How UCLA’s recruiting class is shaping up

Olaijah Griffin returns a 4th quarter interception for a touchdown against Long Beach Poly in 2017. Griffin is committed to UCLA, but is still visiting other schools after the coaching change. (Photo by Scott Varley, Press-Telegram)

UCLA’s mad recruiting dash is on.

Chip Kelly has added four new commits since taking over in Westwood and has his eye on several other big-name prospects with the early signing period approaching on Dec. 20.

The Bruins have 12 commits for the 2018 class as of Saturday morning and the group ranks 20th in the country and third in the Pac-12, according to 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings.

Here is a look at UCLA’s recruiting situation, from who’s in, who’s out and who’s still on UCLA’s radar.

A list of the Bruin commits so far:

  • DL Aaron Maldonado
  • WR Kyle Philips
  • QB Dorian Thompson Robinson
  • S Stephan Blaylock
  • CB Olaijah Griffin
  • WR CJ Parks
  • DE Abdul-Malik McClain
  • WR Jahan Dotson
  • RB Kazmeir Allen
  • OL Alec Anderson
  • CB/WR Bryan Addison
  • WR Chase Cota
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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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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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UCLA links: Bruins move on without LiAngelo Ball

UCLA Men’s Basketball student-athlete LiAngelo Ball during a press conference at UCLA, Wednesday, November 15, 2017. The press conference was held to address Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball, and Jalen Hill recent arrest and detention in China for shoplifting. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Steve Alford found out that LiAngelo Ball was planning to leave UCLA through media reports Monday afternoon. As of Tuesday afternoon, the UCLA head coach hasn’t spoken to Ball since and doesn’t plan to reach out. Alford has other things to worry about.

“It’s not anything I can control,” Alford said Tuesday before UCLA’s game against Montana on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. “So as far as looking for an adjective of how I’m feeling, I guess what I’m feeling is very excited about this group of guys out there and I’m moving forward and doing the best I can with the guys in my locker room.”

More on how the Bruins are planning to move on from Ball

Other links:

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