Jim Mora’s awkward ESPN exchange

UCLA head coach Jim Mora had an awkward exchange on TV this morning when he was asked to talk about his recruiting class. Before Mora’s ESPN 2 interview started, an analyst spoke about UCLA’s season, noting that quarterback Josh Rosen “needs to play better” after having “ups and downs” last year. Mora was then asked to “size up the class,” and Mora responded: “We’re excited about the class. Josh Rosen played five games.”

Just to note, Rosen in fact played in six games. He got hurt in the sixth game, against Arizona State.

Video from The Big Lead

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UCLA signs four-star OL Stephan Zabie

UCLA started National Signing Day with a big victory, reeling in four-star offensive lineman Stephan Zabie. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound lineman picked the Bruins on ESPNU over Texas and Ole Miss.

He only played one season at Westlake (Texas) High due to transfer ineligbility. He didn’t play his senior year and kind of fell off the radar in recruiting. UCLA came in late in the process and pulled him away from the hometown Longhorns.

He is one of two four-star offensive line recruits for the Bruins in this class, along with U.S. Army All-American Kanan Ray. UCLA also have Zachary Sweeney, whose NLI was the first to come in Wednesday, Jax Wacaser and Sean Seawards.

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UCLA enters National Signing Day eyeing a few more commits

Darnay Holmes is expected to sign with UCLA on Wednesday. Photo by John McCoy//L.A. Daily News

Darnay Holmes is expected to sign with UCLA on Wednesday. Photo by John McCoy//L.A. Daily News

It’s almost here.

National Signing Day is less than 12 hours away. UCLA has two five-star recruits already and a plethora of defensive backs, but is still in the running for a few more players.

Here’s a full list of the 20 commits heading into Signing Day. Below are some names to watch out for Wednesday and how they might fit in with this recruiting class:

  • RB Stephen CarrUPDATE: Carr, as anticipated, stuck with his USC commitment. Carr is a definite don’t-count-on-it for Wednesday. He would be UCLA’s last hope at a running back in this class.
  • LB Levi Jones —  UPDATE: Jones picks USC. The four-star linebacker from Westlake (Texas) is slated to announce his decision live on ESPN U at 5 a.m. PT. He’s choosing between Florida, Florida State, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC. UCLA only has one linebacker in this class in Rahyme Johnson, but lost three key seniors from the group in Jayon Brown, Cameron Judge and Isaako Savaiinaea.
  • WR DeAndre McNealUPDATE: McNeal tells 247 Sports that he’s picking Florida Atlantic. The junior college transfer recently received an offer from Missouri, which could complicate his decision. He was seen as a likely UCLA commit out of Fullerton College. The Bruins don’t have any receivers in this class, but also did not graduate any from last year’s team.
  • DE Cassius Peat — The one-time UCLA commit wavered when he went back to Michigan State for a visit, so it’s very possible he’ll be returning to East Lansing and spurning UCLA twice in his recruiting career after he passed on the Bruins out of high school too.
  • LB Mohamed SanogoUPDATE: Sanogo picks Ole Miss. UCLA is in Sanogo’s top three, along with Mississippi State and Ole Miss. He’s another four-star linebacker from Texas, and won the overall MVP for Team USA in the North American Championships. He’ll announce his commitment at 6 a.m. PT.
  • OL Stephan ZabieUPDATE: Zabie picks UCLA. Zabie will announce his decision alongside high-school teammate Jones at 5 a.m. PT. He’s also considering Texas and Ole Miss. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound four-star would be one of UCLA’s top-rated offensive lineman on this class, alongside Kanan Ray. UCLA had a big need at offensive line after last season and has four linemen committed heading into Signing Day.
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UCLA holds off ASU for OL commit Sean Seawards

With less than 24 hours until National Signing Day, the Bruins picked up another offensive line commit in Sean Seawards.

The recruiting process heated up quickly toward the end for the 6-foot-3, 315-pound offensive lineman. In the matter of a two days, Seawards visited UCLA, backed off his Boise State commitment and received an offer from Arizona State. He then announced his commitment to UCLA on Twitter on Tuesday and he’ll join fellow Saguaro (Ariz.) product Jax Wacaser in Westwood.

Seawards is UCLA’s fourth offensive lineman in the class of 2017. He’s an important addition to the class after the Bruins lost Jaxson Kirkland to Washington. Counting three walk-ons, UCLA has 20 verbal commits before Wednesday’s Signing Day.

Here’s an updated look at the situation.

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