The news today that USC has lost its appeal for myriad sanctions handed down last year has instant ramifications for UCLA.
The Trojans recruited at a blistering pace last season, and even early in this recruiting period, with eight verbal commitments so far. USC will likely go into next season with around 65-68 on the roster, and with the 75-scholarship max, the Trojans class could be that small, only around 7-11 kids.
That means the Bruins must pounce, and pounce quickly, on local talent. Scouring the country for players who want to come west is all well and good, but there is a stockpile of talent in California, and UCLA can’t afford to let Stanford, Cal and Oregon fill the gap. If the Bruins even get two top-level players per year over the next three years because of sanctions, that’s a huge shift.
It’s not as if the see-saw has completely flipped, though. USC still has good talent for the next two years, even if that talent is thinning. As repeated ad nauseum, UCLA has to win – and win now – for a real shift to take place.