UCLA Football: The Latest Program Musings
Even in the offseason, there hasn't been any shortage of news for the UCLA football program.
The start of summer signifies a few things. For one, UCLA's top 2013 recruiting class has now enrolled. Incoming members of the team will participate in summer school, and also in summer workouts with vaunted strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi.
Additionally, a high-profile transfer who intended to come to Westwood has since had a change of heart, so to speak.
Lastly, the Bruins are hot on the recruiting trail. Jim Mora and his staff recently garnered a commitment from one of the fastest rising prospects on the West Coast.
Let's take a look at the latest musings of the Bruins program.
Rushel Shell Not Coming to UCLA
Former 5-star prospect Rushel Shell decided to leave Pitt in hopes of having a fresh start out on the West Coast with UCLA.
But according to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy, Shell changed his mind recently, and will not be transferring to Westwood. Instead, he hopes to return to Pitt.
Shell has twin daughters living in the Pittsburgh area, and that could be a big reason as to why he's wanting to stay home.
According to John Taylor of NBC Sports, however, Pitt might not ultimately be an option either.
The Aliquippa, Pa. native could have provided a considerable boost to a somewhat thin UCLA backfield. Projected starter Damien Thigpen is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered last season against Southern Cal. Additionally, there's a relative lack of experience in regards to the other backs on the roster.
Without Shell in the mix, UCLA will rely on a stable that includes Thigpen, Paul Perkins, Jordon James, Malcolm Jones, Steven Manfro and potentially Craig Lee.
Freshmen Report for Summer
The acclimatization process for incoming freshmen coincides with the beginning of summer. These new members of the team will begin their collegiate career both in the classroom and on the field.
For the Bruins, the biggest news could be that Eddie Vanderdoes is on campus. The Vanderdoes-Notre Dame saga has been well publicized for the past month or so. As it currently stands, it's unknown whether or not Vanderdoes will be eligible to play this season.
Regardless, getting Vanderdoes in the fold is an absolute boon for the Bruins.
Also of note is the status of stud running back Craig Lee. It sounds as if he'll be eligible for the fall, depending on how he did this past semester in high school.
Getting Lee eligible would be huge for the Bruins. He'd instantly become the most talented back on the roster. If eligible, Lee would have a good shot at playing time this upcoming year.
Jordan Lasley Commits
At UCLA's Elite Camp this past weekend, Lasley put on a dominating performance. He displayed great explosiveness and quickness when going against defensive backs. He also ran the fastest 40 time at the camp, clocking in at 4.44.
Getting Lasley is significant for a few reasons. For one, UCLA needs talent at wide receiver. More than anything, the team needs speed—something Lasley brings in droves.
Lasley comes from a high school that UCLA traditionally doesn't recruit well at. It's a shame for Bruins fans too, considering the amount of elite talent Serra churns out annually. To name a few, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee both hailed from Serra.
The 2014 and '15 classes at Serra are absolutely loaded. UCLA is heavily pursuing the likes of Adoree' Jackson, Dwight Williams and Glen Ihenacho this year, while already offering 2015 prospects John Houston, Malik Roberson and Rasheem Green.
Garnering a commitment from Lasley could help to sway multiple Serra prospects over to UCLA in this cycle.