★★★★ LB Bo Calvert 6’3, 218 lbs., (Oaks Christian/Westlake Village, CA)
★★★ LB Tyree Thompson 6’3, 235 lbs., (L.A. Valley College/Van Nuys, CA)
Well you can’t win them all and the Bruins could not get enough linebackers to help out a position group that is in need of depth. With the defense moving to a 3-4 under DC Jerry Azzinaro, it becomes an even bigger concern.
UCLA’s linebackers, with the exception of a few, seemed to under performed last season. The coaches have a big job on their hands getting the current Bruins up to speed with the new defense, and though they should be better, Kelly and Azzinaro have to get a few more players in next year.
Calvert is a huge pick up and one that flipped from USC during the early period. He is a big, physical linebacker that looks like he can contribute minutes early on, but that depends on the progress of the other linebackers already on the team.
Thompson was a late addition and was also flipped as UCLA was able to pull him away from Vanderbilt. With a year of college football under his belt, his skills are slightly more advanced since high school, but should continue to improve under the new coaching regime.
UCLA got two good LBs, but for the most part, in terms of the recruiting aspect (and not the talent of the individuals) the Bruin coaches missed out, though that happens when you only have two months to recruit after landing a new coaching gig.