UCLA Football Recruiting: Pair of 4-Star Defensive Backs Pick the Bruins
While UCLA fans are still mourning after Saturday's tough loss to Oregon on the basketball court, the UCLA Bruin football program has some exciting news to lift their spirits.
According to a report from the Orange County Register, Jim Mora and the Bruins have landed two 4-star defensive backs in the 2013 recruiting class. And considering secondary depth was an issue after the graduation of Sheldon Price, Aaron Hester and Andrew Abbott, these two commitments could not have come at a better time.
The first announcement came late Saturday night, when 4-star cornerback Johnny Johnson confirmed his intent to come to Westwood on an official visit to the campus. Johnson has long been considered a UCLA lean, but the 5'10", 175-pound ball hawk authenticated the rumors with his commitment over the weekend. Johnson doesn't have the size to compete at corner immediately, but he is talented enough to become a major contributor after a redshirt season.
The second domino fell on Sunday when 4-star safety Tyler Foreman, a long-time Wisconsin recruit, flipped his commitment to the Bruins. Foreman is from Crespi Carmelite High (Encino, Calif.), so the decision to attend UCLA probably has a lot to do with location. Assuming Foreman's new pledge holds true through national signing day, his family would be about a half-hour drive away from the Westwood campus and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
Unlike Johnson, Foreman has the size and athleticism to toss his hat in the ring early, especially since the two-deep at safety is still unsettled. According to 247Sports, Foreman racked up 39 tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries during his senior season in 2012. If he can bring even a fraction of that production to the college level, Foreman has the chance to carve out a nice role in UCLA's secondary next year.
The commitments of Johnson and Foreman are huge for the Bruins, and will go a long way towards bolstering the defensive backfield. However, this could be just the beginning for Mora and the UCLA secondary.
The Bruins are still in the mix for the services of 4-star safeties Priest Willis and Tahaan Goodman, an elite DB tandem that some think could end up being a package deal. Willis and Goodman both have UCLA listed as final possibilities, along with Arizona State, Florida State, Oklahoma and others.
If Willis or Goodman ultimately choose UCLA when pen hits paper on February 6, the Bruins will have one of the strongest secondary classes in the country. Johnson and Foreman, along with September commit Jalen Ortiz, were the first to wind up in Westwood, but Willis and Goodman would be the icing on the pass-coverage cake.
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