Six Impact Newcomers for UCLA Football
With a brand new coaching staff and several positions open for fall camp, UCLA fans will be keeping a close eye on the incoming group of freshmen.
They are a very highly rated group and one with big expectations to help resurrect the program.
It seems each year, every team has a select group of true freshmen who step up and play key roles in determining their overall success.
Let's take a look at this year's group of potential impact incomers at UCLA.
DT/DE Ellis McCarthy
The easiest guy to single out in UCLA's 2012 recruiting class under Mora is unquestionably McCarthy. His size, strength, and athleticism for a guy at 6'5” and 300 lbs is rare at this stage.
He will no doubt be counted on to contribute right away despite UCLA returning a solid core of defensive lineman. McCarthy is that good.
It will be very intriguing to watch his development this fall at defensive end and whether or not the coaches do end up moving him to nose tackle.
For a guy that big, if he proves to have enough athleticism to play end in the newly implemented 3-4 scheme, it would be a major coup for the Bruins defense.
It would allow them to get more size up front to stop the run and control gaps, which is crucial for the down lineman in the 3-4.
CB/S Ishmael Adams
UCLA's secondary is absolutely depleted right now with injuries and you can bet that the coaches will find some role for Adams.
He is another guy who is an elite talent with great ball skills.
Despite playing corner in high school, given UCLA's lack of safety depth, it wouldn't be too surprising if the coaches moved him there just to get him on the field.
The other incoming freshman corner, Marcus Rios, graduated early and is participating in spring ball so he has a chance to get on the field as well.
I just have a feeling Adams will be the one to get the call.
Offensive Tackle Simon Goines
UCLA needs help on the o-line. It's just that simple.
Whether a true freshman will be able to come in and contribute right away, especially on the outside at tackle, remains to be seen.
If any of the incoming lineman have a chance though, it has to be Goines. He's got the size and the long arms that coaches look for in tackles, but you have to assume he is raw having just graduated high school.
If he proves to be an exception and is ready to play, that would do absolute wonders for the UCLA line.
This guy is one to watch for fall no doubt.
WR Kenny Walker
With new OC Noel Mazzone making the switch to the spread, UCLA is going to have to utilize more receivers in the rotation.
Between Jerry Johnson, who is really impressing coaches this spring, Devin Lucien, and Shaq Evans, the bruins have a solid top three.
Losing Ricky Marvray to a back injury this spring was big, but it means that the incoming group of receivers are going to have to contribute. Jordan Payton is another option here, but he is more of a physical/possession type receiver, and they have that already in Lucien and Johnson.
Walker is more explosive and given his speed, he is a great fit for the spread so it wouldn't be surprising to see him in the rotation as a true freshmen.
ATH Devin Fuller
This guy is a burner and while it's doubtful he'll come in and take the starting quarterback position from an emerging Brett Hundley, he is too explosive to leave off the field.
With an offense searching for playmakers, Fuller is just what the Bruins need.
It wouldn't be out of the question to see the high school quarterback used in the Wildcat formation his freshman year.
Wherever he ends up, this guy is going to be exciting to watch.
ATH Fabian Moreau
Dark horse Pick
When you watch this guys highlight tape on youtube, it's hard to understand why he wasn't more highly recruited out of high school.
Coming all the way from Florida, I have a feeling Mazzone is really going to develop a liking towards this kid.
He's got speed, he's got great initial burst, and impressive moves in the open field.
Although he wasn't as highly rated as the other five guys, don't be shocked if his impact is significant come fall.