UCLA Football Recruiting: Bruins' Top Priorities on National Signing Day
UCLA is heavily pursuing QB Asiantii Woulard
With national signing day less than two weeks away, the UCLA Bruins hope to finish well with what should be considered an already strong recruiting class.
Johnson, Foreman and Goodman are consensus 4-star recruits by the majority of the recruiting services. Wills has been denoted as a 5-star prospect by Scout. With depth in the secondary relatively thin, the aforementioned quartet has a viable shot at play time next season.
The Bruins are pursuing a handful of uncommitted players right now—the majority of whom are big time prospects.
Here is a look at the top priorities for UCLA as signing day rolls around.
Reel in the Big Fish on the Defensive Line
DE Kylie Fitts would be a big get
There are two prize fish currently swimming out in the Pacific Ocean. There's also a boat carrying four fisherman—all of whom are desperate to catch those two fish.
Vanderdoes is being heavily pursued by the likes of UCLA, Southern Cal, Notre Dame and Alabama. Fitts is also being pestered by all of the schools above, minus Alabama.
If the Bruins are able to sign both, it'd be a tremendous haul. Vanderdoes visited UCLA previously, and by all accounts had a great visit. He's very close with UCLA defensive line coach and fellow Sacramento area native Angus McClure.
Vanderdoes has also visited Southern Cal and Notre Dame officially, and is slated to visit Alabama this weekend before signing day. At this point, UCLA has as good a chance as anyone.
Vanderdoes could potentially be what Shaun Cody was to Southern Cal when Pete Carroll took over. Cody was the dominating defensive line prospect that chose to enter somewhat of a rebuilding situation. He ended up becoming a galvanizing fulcrum for success, and it was essentially the start of a dynasty.
A one-time Southern Cal commit, Vanderdoes was recently visited by Southern Cal AD Pat Haden at his sister's basketball game in Northern California. It obviously shows the great lengths that the Trojans are going through in order to bring Vanderdoes back into the fold.
Ironically enough, Fitts was also a former Southern Cal commit. After a messy public breakup, Fitts is back on the market—considering the Trojans along with UCLA and Notre Dame.
It's thought that Fitts would like to stay closer to home, which would bode well for the Bruins. Fitts' sister also attends UCLA as a student.
Pairing Vanderdoes and Fitts with current commitment Kenneth Clark could fortify the defensive line for years to come. Fitts is perfect as a defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, and Vanderdoes has the ability to play every position on the defensive line.
Sign QB of the Future?
QB Asiantii Woulard
In a span of three weeks, the Bruins could go from not signing a quarterback at all to signing the top uncommitted prospect at the position.
Winter Park, Fla. native Asiantii Woulard recently took an official visit to UCLA this past weekend, and by all accounts it went well.
Woulard is a player with tremendous upside. He's raw and considerably new to the position, but he has great speed and very good arm strength. He's also coachable.
He participated in the famed Elite 11 competition and won the MVP award. He beat out the likes of Max Browne and Christian Hackenberg for the title.
Elite 11 instructor and former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer is a big fan of Woulard's. He's become somewhat of a mentor to the Florida native. It's also noted that Dilfer is friends with UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, so the recent interest in UCLA isn't a huge surprise.
Mazzone has a great track record of developing quarterbacks. In addition, aside from Brett Hundley, the depth at quarterback is paper thin. It's conceivable to think that Woulard could develop for a couple years until Hundley leaves for the NFL (or graduates), and then the job would be his.
It's interesting to note this tweet by Dilfer. Woulard refuted the claim, but interestingly enough retweeted what was posted by Dilfer.
The former South Florida commit is also considering Clemson and Kentucky at this time.
Hold onto Current Commitments
Keeping Morris would be a major score for the Bruins
The vast majority of UCLA's recruiting class is locked in with the Bruins, but a few are still entertaining the idea of flipping to other schools.
Offensive tackle Christian Morris from Memphis, Tenn. is the biggest name that could make a switch. He's getting lots of pressure to stay local and attend the University of Tennessee. The Bruins and offensive line coach Adrian Klemm are hoping to see Morris' NLI come through the fax machine on signing day.
Similarly to Morris, Bellevue, Wa. native Myles Jack is getting serious pressure to stay home and play for the Washington Huskies. Jack took an official visit to Washington this past weekend, but stayed steadfast in his commitment to the Bruins. Still, he's being relentlessly pursued by the Huskies' coaching staff, and probably will be up until signing day.
Deon Hollins took an official visit to Notre Dame this past weekend, and visited Utah previously. Hollins' dad is very active on Twitter, and regularly posts with other UCLA fans. When asked if his son is still solid to UCLA, he replied "absolutely."
The one commit that could flip is linebacker Cameron Judge.
He visited Arizona State recently, and hasn't set up an official visit to UCLA as of now. The Bruins have commitments from two other linebackers, and are hot on the pursuit for another (Isaac Savaiinaea).
It seems as if Judge could fall victim to a numbers game.
Finish Well with Remaining Targets
MLB Isaac Savaiinaea is a big target for the Bruins
Aside from Woulard, Fitts and Vanderdoes, the Bruins are pursing a couple of uncommitted prospects.
The biggest one comes in the form of Honolulu native Isaac Savaiinaea. Savaiinaea is the prototype for what one looks for in the ideal middle linebacker. He's tough, physical and very smart.
He's down to Texas A&M and UCLA, but it seems like the Bruins will be tough to beat here.
Looking to add athleticism to the receivers corps, the Bruins recently extended an offer to wideout Jeff Badet.
The Orlando native is cat-quick, and can absolutely stop on a dime when in space. With the recent offer, Badet will make the trip to UCLA this upcoming weekend. It's interesting to note that he's friends with Woulard, and that the two attended the same high school for a few years before Woulard transferred.
UPDATE: Badet has changed his mind and in fact will not visit UCLA.