On National Signing Day, UCLA might be at risk of losing one of its best recruiters.
FOX Sports reported that the Atlanta Falcons are hiring Jeff Ulbrich — who just finished his first season as the Bruins’ defensive coordinator — as a linebackers coach.
However, a source indicated that Ulbrich going to the Falcons is not a done deal. The 37-year old worked as UCLA’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator for two seasons before being promoted in 2014.
Ulbrich has spoken highly about both UCLA head coach Jim Mora and newly hired Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, calling both tremendous influences on his defensive philosophy.
The reports could already have significant ramifications on the Bruins’ 2015 recruiting class. Four-star linebacker Roquan Smith committed to UCLA over Georgia on ESPNU this morning, but has not sent in his national letter of intent. The Montezuma, Ga., native called Ulbrich a significant factor in his recruitment.
Smith’s coach at Macon County, Larry Harold, confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Ulbrich’s uncertain status was what held up the commitment.
“We just got off the phone with Ulbrich,” Harold told the AJC. “He said he hasn’t signed any papers with the Falcons. So he talked to Roquan, and he let him know that he was going to check into everything and get back to him. …
“That’s what his decision to UCLA came down to – Roquan’s relationship with Ulbrich. That’s what it came down to as the difference between UGA and UCLA. He has been there since the first day. Recruiting is about the relationships. It always comes down to the relationships.”