Will UCLA’s recruiting style change?
It really is only the style of recruiting kids that need to change, because the evaluation process UCLA employed showed itself to be highly productive.
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A few players who were rated as 2-stars by the recruiting sites when they were identified by UCLA ended up being rated significantly higher by the end of the cycle. For example, Texas safety Tyler Owens shot up to become a composite 5-star prospect in the final 2019 rankings after UCLA kicked his recruiting profile into high gear by being his first Power Five offer last Spring.
The issue, as noted repeatedly throughout this piece, was what UCLA did (or did not do) to recruit those prospects and bring them into the fold in Westwood once they were evaluated and offered.
In fairness, UCLA has taken affirmative steps toward evolving by being a lot more aggressive in offering and bringing recruits on campus in the infant stages of the 2020 class. It even made small changes to the tenor of official visits in the late recruiting period by including more fun activities like nice dinners off-campus and group outings off-campus.
Furthermore, Geoff Martzen, the Director of Player Personnel responsible for crafting the details and implementation of last year’s strategy, is gone and has been replaced by Ethan Young, who was formerly UCLA’s Director of Strategic Intelligence (a.k.a. analytics), so changes do seem to be in progress.
The results from 2019 demand that tweaks be made to UCLA’s recruiting process. But things can essentially be distilled down to this: if UCLA improves on the field and doesn’t essentially ghost its 2020 recruits the way it did 2019 recruits, the hope and expectation is that UCLA fans will see a significant uptick in results.