UCLA loses longest-held commit ATH Isaiah Johnson

A few hours after UCLA grabbed a commitment from the top athlete in the country, Isaiah Johnson, a three-star athlete from Modesto Downey High, backed off the pledge he made in March.

Johnson, who was UCLA’s longest-held commit left in this class, told 247 Sports he’s still interested in several Pac-12 schools, including Cal, Colorado, Arizona and Washington State.

The Bruins have 11 known verbal commitments for the 2018 class, including three new ones under new head coach Chip Kelly. Serra athlete Bryan Addison announced his pledge Sunday night, joining running back Kazmeir Allen and offensive tackle Alec Anderson as Kelly’s first new commitments at UCLA.

Kelly hosted his first round of official visits last weekend. Tight end Tommy Tremble and offensive lineman Jarrett Bell, both undecided three-star recruits, were among the group that included Addison and committed quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The recruits toured the Rose Bowl, posed for photos in the Wasserman Football Center and met with coaches.

Tremble will announce his decision this Thursday. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Georgia native is deciding between Georgia, Notre Dame, Michigan and UCLA.

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Bryan Addison, No. 1 ATH in the country, commits to UCLA

 

Serra High’s Bryan Addison verbally committed to UCLA on Sunday after finishing his official visit to campus. The defensive back/receiver is No. 1 athlete in the country, according to 247 Sports.

Serra High is often considered a USC feeding ground, but rather than following former Serra stars like Robert Woods and Adoree’ Jackson to USC, Addison will join Serra alumni Jordan Lasley, Caleb Wilson and Brandon Burton in Westwood. Lasley, a redshirt junior, starred for the Bruins this year with 1,136 yards in eight games. Wilson was also poised for a breakout season until a foot injury cut his year short. The redshirt sophomore tight end was averaging 97.8 receiving yards per game.

The 6-foot-5, 180-pound senior had 41 catches for 530 yards and seven touchdowns on offense for the Cavaliers with five interceptions on defense as Serra was knocked out of the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

Addison was also considering Nebraska, Michigan, Washington and Arizona State, where his older brother Joey Bryant plays.

Addison is Chip Kelly’s third verbal commitment since the head coach took over the job two weeks ago. He joins running back Kazmeir Allen from Tulare High and Alec Anderson, an offensive tackle from Etiwanda.

The Bruins have 12 known verbal commitments for the 2018 class with 10 days remaining before the early signing period.

Addison took his official visit with long-time UCLA commit quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, one of the most vocal figures in this recruiting cycle for the Bruins. The group also included tight end Tommy Tremble, offensive lineman Jarrett Bell, both undecided three-star recruits, and UCLA commits defensive end Abdul-Malik McClain and Anderson. The recruits toured the Rose Bowl, posed for photos in the Wasserman Football Center and met with coaches.

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UCLA links: Jedd Fisch and the new normal

UCLA interim coach Jedd Fisch talks to his players during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The UCLA that Jedd Fisch knows has Jim Mora at the head coach position, Tom Bradley at defensive coordinator and Fisch at offensive coordinator. One critical piece has been missing for the past three weeks and it hasn’t felt normal since Mora was fired.

Despite the emotional end to their regular season, Fisch is focused on preparing the Bruins for their final game on Dec. 26 in Phoenix.

“We’ll do everything we can to be fully prepared and ready and put our absolute best foot forward for a great (bowl) game, but I don’t think normalcy will come back,” Fisch said Thursday. “It’ll just be a new normal starting next year.”

Fisch doesn’t know if he’ll be part of that “new normal” under Chip Kelly, though.

More on Fisch, the bridge between the Mora and Kelly eras at UCLA.

Other links:

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UCLA assistants were third highest-paid Pac-12 staff in 2017

Offensive coordinator Jedd FIsch runs drills at practice. (Photo by Brittany Murray/SCNG)

Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch was the third-highest paid assistant coach at a public Pac-12 school this year, according to USA Today’s assistant coaching data base, and UCLA’s entire nine-man staff was the third-highest paid in the conference.

Fisch, who signed a two-year deal in January, made $810,000 this year. Only Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt ($1.15 million) and Washington defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski ($867,500) made more as public-school assistants in the Pac-12.

UCLA’s assistant coaches made more than $3.7 million combined. Washington’s staff was the highest-paid Pac-12 group, making more than $4.67 million, followed by Oregon’s that fell just shy of $4 million.

Here’s a list of UCLA’s assistant salaries and how they stack up to other schools in the Pac-12. (Stanford and USC, the conference’s two private schools, are not included) Continue reading “UCLA assistants were third highest-paid Pac-12 staff in 2017” »

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Three-star LB Matthew Tago decommits from UCLA

Soon after former head coach Jim Mora was fired, Matthew Tago said he was still “committed” to UCLA, but would continue to explore his options. Now the three-star quarterback/linebacker has officially backed out of his UCLA pledge.

Tago, who led Quartz Hills High to a CIF Southern Section Division 10 title at quarterback, is the ninth recruit to decommit from UCLA since the coaching change. He was likely going to play linebacker for the Bruins as he was being recruited by linebackers coach Scott White.

He also has offers from Utah, Colorado, Washington State and USC.

The Bruins are hosting recruits this weekend in the first round of official visits since the coaching chance. Quarterback commit Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Serra athlete Bryan Addison are among the recruits expected to be on campus. Thompson-Robinson still seems to be firmly committed to the Bruins, while Addison, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound four-star prospect ranked as the No. 1 athlete in the country by 247 Sports, posted on Twitter that he will be announcing his choice Sunday. He is also considering Washington, Nebraska, Michigan and Arizona State.

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