UCLA Football: Recruiting Update
Christian Morris, photo courtesy of ESPN
The UCLA Football recruiting train keeps rolling on and on.
Not only did UCLA recently get commitments from 4-star offensive tackle Christian Morris and rising cornerback Jermaine Kelly, but the Bruins are in prime position to land more highly-touted recruits.
Currently, the Bruins have 11 public commitments. Of those 11, six are considered 4-star prospects according to Scout.com.
Let's take a look at UCLA's two most recent commitments, and other recruits that might decide to call Westwood their college home.
Commit: Athlete Jermaine Kelly
Courtesy of ESPN
The commitment of Kelly was a big pickup for the Bruins.
Due to his strong performance on the camp circuit throughout the past few months, Kelly has been one of the hottest prospects on the entire West Coast.
He ultimately chose the Bruins over offers from Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Minnesota and Utah, among others.
Kelly's versatility makes him a very intriguing prospect. Not only can he play as a safety or cornerback, but he can also play in the slot as a wide receiver.
He's extremely explosive, and has great change-of-direction ability for an athlete his height (6'2"). With the Bruins lacking big-play options at wide out, there's a chance that Kelly could conceivably come in as a receiver.
But for right now, he's slated to enter as a defensive back.
Commit: Offensive Tackle Christian Morris
OT Christian Morris
It's not too often that UCLA lands big time talent on the offensive line.
That's why it's truly remarkable that the Bruins navigated through SEC territory and came out with a 4-star tackle in Christian Morris.
The Memphis, Tenn. native chose the Bruins over offers from Nebraska, Clemson, Mississippi State, Missouri, USC and Tennessee, among others.
The big tackle had a very strong showing at The Opening—a vaunted skills camp where high school prospects need to qualify and compete for a possible spot at the event.
For UCLA to land an elite player at a position of need from across the country is huge. It truly does lend to the immense recruiting prowess that the staff—namely offensive line coach Adrian Klemm—exhibits.
Morris has the potential to contribute early in college. He'll need to tighten up his body a bit, but there's no denying the awesome power that he plays with.
Mora Targeting the Secondary Big Time
S Hatari Byrd, courtesy of ESPN
As a secondary coach with over a decade of NFL experience, head coach Jim L. Mora is well versed in the arts of defensive backs.
With that in mind, there's no secret that the staff will be using that angle when recruiting defensive back prospects. And by what recruits are saying, the interest is mutual.
Aside from the commitment of Kelly, UCLA is hoping to bring in up to five defensive backs in this current class.
Of the prospects listed above, the prevailing notion is that Byrd might be the closest to choosing the Bruins.
Interestingly enough, the trio of Byrd, Johnson and Moore are all high school teammates. Goodman and Willis are best friends, and vow to play with one another in college.
Foreman attends Crespi Carmelite High School, which has produced current Bruins Devin Lucien and Kevin Prince.
With the uncanny amount of connections between the six targets, it's viable to assume that UCLA should land multiple of the aforementioned prospects.
Where's the Beef?
Erik Bunte- courtesy of 247 Sports
With a new emphasis centering on toughness and discipline, where better to start than on the offensive line?
Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm has the task of rebuilding an offensive line that's been plagued by inconsistency, injuries and a lack of talent.
Both Dowling and Bunte might be considered "projects". Dowling needs to gain weight and get stronger, while Bunte is still a bit raw.
Despite that, both have great upside. Dowling is very athletic and mobile for a guy his size, and Bunte is absolutely massive.
With three commits in tow, Klemm will look for at least two more to fill out the class.