Offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor decommits from UCLA

Though football commitments don’t count for much in July, UCLA’s slow start to the 2014 cycle has nevertheless disappointed some fans.

The decommitment of offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor won’t help. A top JUCO recruit who had picked the Bruins in early June, Eluemunor starred at Lackawanna C.C. in Scranton, Pa., just a few years after moving from London, England. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound tackle had openly discussed his interest in other schools for weeks, and tweeted Wednesday that he had cut UCLA from his list. He will choose either Arkansas or Ohio State on Friday.

JUCO lineman Dominick Jackson also flipped to Alabama in late June a few weeks after initially picking the Bruins. UCLA now has four commitments in the 2014 class, all of them wide receivers.

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Prospect watch: 2014 forward Trevon Bluiett

Trevon Bluiett, 6-5, 185
Park Tudor | Spiece Indy Heat/Indiana Elite
Scout: Four stars | Rivals: Four stars

Trevon Bluiett is a skilled swingman who boasts a diverse offensive game. He played for UCLA assistant Ed Schilling when the coach worked at Indianapolis’ Park Tudor School, and won the state championship game MVP as both a freshman and a sophomore. That feat becomes even more notable once you consider that he played with Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell during that first title run. Continue reading

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Prospect watch: 2014 point guard Robert Cartwright

Robert Cartwright, 6-2, 168
Flintridge Prep | L.A. Rockfish
Scout: Four stars | Rivals: Three stars

Robert Cartwright is a well-rounded player who projects as a good four-year point guard, but one who hasn’t drawn too much attention from high-major programs. He was impressive dishing on the break at last weekend’s Pangos Sweet 16, feeding a teammate with one particularly nice behind-the-back pass.

Cartwright isn’t an exceptional athlete and looked a little smaller than his listed 6-foot-2 height, but he works hard on the defensive end. He played through the tournament with stitches under his right eye, and also had a bruised lip by the end. He can hit his pull-up jumper consistently and isn’t afraid to take it, hitting big shots down the stretch in L.A. Rockfish’s 59-58 overtime win Sunday over the Las Vegas Prospects.

He recently picked up offers from Stanford and San Diego State, and also has schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Utah and Colorado after him. Continue reading

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Four-star receiver Austin Roberts commits to UCLA

Despite not having visited UCLA as a recruit, four-star receiver Austin Roberts announced his commitment today, giving the Bruins four wideouts in their 2014 class.

At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, Roberts has the size to slide into the Y-receiver/tight end spot for UCLA, which didn’t offer him until last week. He caught for 378 yards and five touchdowns during an injury-plagued junior season at Carmel (Ind.) High, and won a Class 8A championship at Plant High in Tampa, Fla., the year prior.

Roberts also had offers from Ohio State, Florida and Alabama, but had cancelled a Monday visit to Tuscaloosa. Continue reading

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Prospect watch: 2014 point guard Jordan McLaughlin

Jordan McLaughlin, 6-0, 170
Etiwanda High | Prodigy Elite
Scout: Four stars | Rivals: Four stars

Jordan McLaughlin started off slowly at this past weekend’s Pangos Sweet 16, but later attributed some of that to having just flown back from Philadelphia’s Reebok Breakout Classic. The CIF champion flashed quick hands and good leaping ability, especially considering his still-slight frame. On one play in the Pangos final, he cut off a pass easily and took it down the court for an easy dunk. McLaughlin also showed impressive body control near the rim, and was able to finish while either taking or avoiding contact.

He’ll likely continue to grow, which is a great sign coupled with his athleticism. Both Steve Alford and David Grace watched McLaughlin multiple times at the Long Beach event, as were USC’s Andy Enfield and other coaches from schools recruiting him.

Q: What parts of your game are you working on this summer? Continue reading

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Alabama flips UCLA commit Dominick Jackson

Offensive lineman Dominick Jackson, regarded as one of the top JUCO prospects in the country, has decided to go back on his verbal commitment to UCLA made earlier this month, according to Rivals.com. The 6-foot-7, four-star guard will instead play at Alabama.

He told Rivals’ Andrew Bone that he made the decision despite not having yet visited the Crimson Tide: “(Offensive line) coach (Mario) Cristobal never stopped recruiting me. He really showed me how interested Alabama was in me after I committed.”

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Reports: Pitt RB Rushel Shell will not transfer to UCLA

Former top-five running back recruit Rushel Shell will not be transferring to UCLA.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Pitt back had announced his intent to become a Bruin after a mid-April visit to Los Angeles. After rumors circulated on Twitter over the past few days, Rivals.com reported that Shell changed his mind and was trying to return to the Panthers. According to the Los Angeles Times, he wanted to remain closer to his twin daughters.

Shell also displayed poor judgment on social media after his April announcement, including one that drew the attention of UCLA running backs coach Steve Broussard. Continue reading

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Three-star receiver Jordan Lasley commits to UCLA

Three-star receiver Jordan Lasley committed to UCLA Saturday evening, less than 24 hours after he first received the offer.

The 6-foot-2 wideout clocked a 4.4 40-yard dash at the Bruins’ elite camp on Friday, and is currently rated a top-100 receiver nationally by both Scout.com and Rivals.com. He confirmed the news on Twitter following numerous reports.

Lasley plays at Gardena’s Junipero Serra High with five-star cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and four-star linebacker Dwight Williams. He also has a 3.6 GPA, so academic eligibility won’t be a problem.

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UCLA offers Texas 8th grader Lindell Stone

UPDATE: There’s been dispute over whether or not UCLA actually offered Lindell Stone, though 2017 athlete Dylan Moses still does have offers from multiple schools. Either way, an offer would have had little binding power.
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After missing out out No. 1 2014 quarterback Kyle Allen, UCLA has extended a hand to another out-of-state signal-caller: 6-foot-2, 190-pound Lindell Stone.

He just completed eighth grade at Dawson Middle School in Southlake, Texas.

Offering middle schoolers isn’t a new phenomenon. USC infamously did it with quarterback David Sills, who committed at 13 years old. The Trojans did it again this week with incoming Upland wide receiver Nathan Tilford. Another 2017 athlete, 6-foot-2 Dylan Moses, has offers from: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Texas, UCLA.

Schools have nothing to lose from early offers and commitments, but one wonders if their time might be better spent. Even as the tactic spreads, projecting the development of young athletes remains a bit of a dice roll.

According to ESPN, Stone hasn’t even personally talked to any Bruin coaches yet; all contact has been through his coach. Obviously, a lot can change before he ever actually signs a scholarship: he might not develop as expected; coaches could leave; the world as we know it could end.

Anyway, here are Stone’s highlights. From eighth grade. Continue reading

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JUCO lineman Jermaine Eluemunor commits to UCLA

In less than a week, UCLA has landed two of the nation’s top JUCO prospects. Tackle Jermaine Eluemunor visited Westwood this weekend and committed before he left, joining fellow four-star recruit Dominick Jackson as the Bruins’ newest commits.

Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm continues to solidify his reputation as one of the country’s best recruiters after landing a seven-man class in February, this time pulling Eluemunor all the way from Lackawanna C.C. in Pennsylvania to bolster the class of 2014.

The presence of All-American Xavier Su’a-Filo also helped convince the 6-foot-6, 300-pounder to pick UCLA over the likes of Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio State and USC.

From Rivals.com: Continue reading

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