BOOM! Offensive Tackle Alex Akingbulu Commits To UCLA


Nov 21, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; UCLA Bruins running back Nate Starks (23) runs back a kickoff during the first half against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. UCLA won 17-9. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

BOOM! UCLA starts its Thanksgiving off right with a commitment from a coveted offensive line recruit.

UCLA football had some early Thanksgiving delight on Thursday morning, as 3-star offensive tackle Alex Akingbulu (Harbor City, CA/Narbonne) announced his commitment to the Bruins. Akingbulu chose the Bruins over offers from the likes of Utah, Cal, and Michigan.

For most of the summer, Akingbulu was considered a big UCLA lean and as the fall progressed, it seemed to be only a matter of time before he made his pledge to the Bruins official. However, a question loomed as to if UCLA would be able to take Akingbulu in light of its impending scholarship crunch in this class, with 19 spots already filled with three months still to go until Signing Day.

This week, though, Akingbulu’s timeline accelerated when 3-star Hawaiian interior lineman Sean Auwae decommitted from UCLA. When Akingbulu subsequently announced on the same day that he’d be committing on Thanksgiving Day, it became clear what was going on: the surprising recent pickup of 3-star guard Michael Alves (San Diego, CA/St. Augustine) had allowed the Bruins the flexibility to bring in Akingbulu, who’s a pure tackle prospect, in place of another guard/center in Auwae. And with that green light, it didn’t take long for Akingbulu to jump on the opportunity to make his pledge to his dream school (and the school his sister attends), UCLA.

As previously mentioned, Akingbulu is a pure tackle prospect who’s dripping with physical upside. At a towering 6-foot-6, he has long arms and incredible bend. However, he is going to need to gain a lot of weight when he gets to UCLA, as his year-long athletic schedule (he’s also a high-level basketball player) leaves him extremely lean and light. He’s a prospect reminiscent of former UCLA left tackle Torian White, who had similar hurdles to overcome in order to become a Bruin starter but also possessed the same freakish upside.

Akingbulu is an obvious redshirt candidate once he gets to UCLA, but do not be surprised if, after a couple years in Sal Alosi‘s strength and conditioning program and full-time focus on football, he’s the one tasked with protecting the blindside of Josh Rosen‘s successor.

Welcome to Westwood, Alex!

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