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.