Chatted with Scout.com’s Brandon Huffman tonight about UCLA’s two big assistant coach hires, Adrian Klemm and Steve Broussard.
What can a guy like Adrian Klemm do immediately?
Huffman: “He can certainly salvage this class with a couple guys who’ve already committed – Raymond Ford, Lacy Westbrook – and guys who were looking at SMU because of Klemm and also looking ASU. It’s also going to help with those guys who were on the fence but were looking at SMU among a big group of schools. He’s already jumped onto the 2013 guys. It’s like a double bonus.”
How much of a coup is it considering Mora has no recruiting experience and few immediate connections?
Huffman: “That’s what’s key. Klemm comes in as a guy who has already developed relationships with all of these guys to a mid-major in Dallas of all places. Now in your backyard, he’s going to be that bridge to Mora. Those kids are looking for a reason to be looking for a reason to commit to UCLA. That’s going to help really help bridge Mora to new recruits.”
What do you think this says about Mora accepting his limitations and addressing what he’ll need help in?
Huffman: “Mora obviously has the ability to evaluate talent – you don’t become an NFL head coach unless you can go through a draft, free agency, and so – but the thing he may lack is those relationships. Neuheisel developed those relationships, but maybe wasn’t an Xs and Os guy. While Mora is maybe the Xs and Os guy, and that’s where his acumen comes into play, but then you take the relationship that Klemm will have with these guys, and that’s a perfect combo. Neuheisel might not have been good evaluating talent, but now you have assistants who can do that and also have relationships”.
Any top recruits that UCLA might be able to get back in on?
Huffman: “I’m not guaranteeing they’re going to get back in the game with Jordan Simmons and Max Tuerk, but those are going to be guys they go after. Tuerk’s first offer was from SMU, he took a visit to SMU and he loved Klemm. He seems solid to USC, but there’s always something about that first school – and in this case, the first coach – so I can be pretty confident in saying that. Now it’s not SMU, Conference USA in Dallas, but the very first coach, and in LA.”
Regarding Broussard, why are his bonafides so important? Just that he’s a Pac-12 guy?
“It’s huge. He has not just been coaching in the Pac-12, but from a recruiting standpoint, he’s recruited SoCal consistently. He knows the landscape. He’s been in Pullman. He’s been in Arizona. Now he’s coming to California. He’s going to cast a pretty wide net. Mora wants Washington, you have a guy who coached and played in Washington. Mora wants Arizona, Broussard knows the lanscape there.”
Mora is a defensive guy; is this the right strategy for him, to show recruits that he wants to get in good offensive minds, too?
“It’s a big thing for him to get the offensive side of the ball worked out. Mora is a defensive guy, so he’s going to have his defensive mindset set in stone quickly. He needs to get on the offensive side of the ball. So much of this is about recruiting. The reason you hire them first is because of what they bring to the table as recruiters. You have to get these guys in the living rooms by Friday. It’s the year of the linemen – now you’re bringing in one of the best recruiting coaches in the country who is a lineman himself. These guys have pretty good reps as coaches, but this is about recruiting acumen. Mora can worry about defensive staff later. This is about getting guys who can get in living rooms next couple days wearing UCLA polos.”