The recruiting expert’s take

Chatted with’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.”

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  • bigtime bruin

    Love the insight thanks jonah

  • Marc

    Sounds like two good hires.

    Got a question for you, Jon, and I hope you answer honestly.

    I’ve read articles on ESPNLA, ESPN PAC-12 blog and LA Times and reports keep pointing to Bruin fans unhappy with the hire. While I do understand that the feelings amongst fans are, perhaps, less than ecstatic, I feel that the “pulse” the reporters are gauging are on bruinsnation, who are over the top negative about the hire, and basically all things Bruin.

    I am starting to believe that those people are having a negative impact on reporters’ views of Bruin fans and their sentiments. I also believe that some or many of the players are reading their website and that is having a negative impact as well. The other area that I feel they are negatively impacting is recruiting.

    What are your thoughts, and better yet, do you have any knowledge of players reading and commenting on that site.

    While I don’t believe they have any real impact on the goings on at UCLA, they are negatively impacting the image of the university they claim to love so much.

  • diehardbruin

    +1000 @Marc

    I’m getting really tired of their negativity and ridiculous agenda. It’s ridiculous that the national media thinks they represent true Bruin fans. I think we need an alternative blog website.

  • BSKB


    I am pretty much as big an anti-BN person as there is, but let’s leave Jon out of this. He has been very gracious with dealing with our questions, but that might be one too far. Just keep reminding people that BN doesn’t really represent the true Bruin Nation and that we all want our school to succeed. Go Bruins!

  • Anonymous

    Bruins nation has been a joke. A few years ago everyone was excited about CRN, Chow and Walker. Now they are all speaking as if they knew it wouldn’t work. They have posted a thousand things about how DG needs to get fired and Mora is a horrible choice. It’s kind of funny that they haven’t posted anything in the last 10 hours since Mora was introduced and has already made 2 hires. They are probably the same pessimists that keep saying that Tebow won’t ever play Qb in the NFL with any success. Jon, please keep us updated with objectivity.

  • Coach Thom

    There are many people hard at work trying to Deep Six UCLA as an educational institution as well as a football program. The fact the we’ve offered extremely mediocre performance on the football front for over a decade has certainly aided their cause. The only way we can swing the pendulum back to a favorable viewpoint is to start winning on the gridiron. That will not stop the $UCsters and anti-Bruin antagonists from trying to undermine our heritage, but it will help stem the tsunami that is currently engulfing our Bruin community. I believe Jim Mora is an important step in turning the tide and placing UCLA back on the respected pedestal it deserves.

  • Larry

    Is it me… or does Jim Mora look a little like Marky Mark?

  • Maze

    +1 to Anon @11:59 PM

    You nailed it. They, along with the rest of us, believed that was the FB dream team du jour, and were full-bore about the hire.

    Fast forward a couple years (and a lot of losses), and what do we have? You can blame a lot of people for a LOT of things, but it was RN who decided to delve head-first into an offense which neither he (nor his multiple Heisman-producing OC) knew anything about.

    I understand his intentions, given the circumstances: vulnerable OL, weak-armed, inaccurate QB, etc. but it was the worst coaching run in UCLA History…and I’m tired of excuses.

    Go Jim Mora, and GO BRUINS!

  • Marc

    I honestly want Jon’s take. He doesn’t need to get into the rights or wrongs of it. We all pretty much know it’s wrong. But he has a reporters perspective and access.

    I believe players read that website and it has led to some of the negative stuff that’s been coming out. Be it basketball players questioning Howland, or football players lodging public complaints. The reason I believe this is that the players’ public complaints often sound a lot like what is said on bruinsnation. Jon could at least investigate a little and see if Carrol or Josh Smith read that stuff etc.

    As to the media, that is a huge detriment as it casts a large cloud over UCLA and it’s fan base. The national media, through their laziness IMO, has tapped into that website as a gauge to the feelings of all UCLA fans. That website is a very vocal minority, and does not represent the majority of fans at all. Though, it appears that everyone from the LA Times to ESPN think it does. Jon has the unique ability to, perhaps, ask if that’s the case.

    It’s funny, on their blog, Nestor (Murshed Zaheed), and the other “leaders” bash posters for Concern Trolling. The funny thing is that is the whole basis of their existence.


  • cv

    these are two good hires, not elite hiresbut good!

  • The Monopoly Is Over Here

    Oh boy, where have I seen this before. The Bruins make a small splash with hires and they get all excited. Stealing o-line recruits from SC? Dream on. We put tackles in the NFL like it’s our job. These kids know what’s up.

    Enjoy Westbrook. Hopefully he has a bad attitude like his big brother…

  • Marc


    Yeah, well… When you run a semi-pro team with highly paid recruits, I guess you do have an advantage. Things will change, that’s for sure. The pendulum swings. usc’s recruiting will start taking a hit this year. Sure, you’ll likely still have a top line first string. You won’tbe developing four star talent behind them, though. That is where you’ll start to see usc come back down to earth. Just watch.

    Frankly, UCLA fans like me are concerned with UCLA only, not that semi-pro team from south central. Why are you so concerned about UCLA? Or, am I trying to have an adult conversation with a fifteen year old?

  • BSKB

    One more great hire via twitter:

    Softykjr Dave Softy Mahler
    Just spoke to UW DB’s coach Demetrice Martin. He is indeed leaving to join Mora at UCLA

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Marc makes some good points. I hope Jon chimes in.

  • Amillennialist

    BSKB, Marc’s question is a fair one.