But there will be some interesting story lines, as with Aaron Sharp. As I wrote about in the piece Quarterback Roster and Projected Depth Chart, the converted dual-threat QB is still listed as a quarterback on the UCLA football official roster. Though he made decent strides as a WR in the spring, it does not seem that far-fetched to move him back to QB, especially since Asiantii Woulard transferred, leaving UCLA with only two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.

As for Broadus, the situation right now that seems best for him is if he redshirts. First off, there is a lot of talent and experience in front of him, so it is unlikely he would see time this year. The next few years will be a different story. With potential WR depth issues in a few seasons for UCLA, if he developed well, Broadus could be a key receiver in two years time.

A Deep Roster

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As stated above, the Bruins are very deep. With a healthy squad of starters and back-ups, surprisingly, UCLA is also deep with their reserves and scout team players. These receivers might not see time on the field unless a serious string of injuries occur or get playing time during a Bruin blow out, it is still important to remember that they are vital to the foundation of the UCLA Football offense.

Those with the most potential to see time are Darren Andrews, Ahmaad Harris, Tyler Scott and Logan Sweet. All of these Bruins have seen playing time, so it is not out of the question for them to make an appearance, especially on special teams.

Though we might not hear their names on any telecast, we still want to point out receivers that put in the work just as much as any other Bruin receiver. They are Zach Bornstein, Daniel Fields, Craig Myers, Christian Pabico and Brad Sochowski.

That is a whole lot of receivers playing for UCLA football. And they are good too! Go Bruins!