Sep 25, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Myles Jack (30) celebrates a play against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. UCLA defeated Arizona State 62-27. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
February 1, 2017 is a long way away, but football recruiting has become a multi-year marathon and UCLA took its first big step in that race on Friday by reeling in its first commitment for the Class of 2017: 4-star linebacker Rahyme Johnson (Los Angeles, CA/Salesian).
Although it is very early in Johnson’s recruiting process, he already had offers from Washington and Washington State with many more likely to come once he inevitably increased his production on the field during the upcoming football season, but Johnson decided where UCLA was going to be his best option no matter what other school offered. As he told Bruin Sports Report publisher Edward Lewis, “I called [UCLA linebackers] coach Scott [White] … and I told him that I was committing and this is what I want to be. This is where I want to be and this is what I want to do.”
As a sophomore at Salesian, Johnson played wide receiver and safety. However, considering that he is already 6-feet-4-inches tall and weighs 210 pounds before he has even played a down as a high school junior, Johnson projects to grow into a devastatingly athletic outside linebacker and that is indeed the position that Coach White and the Bruins have recruited him to play at the next level.
While Johnson’s commitment is a great one to have in and of itself, it carries even more weight in light of the fact that his high school teammate is elite 2017 cornerback and UCLA offeree Deommodore Lenoir. Bringing in the other part of the dynamic 2017 Salesian duo in addition to Johnson would go a long way towards laying the foundation for a highly-rated 2017 UCLA recruiting class.
Welcome to Westwood, Rahyme!