UCLA Football: The Curious Case of Adrian Klemm
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The vernacular above isn't attributed to an offensive line coach very often. In most cases, those individuals are known as gruff, tough and old-school in nature. The X's and O's usually take priority over the Jimmys and Joes, or the recruiting aspect of the job.
Of course, I'm generalizing to an extent. Not every offensive line coach in college football is a staunch, antiquated figure with no ability to relate to teenagers.
However, UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm is setting a precedence right now. Not only might he be the top recruiter on the West Coast, but he very well could be the top recruiter in the entire country.
Earlier today, UCLA received a commitment from offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor out of Lackawanna Community College. According to 247Sports, Eluemunor is rated as the second-best JuCo prospect in the entire country. The Bruins garnered his pledge over the likes of Alabama, Southern Cal and Ohio State.
Just a few days earlier, the Bruins also received a commitment from Dominick Jackson. Jackson, also an offensive lineman from the junior college ranks, is regarded as the fifth-best JuCo prospect nationally. Again, UCLA was able to beat out Alabama, Southern Cal, LSU and others for Jackson's services.
When was the last time that UCLA beat out the national champions for one, let alone two, prospects in the same week?
It all starts and ends with Klemm.
Simply put, the man is a beast when it comes to recruiting. In essence, he's the fulcrum for the UCLA football recruiting machine. He's been able to sell the university with an unrivaled fervor. There's no prospect—regardless of location—that he doesn't feel like he can land.
Klemm is incredibly active on Twitter. Using his Twitter handle @IAMKLEMM, he's been able to have a cult following of sorts. He likes to use the hashtag #New Breed whenever referring to his offensive line. Furthermore, he often tweets #8clap whenever the Bruins receive a public commitment.
Klemm started as a coach under June Jones at SMU in 2009. In only his second season as a full-time coach, Klemm was named as the top non-BCS AQ Recruiter in the nation by Rivals. He was able to lure talented prospects to Dallas that would otherwise traditionally head to play in conferences such as the Big 12 or the Pac-12.
Coming to UCLA in 2012, it was a homecoming of sorts. Klemm attended high school in Santa Monica and grew up in Inglewood. It truly was the perfect storm for head coach Jim Mora. He was able to poach one of the top recruiters in the country, with a sales pitch including a trip back home and also a rise to a bigger conference.
There's a certain mystique when it comes to the former University of Hawaii product. He was drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots in 2000. During his time in Foxboro, he not only helped to protect Tom Brady, but also became a three-time Super Bowl Champion.
That type of success certainly resonates with recruiting targets. It also helps that Klemm can relate to prospects from the standpoint that he's still relatively young (36). He's very articulate, engaging and respectful. In a sense, he's almost like a big brother to many of the recruits. His means of cultivating relationships with prospects is very impressive.
In 2013, Klemm landed seven elite offensive linemen from all across the country, spanning from as far as Tennessee and Texas. The seven-man class ranks as one of, if not the best in the entire country. His primary focus at this point is to rebuild a line that's been traditionally porous.
Before Mora came to Westwood, UCLA's offensive line was snake-bitten by attrition, academics and a myriad of other issues. As a result, there was next to no depth once the new staff took over. In his first season as the offensive line coach at UCLA, Klemm was forced (out of necessity) to start three freshmen.
It didn't turn out so bad, however, as new school rushing records were set for most rushing yards in a season for a running back, most all-purpose yards in a single season and most 100-yard rushing games in a single season. It's quite astonishing that Klemm was able to mesh together a unit that had absolutely no continuity or experience from the previous year.
Klemm is UCLA's lead national recruiter. If there's an elite out-of-state kid with an interest in UCLA, expect Klemm to come calling. Additionally, he's also in charge of recruiting Orange County and various local powerhouse high schools. Unsurprisingly, he was a key cog in UCLA getting the third-best recruiting class in the country in 2013, according to Scout.com.
By landing Eluemunor and Jackson, it just further validates Klemm's recruiting prowess. It cannot be overstated enough how startling the feat truly is. Klemm was able to beat out Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Les Miles and Lane Kiffin for these two recruits.
In terms of the UCLA football program, unprecedented territory is truly being trekked across.
And it all starts with Klemm.
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