UCLA signed three-star forward Alex Olesinski to a national letter of intent today, officially bumping its 2015 recruiting class to three players.
The Bruins signed four-star guards Aaron Holiday and Prince Ali back in November’s early signing period. Olesinski projects as a stretch forward who can add depth to a team that recently lost reserve Wanaah Bail as an outbound transfer.
“Alex is a talented player who has very good size, a great understanding of the game, can really shoot the ball well and never takes a possession off,” head coach Steve Alford said in a statement. “He has developed a reputation as an extremely hard worker, both on the court and in the classroom, and comes from a high school that has embraced a winning culture.”
Several top recruits in the country remain uncommitted, such as five-star forward Jaylen Brown and center Stephen Zimmerman, but many of them don’t seem in a rush to announce a decision even as the second signing period begins.
Some may even opt for grant-in-aid agreements over letters of intent — the former binds only the school, not the athlete — as more and more elite prospects realize that they have the clout to keep their options open.
Four-star quarterback Devon Modster announced his commitment to Arizona today, picking the Wildcats over UCLA and Boise State.
The Tesoro High athlete is ranked among the top 10 prospects at his position in 2016 by Rivals.com, and in the top 15 by Scout.com. Many of the elite quarterback recruits in the upcoming recruiting cycle have also made verbal commitments, and the presence of true freshman Josh Rosen won’t make it easier for UCLA to land a highly rated passer.
– Offensive lineman Simon Goines was present at today’s practice, but remained on the sideline when UCLA went into 11-on-11 drills, presumably giving him a day of rest given his long history of leg injuries. With Caleb Benenoch taking on a similar workload, first-string reps at right tackle went to redshirt freshman Kolton Miller.
The former four-star recruit had looked good as a backup left tackle through spring, and he continued to hold his own moving up to play with the starters. Former four-star recruit John Lopez, who hasn’t really been in the two-deep, took Miller’s place as the backup left tackle.
– After giving every quarterback a share of first-team reps on Saturday, UCLA has gone back into the two-by-two rotation. Today wasn’t the most enlightening session, as the Bruins mostly eschewed downfield plays for runs and goal-line work. Continue reading →
Sixty-eight years ago today, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
To honor the him, the Bruins will wear “40s era”-inspired retro uniforms on April 16, the start of a three-game series against Cal. UCLA currently leads the Pac-12 with a 12-3 record (26-7 overall), and has yet to lose either a midweek game or a conference series.
Robinson’s No. 42 was already retired last fall through all of UCLA athletics. He lettered in baseball, basketball, football and track as a Bruin.