Darnay Holmes picks UCLA

UCLA picked up a huge victory on the recruiting trail at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Saturday as five-star defensive back Darnay Holmes committed to UCLA.

Holmes is the top defensive back in the country, according to Scout.com, and turned down Nebraska, Ohio State and USC.

In picking UCLA, the Calabasas cornerback said on NBC he wanted to stay near his family and represent his home town.

It’s been a good two days of recruiting for UCLA as it picked up four-star recruits Martin Andrus and Rahyme Johnson on Friday, but the Bruins still only have 13 commits for the class of 2017. Continue reading

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UCLA gets pair of four-star recruits Martin Andrus, Rahyme Johnson

With less than a month left until National Signing Day, UCLA picked up two big commits Friday in four-star defensive tackle Martin Andrus and four-star linebacker Rahyme Johnson.

The pair of L.A. natives announced their commitments in a joint video with cameos from fellow UCLA commits Jaelan Phillips and Jaylan Shaw.

Andrus, a 6-foot-1, 280-pound defensive tackle from Los Angeles High, is a four-star recruit according to Scout.com and a three-star according to Rivals and 247 Sports. He was also considering Oregon, USC and Nebraska, among others.

This is Johnson’s second commitment to UCLA as he pledged to the Bruins on July 24, 2015 before withdrawing on May 13, 2016. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound outside linebacker from Salesian was also considering Oregon, Oregon State, Nebraska and Notre Dame. He told Scout.com that UCLA linebackers coach Scott White was relentless in his recruiting even after the decommitment and that helped reel Johnson back in.  Continue reading

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UCLA has ground to make up on recruiting trail

UCLA Bruins' head coach Jim Mora reacts during a game against Arizona Wildcats at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena on Saturday, October 01, 2016. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register/SCNG)

UCLA Bruins’ head coach Jim Mora reacts during a game against Arizona at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena on Saturday, October 01, 2016. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Orange County Register/SCNG)

UCLA head coach Jim Mora said the team’s poor results this season did not affect the response from recruits, but the Bruins have a lot of ground to make up for its 2017 class.

UCLA’s 2017 recruiting class ranks 47th in the country according to Scout.com and ninth in the Pac-12. Its nine commits are the second fewest in the conference (only behind Stanford’s eight).

There’s still about six weeks left until National Signing Day (on Feb. 1), so the Bruins have time for a late push, but they’re well behind the pace set during Mora’s tenure.

Below is a look at how the five previous recruiting classes have come together under Mora. Each class is broken down to show when recruits committed and for reference, the graph also shows each group’s Scout.com national ranking. The striped portion on the 2017 class shows how many recruits the Bruins are on pace to end up with, based on how many commits UCLA had by this time in previous years under Mora.  Continue reading

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UCLA 4-star WR target Tarik Black commits to Michigan

Despite a recent in-home visit from receivers coach Eric Yarber, four-star wide receiver Tarik Black committed to Michigan on Wednesday.

Black, from Cheshire Academy (Conn.), is the top receiver in the East, according to Scout.com, and the No. 13 receiving prospect. He was also considering Alabama, Auburn and Stanford.

The Bruins have nine commits in its 2017 recruiting class so far, but no receivers.

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Nate Iese accepts invite to NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Tight end Nate Iese. (Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun, SCNG)

Tight end Nate Iese. (Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun, SCNG)

UCLA tight end Nate Iese accepted an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Monday, making him the seventh confirmed Bruin senior who will play in an all-star game in January.

Iese was a midseason addition to the watchlist for the John Mackey Award, which is given to the nation’s top tight end. In his first year at the position, the fifth-year senior had 25 catches for 400 yards and four touchdowns.

Other UCLA football links:

  • Pro Football Focus has Eddie Vanderdoes going No. 21 to Houston and McKinley going No. 22 to Tampa Bay in its mock draft.
  • PFF also ranks McKinley’s performance against Utah and Vanderdoes’ performance against Texas A&M among the best in the Pac-12 this year.
  • It didn’t take Ronald Rudd III long to find a new home. Just two days after decommitting from UCLA, the JUCO offensive lineman committed to Louisville on Tuesday.

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