UCLA Football: Re-Evaluating Bruins' Recruiting Class After 2014 Opening

Jason Fray@https://twitter.com/Jason_FrayCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2014

QB Josh Rosen
QB Josh RosenPhoto courtesy of 247Sports.com

The Opening proved to be very good for Jim Mora and the future of the UCLA football program.

The committed prospects participating in the event—in addition to the vast number of interested prospects at the camp—truly does illustrate UCLA's newfound prominence on the national landscape of college football.

UCLA picked up three commitments during the camp. In addition, two previously committed prospects—Alize Jones and Josh Rosen—were also present. 

There is considerable buzz surrounding the program at this time. A good chunk of the talent in attendance do have legitimate interest in Mora's squad. These prospects will be detailed below. 


Top Targets

Of the prospects on the West Coast, the list starts and begins with elite outside linebacker/defensive end Keisean Lucier-South

The Scout.com 5-star product has been compared constantly to former UCLA Bruin defender Anthony Barr. A very active Twitter user, Lucier-South constantly talks about UCLA. I'd think the Bruins will be in it until the very end for the Orange Lutheran High School product. 

Other local prospects included offensive lineman Dru Samia, defensive backs Dechaun Holiday, Marvell Tell and Iman Marshall and defensive end Rasheem Green.

Per Greg Biggins of Scout.com (subscription required), UCLA is recruiting Samia extremely hard. The talented offensive tackle from Danville, California, is very impressed with the UCLA coaching staff—particularly offensive line coach Adrian Klemm. It wouldn't be a surprise to see an eventual commitment to the Bruins in the future. 

Also according to Biggins (subscription required), UCLA is doing well with Holiday. As is the case with Tell, it could ultimately become a UCLA-USC battle for the duo. The Bruins and Trojans will likely also battle over Green and Marshall. I'd expect both schools to be on their respective short lists up until the signing period in February. 

Multiple out-of-state prospects also like the Bruins considerably. 

Outside linebacker Osa Masina out of Utah currently has UCLA in his top five. Ultra-talented running back Soso Jamabo out of Plano, Texas, also has the Bruins on his short list

Other prospects at the event with sincere interest in the Bruins include receivers Cordell Broadus and Ryan Newsome, defensive end Austin Bryant, linebackers Porter Gustin and Roquan Smith and athlete Ray-Ray McCloud. 

Ironically, former Oregon State receiver and first-round NFL draft pick Brandin Cooks has been recruiting Newsome to UCLA. Cooks was committed to the Bruins under former head coach Rick Neuheisel, before switching over to the Beavers and Mike Riley. Rosen was also in the ear of the Texas receiver throughout the week. 


Commitments at the Event

Rosen and Jones entered as the two preexisting commitments at the camp. 

Jones didn't participate much in the seven-on-seven portion due to a concussion. However, he did test exceptionally well. At 6'5", 220 pounds, he's a nightmare matchup for any defensive back. His 4.67 time in the 40 was above-average, and his 4.03 shuttle time is outstanding. 

There's no question the Bishop Gorman High School product is one of the most impressive looking athletes on the West Coast. 

Per Bleacher Report analyst Michael Felder and 247Sports analyst Ryan Bartow, Rosen "wowed" at the camp with his physical tools. Tyler Donohue also had Rosen listed as the top quarterback at The Opening.

UCLA is getting a star at the position. Aside from his impressive physical tools, Rosen is an extremely intelligent individual. He's attempting to graduate early in order to enroll in January. 

With Brett Hundley likely leaving after this season, there's no reason to think Rosen can't compete for—and potentially win—the starting gig as a true freshman. 

He's that talented. 

Athlete Stephen Johnson out of San Leandro, California, was the first of the three UCLA commitments at The Opening.

The 247Sports 3-star chose the Bruins over offers from Oregon, Cal and Arizona State, among others. Johnson flashed immense explosiveness at the combine, running a 4.37 in the 40 and also registering a 34'5" vertical leap. 

Johnson performed as both a corner and a receiver. His competitiveness makes him a valuable prospect, as does his ability to return kicks and punts. At this point, Johnson told 247Sports analyst Justin Hopkins he's "done and committed. I'm 100-percent Bruin."

With Johnson's strong showing, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him eventually bumped up to a 4-star rating. 

The second of UCLA's commits came in the form of talented offensive tackle Andre James from Herriman, Utah. 

UCLA beat out Southern Cal, Ohio State, Oregon and Oklahoma for his services. It was definitely a massive coup for the coaching staff. 

At 6'4.5", 278 pounds, James still has room for physical growth. He'll need to gain both weight and strength in order to play on the next level. Regardless, he's blessed with ideal quickness and agility. His feet will enable him to potentially protect the quarterback's blind side. 

Paul Myerberg of USA Today spoke very highly of James' performance in Oregon, and specifically mentioned his potential upside. With a strong senior season, the Scout.com 4-star could be propelled to a 5-star status. 

The last of UCLA's three commitments was offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry out of Honolulu, Hawaii. 

Ulu-Perry elected the Bruins over offers from many West Coast programs. At 6'2.5", 295 pounds, his future primarily will reside in the interior of the line—ideally at center. 

Ulu-Perry impressed considerably at the event. Biggins reported "it'd be tough to imagine a better center prospect anywhere in the country."

Scott Schrader of 247Sports also had glowing praise for the Hawaiian. Schrader mentioned Ulu-Perry showed "tremendous feet, strong hands, good hand placement, toughness and resiliency."

As a result of Ulu-Perry's performance, 247Sports recognized the talented lineman as a member of the "Dream Team" for offensive and defensive linemen in attendance. 

OL Fred Ulu-Perry
OL Fred Ulu-PerryPhoto courtesy of 247Sports.com

There's no doubt this was a massive addition for UCLA. With the commitments from Ulu-Perry, James and Scout.com 4-star guard Tevita Halalilo, it has the makings of a very good offensive line class. 

If one goes by the Scout.com composite ranking system, UCLA has commitments from the top center on the West Coast (Ulu-Perry), the second-best guard out West (Halalilo) and the second-best tackle (James) on the entire West Coast. 

This also doesn't include the top quarterback nationally (Rosen) and the No.2 tight end prospect (Jones) in the country. 

It's safe to say UCLA is recruiting at an elite level for '15. 


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