UCLA Football

5 Reasons 5-Star DE Keisean Lucier-South Will Sign with UCLA

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJuly 7, 2014

5 Reasons 5-Star DE Keisean Lucier-South Will Sign with UCLA

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Keisean Lucier-South is a 5-star defensive end from California who is one of the nation's top pass-rushers. At 6'5" and 225 pounds, Lucier-South combines excellent length with a quick first step to pressure quarterbacks down after down.

    Many schools are after him, but UCLA leads in his 247Sports Crystal Ball. The Bruins have a lot going for themselves, but there are a few specific reasons as to why Lucier-South will sign to play in Westwood.

     

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports' composite rankings.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

The Pac-12's Style of Play

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Outside of Stanford, most of the Pac-12 schools have offenses that lean more toward passing the football. That means pass-rushers can go crazy in the conference, as they don't have to worry as much about stopping the run as they would in another league.

    Lucier-South isn't the strongest defensive end one will see on tape, but he can get after the passer. The fact that UCLA plays in the traditional pass-happy Pac-12 offers him a chance to consistently do what he does best.

Jim Mora

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    USA TODAY Sports

    The Bruins are coached by Jim Mora, who has a reputation as a player's coach. Mora's personality is perfect on the college level, as it fits the profile of a solid recruiter. He seems to know how to relate to players on and off the field, as well as keep the mood in his program fun and loose.

    Lucier-South told the following to Edward Lewis of BruinSportsReport.com (subscription required) June 26: "I really like the coaches and I really like the vibe here, especially with coach (Jim) Mora."

The Anthony Barr Affect

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Anthony Barr was a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He's also a UCLA alum who has a similar skill set to Lucier-South.

    Both players make their presence felt on the edges, as they get the job done with speed and athleticism. Like Barr, Lucier-South is capable of playing with his hand down, as well as standing up.

    The allure of playing the same role and having similar success as Barr at UCLA must be a huge appeal to him.

    He told the following to Lewis (subscription required) June 26 about what a UCLA assistant coach told him: "He said Anthony Barr was having trouble his first year, but his second year he did great. He said right now, I'm better than Anthony when he started. So I kind of have an advantage."

It's Close to Home

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Lucier-South plays for Orange Lutheran High School in California. It's inside the Los Angeles metro area, which the same can be said about UCLA's campus in Westwood.

    Signing with the Bruins would keep the talented defensive end right at home without much of a culture or environment change. While not every recruit wants to stay close to home, this certainly cannot be a negative.

UCLA Is His Favorite School and Was His First High-Profile Offer

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    So far, Lucier-South hasn't made too much of an effort to conceal his feelings for UCLA. He told the following to Chris Swanson of USCFootball.com (subscription required) May 29: "Honestly, UCLA is my favorite school..."

    That statement alone should help one see how likely it is Lucier-South ends up a Bruin, but there's more.

    Per Swanson, Lucier-South also said: "They were my first big offer, so that's why UCLA is my favorite right now."

    A school scores huge points with a prospect when it is the first to offer. The sentimental value he holds for the program can be priceless. That certainly applies here with Lucier-South, plus he's stated his high admiration for UCLA.

    It's safe to predict the Bruins will receive the 5-star defensive end's national letter of intent next February.

     

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and the Cleveland Browns.

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