UCLA picks up second verbal commit of the week

Two days after picking up a verbal commitment from speedy cornerback Shannon Edwards, UCLA caught a big fish today with the news that hulking tight end Ian Taubler has verbally committed.

Taubler told Inside UCLA Campus Correspondent Jacob Ruffman that he was close to a commitment last weekend, and he has long been interested in the Bruins.

Taubler becomes UCLA’s highest-rated verbal commit so far, joining Edwards and the Hawaiian Hurricanes, Steven Lakalaka and Psalm Wooching, and he fills a position of need. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins go after another tight end in this class.

At 6-5, 250 pounds, though, a possible shift to offensive tackle at some point wouldn’t be out of the question, either. He has a solid, strong frame with good blocking skills, although his skill-position skills could use some work – speed, hands, route-running.

Taubler’s commitment, however, is a big one in my book, as UCLA needs to keep working at this tier of prospect until they start showing something on the field. The Bruins can’t really expect a five-star to commit right now, and I think Rick Neuheisel learned something last year with the class that the team eventually got. I think the hiring of Mike Johnson and Inoke Breckterfield – two guys who are very familiar with the Oregon State style – was just the first sign that the team was going to change its direction a little.

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  • Anonymous

    Nice get. Let’s continue to embrace the talented kids who want to play here, rather than drooling over the bluest of the blue-chips who have only a passing interest and ultimately leave the program standing at the altar on signing day. Welcome, Ian!

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla Jon Gold

    Bing, and let me add an, -O.

  • rejn

    and how about a DITT-O

  • brian thompson

    Was reviewing archives. Dont know what you mean by ‘this tier’ of prospect. Kid has been dominating 3 and 4 star TE all spring, and would have been a 4/5 star had he not been playing all season with 2 cases of pneumonia last year.
    Kid was a rivals top 250, Scout top 150 and Espn top 150 after his soph year.
    If you mean by THIS TIER recruit, that we go after and get the best kids in the country, I agree.