After the Pistol offense scared off many a wide receiver recruit during the Rick Neuheisel regime, the Bruins had a severe need at the position going into 2012. Signing Day itself provided a bounty, with Oaks Christian’s Jordan Payton flipping from Washington and the Bruins also getting pledges from Randall Goforth and Kenny Walker.
Conversely, UCLA also had a shortage of young defensive backs, with starters Aaron Hester, Sheldon Price and Andrew Abbott all graduating next year. The Bruins corralled Oaks Christian star Ishmael Adams along with talented Marcus Rios and Taylor Lagace.
UCLA found success both with potential immediate impact players and with those who need a bit of seasoning, like offensive tackle Simon Goines. The 6-foot-7 tower weighs just 295 pounds and has the frame to add bulk, and once he grows more into his body, he could turn into a gem.
Athlete Paul Perkins had a good connection with Brett Hundley at Chandler High in Arizona, and recruiting experts say Perkins is almost universally underrated. He could thrive in Noel Mazzone’s spread offense. So could quarterback T.J. Millweard, who followed Mazzone from Arizona State, and is ranked the No. 5 quarterback nationally by ESPN.com
You can’t say UCLA is lacking star appeal. Although that might be biggest felt at family meetings, as the Bruins added both Diddy’s son, Justin Combs, a defensive back and the nephew of actor Sinbad in No. 3-rated quarterback Devin Fuller. … UCLA ultimately signed just six players who committed during Neuheisels’ tenure. … The Bruins signed recruits from 10 states and three countries. … Defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy is considered UCLA’s biggest recruit in a decade. … New offensive line coach Adrian Klemm was named 24/7 Sports’ Pac-12 recruiter of the year.
Though the Bruins finished with a very good offensive line class, they lacked that one true beast in a loaded class out west. While USC and Stanford sprinted to the gate with five-star offensive line commitments, Klemm wasn’t able to bring UCLA all the way back on some highly coveted linemen who lost interest.
Getting McCarthy to anchor the defensive line was the biggest coup in years, but the Bruins could have used another big body up front especially given the influx of talent up front at several Pac-12 schools.