UCLA wraps up 2017 recruiting class

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UCLA recruiting class broken down by state. Graphic by Thuc Nhi Nguyen/SCNG

UCLA announced its sixth recruiting class under head coach Jim Mora on Wednesday, an 18-player haul that includes two five-star studs and five offensive linemen.

The group, headlined by defensive stars Jaelan Phillips and Darnay Holmes, is ranked 21st in the country by Rivals and Scout and 18th by ESPN. It addressed several needs for UCLA (defensive line, secondary, offensive line), but lacks many playmakers on offense.

Mora said the staff felt confident in its young roster at running back and receiver, which was why the Bruins didn’t end up signing anyone at those positions. The coach admitted the staff was targeting one receiver who ended up falling through. UCLA returns all five running backs who took carries last year and lost only Kenny Walker and Ishmael Adams from the receiving corps.

UCLA graduated six regular starters on defense, including three on the defensive line. Adding Phillips, Odua Isibor, Greg Rogers and Martin Andrus was an important step in reloading the unit.

“I think our potential is limitless,” Phillips said of the defensive line recruits. “I think we can do a lot of great things together. Obviously it’s this 2017 class, but it’s people in the last class, it’s people in the class before that. … I think it’s going to be special.”

In the secondary, UCLA lost Fabian Moreau, Randall Goforth, Tahaan Goodman and Marcus Rios. Holmes leads what is likely one of the best defensive back classes in the country. Of UCLA’s four other defensive backs, two are four-star recruits according to Scout (Elijah Gates and Jaylan Shaw) and two are three-stars (Quentin Lake and Morrell Osling).

“We definitely have a great class coming in,” Holmes said. “It’s probably the best defensive back group I’ve played with in my whole entire life. I just can’t wait to compete against these guys each and every day and get to working with them after practice.”

The Calabasas High product is especially excited to join Gates, his childhood friend, in the defensive backfield after they played pop warner football together.

“We have some championships to get,” Holmes said with a smile.

Links to wrap up the Signing Day coverage:

  • JustOwns

    Applaud Phillips’ FB attitude. UCLA needs all the positive attitude it can muster.

    But unfortunately, I’m familiar with Mora’s coaching abilities, and his Bruin 2016 O/L. And although I like the UCLA 2017 O/L recruits, it seems a real stretch to assume those recruits will help improve the Bruin O/L 4 – 8 performance deficiencies, although Mr Seawards is a nasty package.

  • Jethro G Sabbath

    Josh Rosen played five games!

    • jameskatt

      Yep. Josh missed almost the entire year.

    • Gordo Albondigas

      and he was 3-3 in those 5 games…That’s math I expect from JustOwns and not Jim Mora.

      • Sas

        Fred Rogen has the same math. He must’ve played “Josh Rosen played in 5 games last year” at least 30 times in 3 minutes over and over.
        The ESPN crew even laughed it up later on in the day.

        OWNS,
        before you say anything……
        USC 36
        UCLA 14

    • Mrhawaii

      How many games did the Bruin O line play?

  • Tyler Durden

    Secondary will be excellent for years to come. Go Bruins!

  • Danny

    UCLA fans should celebrate those incoming freshman.
    I am reminded of the line in the movie “Hoosiers” where the crowd starts chanting the name of a player who is not on the team. The coach (Gene Hackman) scolds the crowd saying (paraphrasing):
    “I would hope you would cheer us for who we are, not who we are not. This is your team”

    • Mrhawaii

      (Rosen played 5 games) Mora’s selection are nothing to celebrate.

  • RoseBowlBound

    Mora confident in young RB’s and Wr’s which is why they didn’t sign anyone at those positions… Interesting spin on whiffing at those spots… #4Craps

    • Bigwoof1

      Hoping DeShaun Foster can translate some of his toughness and teach some of his running back skills to the guys coming back. They seem to have the potential, but just don’t seem to hit the holes properly and go down too easily. Of course much better o-line play to open holes is needed too.