Football stuff

Here is a column colleague Ramona Shelburne wrote about UCLA’s football recruiting.
Also, here is the story I wrote on UCLA’s newest commit.

Recruiting for the 2009 class is coming to and end, and UCLA is hoping Saturday’s non-binding oral commitment from Long Beach Poly defensive end Iuta Tepa is the beginning of a bountiful few days.
Tepa, who was committed to Hawaii, made the decision during a meeting with Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel. He said he already informed Hawaii’s staff of his decision.
“I like the system that they run with being able to get up the field,” Tepa said. “The defensive line coach wants their defensive ends to get the sacks. They need the guys to come off the end, and I think I can do it.”
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Tepa had 102 tackles and 14 sacks as a senior.
The Bruins are also in the mix for several other high-profile recruits, including Cal commit Stan Hasiak, a one-time UCLA commit from Kapolei (Hawaii) High, Punahou High of Honolulu linebacker Manti Te’o and Timpview High of Provo, Utah, offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo.
Recruits can sign binding national letters of intent beginning Wednesday, and UCLA is expected to have at least 17 high school seniors and one junior college player sign. Carson tight end Morrell Pressley is already enrolled at UCLA, and Tyler (Texas) Junior College offensive lineman Ryan Taylor signed a letter of intent during the early JUCO signing period.
–Brian Dohn

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  • Blue Bruin

    I think the column is dead on. Karl seemed intimidated by USC, both on and off the field. And Pete and the Trojans could smell that fear and exploit it. But things have changed, and even if Rick doesn’t get all the 5 star recruits this year, he and the staff have done a marvelous job spreading the word that UCLA is a also a destination for premier players

  • MaltBaa

    It is a good thing you signed this one, or else i would have thought scott wolf would have written it

  • Alex18

    Hey Brian, I thought that Tyler had almost no shot at getting in to UCLA. I’m about as far away from a Dorrell apologist as you can get, but something tells me they might have cooled on him as a result of seeing his transcripts. Am I far off here? And, on a slightly related note, do you see this staff competing more to get kids admitted to school?

  • Fan4Life

    If UCLA is going to go after all the top local players that SC goes after regardless of their academic profile, then why didn’t UCLA offer Vontaze Burflict? He is one of the top rates LBs in the country and plays locally at Corona Centennial.

    The reason why is because the current coaching staff was not going to bother with kids who could not be admitted no matter if they had an SC offer or if they were the #1 rated prospect in the land. Same with Marc Tyler when Dorrell was here. The same with DeSean Jackson who was not going to take a couple of classes needed to get enrolled.

    You can go hard after the stars all you want, but if there was not a chance they were going to be admitted, then it was a waste of resources. The coaches now and then spent their time on kids who could get admitted. That includes 5* Brian Price and Rahim Moore. Both who are at UCLA. The last class Dorrell was involved in was a top 10 class with plenty of players from the LA area and a few with SC offers.

    I’m holding out hope until LOI day that Rick and staff will pull in some more players, but until results to prove otherwise its still early to bash the efforts of the former regime.

  • Buster Bruin

    I am curious about Dohn’s statement that UCLA is expected to sign “at least 17 high school seniors and one junior college player”. Not counting Pressley and Taylor who are already enrolled, UCLA currently has commitments from 18 high school seniors and 3 junior college players. I assume this means that one committed high school senior and two currently committed junior college players are not expected to sign. Since Shawn Johnson and Eddie Williams were always considered longshots to get through UCLA admissions, I would guess they are the two junior colllege players not currently expected to sign. Dohn has said that all but one high school committed player has made it through the academic committee. I guess this means that the one high school player who has not made it through the academic people is not expected to sign. Am I correct?

  • Zoom

    BB- could be one of the soft commits like Sermons who is at UW this weekend or Sanders who is at Miami this weekend…Who knows where the counts come from? It isn’t unusual for different recruiting services and gurus counts to vary by one or two…

  • Peter

    Hasn’t Brehaut also already enrolled?

  • BDB

    Brian, where should we set our expectations for Feb 4 LOI Day? I mean high or low for Te’o, Hasaik, Thighpen, etc… And, are there any possible surprises out there you haven’t told us about yet?

  • Buster Bruin

    I am using the BRO commitment list plus Tepa who has yet to be added to that list to reach 18 high school commitments. Brehaut will enroll in the spring so he still needs to sign an LOI.

  • ProdigalBruin

    I am not sure, but I am guessing that the reason for the numbers is academic admissions. Dohn indicated in the Q & A that all but ONE have cleared admissions. I am thinking that the reason it is 17 and not 18 is because there is one kid who has not been cleared through amissions and he may not sign with UCLA.

    Make sense to anyone else???
    PB

  • Buster Bruin

    PB– I think you are right. The high school and JC numbers mentioned by Dohn seem to reflect the ommision of two JC commitments and one high school commitment who have not been approved by the academic committee. I wonder if that is the reason why Billy Sanders is visiting Miami this weekend?

  • Peter

    BusterBruin–I wouldn’t be surprised if you nailed it oh the head. We’ll see in 3 days.

  • Panchito

    “There are some who wonder whether some of that aggression is completely wise or a waste of time.”

    This article could have been good, but it is written poorly. I don’t like it when writers interject opinion in an article with a vague statement like the above. Who is the “some”? The writer, Dohn, fans, boosters? The premise was good, but the article could have been a lot better.

    Panchito