UCLA Football Recruiting: Top 5 in-State Recruits
Year in and year out, the state of California churns out tremendous high school talent.
It's of little surprise that collegiate football programs from all across the nation head west in hopes of luring top recruits to their respective teams.
In 2014, the story is no different. Elite talent resides across the board at seemingly every position.
Here are five of those in-state athletes that Jim Mora and the UCLA Bruins would love to bring to Westwood.
Adoree' Jackson is as electrifying a player as one will see in the entire 2014 class.
The Serra High School product stands only 5'9.5", 182 pounds. However, he makes up for his lack of size with insane quickness and pure speed in the open field.
Jackson ran a blazing 4.44 40 time at the recent Nike SPARQ combine in Oregon. Despite running an excellent time, he was disappointed that the time wasn't within the 4.3 range.
He's dually able to play both as a cornerback or as a receiver in the slot. Colleges are recruiting him for both positions.
In UCLA's case, he'd potentially be a receiver. The Bruins lack that true gamebreaker from the receiving corps. Jackson would bring lethal amounts of both agility and ability from the slot.
Damien Mama is a massive individual.
At the Nike SPARQ combine, he was measured at 6'4", 370 pounds. With that type of size, you'd expect to see a lumbering, somewhat lethargic individual.
That couldn't be farther from the truth. He's got tremendous athleticism for a man of his stature. His first step is impressively quick, and he's got the footwork to actually play tackle. Not to mention, he's equipped with gargantuan strength.
Barring weight loss, Mama is most likely destined to play as a guard at the next level. He probably does need to get in somewhat better shape, but there's no denying his ability. In fact, Scout.com recently ranked him as the top guard prospect in the nation.
At this point, everyone in the country wants the St. John Bosco product. UCLA, Southern Cal and Alabama are namely in hot pursuit, according to 247Sports.com.
If Jackson is the most electrifying player in the state, running back Joe Mixon from Oakley, Calif. is a close second.
At 6'1", 210 pounds, he's got prototypical size for the position. Mixon can run with power and drag the pile between the tackles. Additionally, he's also got good speed—as he ran a 4.53 40-yard dash time at the Nike SPARQ combine.
Mixon also has a great set of hands. With his measurables, he'd be a great target out of the backfield on swing passes and screens.
Programs from all across the country such as Michigan, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas A&M, Notre Dame and Ohio State have all extended offers to the Freedom High School star, according to 247Sports.
Local schools such as Cal, UCLA and Southern Cal are also in heavy pursuit.
Sigining Mixon would be a boon for the Bruins. With a lack of top talent at the running back position, Mixon would potentially start for UCLA as a true freshman. At worst, he'd see time as a complementary back.
Also of note is his close relationship to fellow UCLA target Adarius Pickett. Both could conceivably play together in college.
Mixon, along with Jackson, was named to The Opening Dream Team by 247Sports.
Adarius Pickett has quite the apropos name for a cornerback.
The El Cerrito, Calif. native is a big cornerback at 5'11", 186 pounds. He's physical at the line of scrimmage, often using his hands to his advantage.
In addition, Pickett showcases good speed. He's very solid in coverage, and uses his bigger frame to make life difficult for smaller receivers. Instinctually, he's great at reading the play and acting accordingly.
Right now, Pickett likes UCLA, Southern Cal and Purdue, among others, according to ESPN.
Interestingly enough, Pickett is a talented baseball player. That could bode well for the Bruins, should Pickett opt to play the sport in college.
Dwight Williams is one of the most versatile linebacker prospects in the state this year.
At 6'1", 200 pounds, he's got a frame big enough to play inside 'backer if need be. He's also fast enough to play on the outside in UCLA's 3-4 scheme. During the Nike SPARQ combine, he was timed at 4.6 in the 40.
Williams is a pure playmaker, plain and simple. His sideline-to-sideline pursuit of ball-carriers is impressive for a high school prospect. He's seemingly got a nose for the football, and is always around the play.
Williams attends Serra High School in Gardena, Calif. The school has, and will continue to cultivate big time collegiate prospects. In 2014, Williams' teammates include Jackson, safety Glen Ihenacho and current UCLA commitment Jordan Lasley.
The Bruins have offers out to all four prospects, per Scout.com. Signing the entire quartet would be a huge deal for UCLA. It could also set the stage for the 2015 class, where Serra has elite prospects in the form of John Houston and Rasheem Green.