...UCLA. This may come as a surprise to Trojan fans, but I think UCLA outdid themselves this recruiting season. The Bruins recruited the two best running backs on the West Coast in Malcolm Jones (Oaks Christian) and Jordan James (Corona).
Malcolm Jones is the most bruising RB in the nation. He is a north-south runner who loves to run people over. Jones usually doesn't dance around in the backfield before running downhill. He cuts fairly well but isn't as explosive as you would like. Jones has the perfect build for a RB (6'1", 215 lbs).
Jordan James is one of the most elusive and explosive backs in the country. He isn't a polar opposite of Jones, but they definitely have different running styles. James is more of a guy who runs on the edges better than between the tackles. He has great footwork for a high- school player. One negative is that he doesn't break many tackles. This will be more noticeable in college because the game gets faster, and he can't out run everybody. James needs to add around five to ten pounds to be more effective.
The other top recruits UCLA has landed are ATH Anthony Barr (Loyola), DE/OLB Aramide Olaniyan (Woodberry Forest, VA), DT Cassius Marsh (Oaks Christian), and G Chris Ward (Mater Dei).
Barr is a very smooth player who realistically could play safety, linebacker, or even corner at UCLA. He is that versatile. This is why players get classified as athletes. It helps to weigh in at 6'4", 225 lbs.
Olaniyan is an extremely quick rush linebacker. He does need to add about 20 pounds of bulk to be more than a one-dimensional speed rusher.
Marsh could be the quickest defensive tackle in the country. He is not an overly big guy (6'4", 270...I know, he's downright tiny). But his strength is second to none. I expect him to be a lesser version of Brian Price.
Ward is one of the best guards in the nation. His strengths are his pass blocking skills and his feet. He does not have elite strength.
The other recruits that Neuhisel has landed are K Kip Smith, DE (JUCO) Marquis Jackson, DT Julius Moore, and CB Tevin McDonald.
UCLA is still in the running for DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (David Douglas, OR). He will likely make his final decision on National Signing Day this Wednesday. The other two schools are Nebraska and Oregon State.
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