UCLA post-spring position outlook: Secondary

Spring football is done, and over three months still stand between us and the start of UCLA’s third season under Jim Mora — one that comes with national title aspirations and accompanying media glare. This blog will cover the status of each position group moving forward. Next up …

Secondary

UCLA is very familiar with offense-to-defense success. With the last project off to the NFL as a top-ten pick, can the Bruins duplicate that sort of transformation?

Heading into the 2014 season, the best bet on the roster is Fabian Moreau — a former three-star running back who converted to cornerback as soon as he arrived in Los Angeles two years ago. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound soon-to-be junior earned an all-conference honorable mention in just his second year at the position — one in which he started 12 games. Continue reading

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Spring notes: Noel Mazzone talks about Brett Hundley’s progress

– Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone talked more about quarterback Brett Hundley’s development over the past few months. Mazzone said Hundley is familiar enough with the playbook that he sometimes looks away from the sideline after just one hand signal.

– UCLA continues to run a lot of nickel defense, with safety Tahaan Goodman usually coming in as the fifth defensive back. The former four-star recruit played mostly special teams as a true freshman last season, and ended up with 12 tackles and two pass breakups.

When he gets on the field, rising senior Anthony Jefferson slides down to cornerback. Continue reading

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Tahaan Goodman commits to UCLA

Tahaan Goodman, the four-star safety out of Rancho Cucamonga, extinguished most of the surprise at his Wednesday announcement with this setup:

UCLA got its 14th four-star commitment in Goodman, beating out USC and Oklahoma in the final hat selection. He had also been linked to LSU and Texas A&M, but ended up staying close to home, the latest addition to an incredible recruiting push by the Bruins’ coaching staff. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect — ranked California’s fourth-best recruit by Rivals.com — should figure into the defensive backfield rotation immediately, especially given that UCLA graduated three starters from its secondary.

The defending Pac-12 South champions, who also reeled in four-star defensive backs Tyler Foreman and Johnny Johnson over the weekend, now await an announcement from Priest Willis at 6 p.m. Willis, a standout at Marcos de Niza High in Tempe, Ariz., is thought of as a package deal with Goodman — both visited Westwood together this past weekend after Goodman’s plans for a trip to LSU fell through.

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Defensive back Priest Willis announcing tomorrow

Elite defensive back Priest Willis will announce his college decision Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT. The press conference will take place at Marcos De Niza High in Tempe, Ariz., with UCLA being the presumptive favorite over LSU. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect is rated a four-star safety by Rivals.com and a five-star cornerback by Scout.com.

Willis was on campus with four-star safety Tahaan Goodman this past weekend, which bodes well for the Bruins’ chance at getting the Rancho Cucamonga prospect too. Goodman originally planned to visit LSU.

UPDATE: Goodman will also announce tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. In less than 24 hours, UCLA’s top-10 class could vault past USC’s on both Scout.com and Rivals.com for the first time since 2002, when the Bruins landed Marcedes Lewis. UCLA is currently No. 9 and 10 on Scout and Rivals, while the Trojans are No. 10 and 7, respectively.

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