UCLA is busy putting the finishing touches on its 2014 recruiting class, but things are already looking up for 2015. The Bruins bagged a commitment from standout junior Aliz'e Jones on Sunday, according to 247Sports writer Justin Hopkins, establishing an outstanding foundation for the future haul of prospects.
Jones, a dynamic 6'4", 222-pound athlete, is ranked the nation's No. 1 tight end recruit by 247Sports. His early commitment should immediately give UCLA head coach Jim Mora increased confidence on the recruiting trail.
The 4-star prospect stars at Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nev.), where he quickly emerged as a top target for highly recruited senior quarterback Randall Cunningham II. Jones has 32 receptions for 547 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2013, according to MaxPreps.
His role expanded significantly this season after catching nine passes for 224 yards and three scores as a sophomore. Jones is physically imposing and displays elite burst that presents matchup issues for opposing defenses.
He committed after attending the Bruins home game against Arizona State this past Saturday. UCLA lost to the Sun Devils, but Jones wasn't phased by the defeat.
"I went to the game yesterday and I just knew," Jones told Hopkins. "I just really enjoyed my stay and the offense and the coaches. There are lots of great programs but UCLA was it for me."
Jones is the first confirmed commitment of UCLA's 2015 class. The Bruins currently boast the nation's 38th-ranked class in the 2014 cycle, per 247Sports.
Landing the top player at his position is a power move by Mora and the UCLA staff. Still, Jones is far from a lock.
He intends to explore other options, which leaves the door wide open for a possible decommitment down the line.
"I'll take some visits in the future and see some other schools," Jones told Hopkins. "My recruiting process is not 100-percent closed. We'll see what happens but I definitely feel like a Bruin."
His offer list includes Arizona, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Arizona State and USC. For now, UCLA is the choice for one of the nation's premier young pass targets.