Three-star DB Jeffrey Manning Jr. decommits from UCLA

Three-star defensive back/wide receiver Jeffrey Manning Jr. announced his decommitment from UCLA on Saturday via Twitter. He is the second early commit in the class of 2017 to withdraw their UCLA pledge this month as four-star weakside defensive end Hunter Echols did the same thing July 22.

In total the Bruins have lost four early commits since May, when safety Rhedi Short and athlete Rahyme Johnson both backed out. Manning’s pledge to UCLA lasted five weeks as he first announced his commitment on June 22. Manning is a high-school teammate of Echols and Johnson’s at Cathedral High.

UCLA has three commits left for the 2017 class: five-star weakside defensive end Jaelan Phillips, three-star offensive lineman Kanan Ray and JUCO offensive lineman Ronald Rudd III.

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Three-star safety Rhedi Short backs out of UCLA commitment

Three-star safety Rhedi Short out of Los Angeles’ Cathedral High decommitted from UCLA on Sunday, announcing the decision via Twitter. He originally committed to the Bruins in October 2015, but backed off shortly after a Junior Day visit to Arizona.

The 6-foot, 175-pound safety also has offers from Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado, Cal, Washington and Washington State. Outside of the Pac-12, his offers include San Jose State, Fresno State and Illinois.

With Short’s decision, UCLA has four commits left for the 2017 class: DE Jaelan Phillips, DE Hunter Echols, ATH Rahyme Johnson and OG Kanan Ray.

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What’s still in play for UCLA on Signing Day?

About 14 hours from now, the first of UCLA’s remaining recruits will make his announcement on ESPNU — kicking off a day that could push the Bruins to a top-five class. I’ll post updates here throughout the day, including a live chat that starts running at 5 a.m. Head coach Jim Mora is scheduled to talk to reporters later in the afternoon.

Here’s a look again at the schedule of announcements:

Tight end Chris Clark
Announcement: 5:30 a.m. PT, ESPNU
Still a two-horse race between UCLA and Michigan, this announcement might be the most dramatic one of the day for Bruin fans.

Continue reading

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Signing announcements set for UCLA’s 2015 recruits

UCLA fans will want to tune in to ESPNU on Signing Day.

The network has locked down commitment announcements for nearly all of the Bruins’ remaining targets, setting up what could be a program-altering day. UCLA already has a solid 2015 class that includes No. 1 quarterback Josh Rosen — who enrolled earlier this month — but getting the signatures of a few more stars next Wednesday will push it to one of the best in the country.

Here’s a look:

DeChaun Holiday, CB, 6-2/207, San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills
Rating: Four stars, No. 76 national / 11 position (Scout) … No. 102 national (Rivals)
Announcement: Feb. 1
Finalists: Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Washington
Latest: Regarded as a strong UCLA lean, Holiday is the only Bruin recruit left whose announcement won’t be televised on Signing Day. He’s a big athlete who could shore up UCLA’s secondary immediately. The defensive backfield was inconsistent in 2014, and could use a shutdown corner.

Chris Clark, TE, 6-5/253, Avon (Conn.) Old Farms School
Rating: Five stars, No. 23 national / 1 position (Scout) … Four stars, No. 79 / 1 position (Rivals)
Announcement: 5:30 a.m. PT, ESPNU
Finalists: Michigan, UCLA
Latest: Clark visited UCLA last weekend, but that still left Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh with plenty of time to make a push. The former 49ers and Stanford has a history of developing tight ends, and made an in-home visit to Clark on Wednesday. This race could go down to the wire, but the Bruins offer a better situation with Rosen already enrolled.

Sotonye Jamabo, RB, 6-2/201, Plano (Texas) West
Rating: Five stars, No. 18 national / 1 position (Scout) … No. 22 / 4 (Rivals)
Announcement: 6 a.m. PT, ESPNU
Finalists: Texas, UCLA
Latest: Top dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray opted to stick with Texas A&M rather than flipping to Texas, which takes a bit of the steam out of the Longhorns’ recruitment. Still, trying to wrangle Jamabo out of his home state against local pressure won’t be a gimme. Continue reading

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Five-star linebacker Keisean Lucier-South commits to UCLA

The news got a bit buried as UCLA began its 38-20 demolition of USC at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night, but the Bruins picked up their biggest 2015 commitment yet an hour before kickoff.

Five-star prospect Keisean Lucier-South picked the Bruins over offers from just about every other team in the Pac-12, as well as top programs such as Alabama, Florida State and TCU. Ranked fifth-best outside linebacker in the country by Scout.com, and the third-best by Rivals.com, the 6-foot-4, 211-pounder is a consensus top-40 recruit across all positions.

The Orange Lutheran product is the second five-star recruit to commit to UCLA’s 2015 class. Top quarterback Josh Rosen has already signed a grant-in-aid agreement with the Bruins.

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