UCLA Football Recruiting: Looking Ahead to Bruins' 2015 Class
With 2014 in the books, Jim Mora and the UCLA Bruins will turn their sights to the class of 2015.
The state of California is particularly loaded in this cycle. 247Sports.com has 10 natives of the Golden State in its top 100 rankings list—including two (Ricky Town, Josh Rosen) in the top five nationally.
At this point, UCLA has three commitments. The trio has the potential to come in right away and make an impact early in their respective careers.
Here's an early look at the class of 2015 for the UCLA Bruins.
*All recruiting rankings come courtesy of 247Sports.com, unless otherwise noted.
A National Presence?
It was a mixed bag of sorts in 2014 when it came to recruiting nationally for UCLA.
The Bruins did well to sign the likes of Kenny Young, Zach Whitley, Austin Roberts and Nathan Starks. UCLA is a national brand—one that will attract kids from all across the country.
However, UCLA did strike out with a number of prominent out-of-state recruits on signing day. By casting a wide net, it could lead to losing out on local prospects.
California boasts some great talent in 2015. UCLA could theoretically stay mostly in the state and avoid spending resources on recruits who reside in SEC country (such as Rashaan Evans and Malachi Dupre).
This question will have to be answered in the upcoming months.
In the interim, expect UCLA to target out-of-state prospects such as Tim Settle, Christian Kirk, Chris Warren, Canton Kaumatule, Keenan Walker, Roquan Smith and Matthew Burrell, among others.
Hit California Hard
The state of California is loaded in 2015.
Serra High School in Gardena boasts elite prospects John Houston, Rasheem Green and Stanley "Scrappy" Norman. Iman Marshall out of Long Beach Poly is one of the top corners in the entire country.
Quarterback Josh Rosen is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the country by 247Sports.com. Jacob Daniel, Keisean Lucier-South, Marvell Tell and Brady White are also all considered top-100 prospects nationally.
With a strong season, UCLA should do well from within the state of California. Rosen seems like the top target at the quarterback position for the Bruins. Lucier-South is eerily similar to Anthony Barr, and the trio from Serra will be recruited very hard.
UCLA went away a bit from California in '14 in favor of a more national flavor. Expect that trend to flip a bit with the stellar in-state class in '15.
Sign Offensive Playmakers
Staying with the theme of disappointments in 2014, the Bruins failed to land a signature playmaker on the offensive side of the ball.
Local prospects Adoree' Jackson and Michiah Quick decided to sign elsewhere, thus leaving UCLA without an electric prospect in the slot.
In 2015, it is imperative for UCLA to sign a prospect (or two) with the capability of turning a short pass into a big play.
Christian Kirk, Isaiah Langley, Chico McClatcher and Malik Lovette all appear to be options for the said position. Of the four, Kirk is the most talented prospect.
The Scottsdale, Ariz. native is an explosive prospect. He possesses the quickness and agility that are desperately needed for UCLA's receiver corps. Signing him would lessen the sting of losing out on Jackson and Quick.
A Look at the Commitments for 2015
UCLA has three public commitments up to this point in the cycle. Interestingly enough, all three hail from outside of California.
Elite tight end Aliz'e Jones out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas committed to the Bruins back in November.
At 6'4", 222 pounds, the 4-star athlete represents the new-age tight end. He could be flexed out as a bigger receiver and also has the capability of being a nightmare for linebackers and safeties to defend against.
Undersized linebacker Victor Alexander out of Jacksonville, Fla. is somewhat of an unheralded prospect. He doesn't possess ideal size for the position, However, he's incredibly impressive as a prospect. He has tremendous closing speed and can hit with ferocity. Essentially, he is a pit bull on the field.
Alexander chose the Bruins over offers from Florida and Virginia Tech.
The most recent commitment comes in the form of Jaason Lewis. The Virginia Beach, Va. jumbo athlete is a very versatile prospect. Theoretically, the 4-star could play as a wide receiver, running back, H-back and also as a linebacker in college.
Per Edward Lewis of BruinSportsReport, the 6'3", 233-pound athlete will come to Westwood as a running back.