UCLA Football: Analyzing Bruins' Top 5 2014 Recruiting Targets
UCLA's quick rise in the Pac-12 under head coach Jim Mora is due in no small part to the program's recruiting efforts.
UCLA's 2015 signing class is shaping up to be arguably Mora and his staff's best yet. The Bruins currently have six commitments and are firmly in the mix for several coveted recruits.
The theme atop UCLA's list of uncommitted targets is Southern California. Mora and Co. are working hard to plant their flag firmly in the local recruiting scene with highly rated prospects.
Defensive Tackle Rasheem Green
UCLA's rivalry with USC extends to the highly competitive Los Angeles-area recruiting scene. The Bruins can score a major victory by landing 5-star defensive tackle Rasheem Green.
The product of Junipero Serra High School in Gardena is one of the nation's top defensive players and the No. 3-ranked prospect in the state per 247Sports' composite ratings.
Green is an outstanding run-stopper with a physical presence on the interior. The possibility of playing him with sophomore Eddie Vanderdoes and junior Ellis McCarthy has to make UCLA fans giddy—that's the big, formidable rotation up front.
Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, Green's primary recruiter, has more than USC with which to deal. Pac-12 counterparts Oregon and Washington are also in the mix for Green's commitment.
Safety DeChaun Holiday
Ball-hawking safety DeChaun Holiday would certainly make for a welcomed addition to the UCLA secondary. The 4-star prospect from Mission Hills High School in the San Diego suburb of San Marcos, California, checks in at No. 71 on 247Sports' Top 247 for 2015—and with good reason.
Holiday's 6'2" frame and quick reaction time make him a danger to any pass thrown in his area. Holiday is equally effective pursuing ball-carriers on the ground.
Pac-12 interest is flooding in for the nation's No. 6-ranked safety. UCLA is again in competition with USC for this Southern California prospect. Holiday also has an offer from Oregon. Big 12 power Oklahoma continues its efforts to solidify its California recruiting pipeline with its pursuit of Holiday.
Holiday's cousin, Devin Holiday, is a cornerback at Arizona. The Wildcats are also recruiting the safety, though the 247Sports crystal ball projections have a tight race between UCLA and USC.
Defensive End Keisean Lucier-South
Another highly touted Southern California prospect tops the list of 2015 targets for UCLA. Five-star defensive end Keisean Lucier-South is the state's fourth-ranked recruit per 247Sports and second nationally at his position.
Lucier-South's junior-year Hudl.com highlights from Lutheran High School in Orange, California, demonstrate both an explosion off the line, as well as deceptive power. He uses his size at 6'5", 225 pounds to disrupt opposing quarterbacks and overwhelm ball-carriers.
Don't expect an early commitment from Lucier-South. He tweeted earlier this month that he plans to visit one of his many suitors, Michigan, on Oct. 11. The Wolverines are the top competitor with UCLA for Lucier-South's National Letter of Intent, per 247Sports' crystal ball projections.
Wide Receiver Ykili Ross
This product of Poly High School in Riverside, California, is exactly that. Ross combines size and speed to exploit mismatches out on the hash marks, and recruiting pundits are taking notice.
He's scored at 96 points by 247Sports' metrics but slightly lower at 0.9185 on composite rankings. However, Ross' composite score has skyrocketed in recent months, and interest is pouring in from such suitors as Nebraska, Notre Dame and USC.
UCLA was ahead of the curve, extending its offer to Ross on Feb. 26, per 247Sports.com. As his stock continues to rise over the summer, UCLA's established presence could give the Bruins an inside track.
Offensive Guard Josh Wariboko
UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm has lured some top-notch prospects into the program since his arrival, and 4-star prospect Josh Wariboko of Casady School in Oklahoma City could be the next.
UCLA leads the prospective destinations, per 247Sports' crystal ball projections, though the Bruins have competition from programs around the nation like Clemson, Florida State and Oklahoma.
At 6'3 1/2", 319 pounds, Wariboko has the size to step into most offensive lines immediately. 247Sports gives him high marks for both his run- and pass-blocking abilities, scoring him an eight on a 10-point scale.
His highlight reel at Hudl.com shows off some of Wariboko's versatility. He can play both on the interior and at tackle. He maintains his blocks at the line and moves down field with surprising dexterity for his size.
Recruiting rankings and information culled from 247Sports.com composite ratings unless otherwise noted.