UCLA Football: 2018 Depth chart projections – Defensive Backs

PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 17: Adarius Pickett
PROVO, UT - SEPTEMBER 17: Adarius Pickett /
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PASADENA, CA – OCTOBER 21: Braxton Burmeister
PASADENA, CA – OCTOBER 21: Braxton Burmeister /

Left Cornerback

  1. Nate Meadors, 5-11, 196, Sr.
  2. Elijah Gates, 5-10, 180, R-Fr.
  3. Stephan Blaylock, 5-10, 180, Fr.
  4. Rayshad Williams, 6-2, 183, Fr.
  5. Shea Pitts, 5-10, 187, R-Fr.

Nate Meadors is a guy that has played consistently since the first time he took the field as a freshman and has only gotten better. Meadors is a lockdown corner that will give his opponents fits every time the ball is thrown his way. He does not have breakout speed, but he can keep up with most speedy receivers. He is also very physical, so if a receiver is going to try and battle for position, they better expect to be pushed around.

Gates showed some potential in spring and should get a lot of reps supporting Meadors. He might be a bit undersized, but he plays like a beast. He is fast, has good vision and doesn’t quit on a play. If he is not trying to snatch balls out of the air, he will try to knock it out of the hands of the receiver.

Behind him, the Bruins have a ton of young talent that will only help build a solid secondary foundation for the future. The freshmen might not see a lot of time this year, but with a season under DB coach Paul Rhoads and Azzinaro, they should be well prepared for when they hear their name called.

If any of these freshmen look like they can contribute right away, I would put my money on Stephan Blaylock. There is a reason he was one of the Bruins’ top DB target during the 2018 recruiting cycle. He was definitely a spark plug in high school and should bring that tenacity to the team this season. He has good coverage skills but can also play close to the line. If he gets time this season, he will be a factor in many plays.