For the first half of this season, UCLA’s offensive line was hurting most on the edges.
The return of Conor McDermott at left tackle has stabilized the unit, but it was an obvious area of need heading into the next recruiting cycle. And on Saturday night, the Bruins added one more future piece in three-star JUCO recruit Zach Bateman.
The 6-foot-7, 320-pound tackle starred for Orange Coast College after becoming an All-Orange Coast League selection at Costa Mesa’s Estancia High. His commitment was first reported by Scout.com, and he should graduate in time to enroll early.
Bateman’s arrival would give UCLA a chance to test out more offensive line combinations during spring camp. The Bruins would return McDermott and starting right tackle Caleb Benenoch, as well as have a fully healthy Simon Goines — a former 20-game starter at tackle. Current redshirt freshman Poasi Moala would be a factor as well.
Cornerback Will Lockett announced his commitment to UCLA Thursday night, giving the Bruins the first defensive back of their 2015 class.
A consensus three-star receuit across major recruiting outlets, Lockett is 247Sports’ No. 77 cornerback nationwide, and its 113th-best Texan prospect at any position. Standing at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, he is Scout.Com’s No. 70 cornerback.
The Manvel High defensive back also had offers from Missouri, Michigan State, and Washington.
UCLA has landed the second defensive lineman in its 2015 class.
Scout.com first reported that three-star prospect Rick Wade picked the Bruins Thursday evening over USC. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound defensive end notched 67 tackles for Santa Margarita High in Orange County as a junior last year.
He is the first defensive end in UCLA’s current recruiting cycle, with the Bruins having landed defensive tackle Bryce English last week.
The 6-foot-2, 310-pound Honolulu St. Louis product was among those who participated at Nike’s The Opening in Eugene, and his announcement was preceded by fellow campers Andre James — a four-star tackle — and athlete Stephen Johnson also verbally pledging to UCLA this week.
Four-star lineman Tevita Halalilo also committed to the Bruins in April.
UCLA has added yet another piece to its young and promising offensive line, one that started three true freshman for through half of its 10-win 2013 season.
On Thursday, four-star tackle Andre James committed to the Bruins during a ESPNU broadcast from Nike’s The Opening in Eugene. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound lineman from Herriman is ranked by Rivals.com as the third-best prospect in Utah and the 28th-best at his position nationwide. Scout.com ranks him as the country’s No. 13 tackle.
Picking UCLA over Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC, he touted his athleticism as his strength, telling The Oregonian, “Punch is always important and technique is always very important. But if you can move well, you can be coached well.” Continue reading →
For the second year in a row, UCLA has landed a receiver from Elk Grove (Calif.) Cosumnes Oaks.
Four-star wideout L.J. Reed committed to the Bruins, according to multiplereports. He follows the footsteps of former high school teammate Alex Van Dyke, who signed with UCLA this February as a top-40 prospect at his position.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Reed is the seventh commitment in UCLA’s 2015 class and the first true wideout. Four-star athlete Jaason Lewis is listed as a receiver by Scout.com, but at 6-foot-3, 234 pounds, would likely be used inside.
UCLA cornerback Marcus Rio also played at Cosumnes Oaks.
Will UCLA land its next quarterback prospect soon?
Five-star 2015 recruit Josh Rosen will announce his college decision at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in a ceremony at St. John Bosco High. Rated No. 1 and No. 2 at his position by Rivals.com and Scout.com, respectively, he is widely considered a heavy lean for the Bruins. His other finalists are Michigan, Cal and Stanford.
A pair of Rosen’s high school teammates already signed with UCLA as part of the 2014 class: defensive back Jaleel Wadood and defensive lineman Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, both of whom were four-star prospects.
Rosen himself was at Spaulding Field on Wednesday afternoon, throwing with Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley, as well as Philip Rivers and Tim Tebow.
Four-star point guard Jordan McLaughlin committed to USC this afternoon, picking the Trojans over UCLA, Kansas and Indiana. His decision, announced in a ceremony at Etiwanda High, marked one of the few times in recent memory that the Bruins lost to their crosstown rivals in a head-to-head recruiting battle.
Rated the ninth-best point guard in the country by Scout.com, McLaughlin would have filled a glaring need for UCLA. The Bruins lost a steady presence when Larry Drew II graduated, and don’t have a proven commodity to replace him at the one. Point forward Kyle Anderson is a gifted passer, but is expected to leave for the NBA next spring. Continue reading →