UCLA: signing day

UCLA signing day breakdown

February, 6, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The rebuilding of UCLA's football program took another step forward Wednesday when coach Jim Mora landed one of the school's top recruiting classes of the past decade.

Mora signed 23 players Wednesday, the first day football players could sign, and the class is currently ranked No. 12 in the nation by ESPN Recruiting Nation. Of the 23 players, five are among the ESPN 150 and nine are in the ESPN 300.

Priest Willis, No. 5 safety in the nation and No. 59 overall recruit, did not sign Wednesday and is expected to still sign with UCLA.

"We're very happy with the class that we were able to put together," Mora said. "We feel that it fills a lot of needs or areas of concern for this football team."

Looking at the class breakdown, offensive line, defensive back and linebacker were the major target areas for the Bruins. Mora and his staff brought in seven offensive linemen, three defensive backs (with Willis perhaps still to come) and five linebackers.

Defensive end Kylie Fitts, No. 85 in the ESPN 150 and the No. 8 player at his position, was the top-ranked player to sign Wednesday. Asiantii Woulard, the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 143 overall prospect, is UCLA's top offensive player.

The gaping hole in the class is at running back. Johnathan Franklin, the school's all-time leading rusher, left some big shoes to fill, but Mora and his staff didn't fill them. Craig Lee, a running back from Redlands, was committed but did not sign because of admissions issues.

Here is a breakdown of UCLA's class:

(Read full post)

Signing day: Rick Neuheisel on Torian White

February, 2, 2011
The flip-flopping commitment of offensive lineman Torian White (Lakewood) was among the more bizarre stories of signing day and UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, who eventually landed the 6-foot-6, 280-pounder, discussed the last 24 hours during his signing day news conference Wednesday.

White, who had been a long-time verbal commitment to UCLA, went on television Wednesday, picked a USC hat and announced he would become a Trojan. He later changed his mind and signed a national letter of intent with the Bruins.

“Last night for the first time I wasn’t able to talk to him,” Neuheisel said. “The phone wasn’t answering and so I got nervous. During the contact period, every day I talked to him. Sometimes more than once. So to not be able to talk to him, I got concerned.”

Neuheisel said he thought the relationship was strong enough that there would be nothing to worry about, but when he watched White pick up a USC hat during his televised announcement, Neuheisel’s stomach dropped.

“Obviously when he picked up the other hat I was depressed,” Neuheisel said. “That wasn’t the hat I wanted him to choose.”

Later, Neuheisel received a call from White, who told Neuheisel he still wasn’t settled. Then he received a signed letter of intent and all was well.

“I’m thrilled he felt that way and I’m thrilled that we built enough of a relationship, not only between he and I, but also between the school and his family, that this felt right,” Neuheisel said.



B. Hundley392271315522
P. Perkins25115756.39
B. Hundley1596444.110
J. Payton6795414.27
D. Fuller594477.61