Thursday, February 4, 2010
Pac-10 recruiting wrap: UCLA
By Ted Miller
UCLA's class of 22 ranked 10th in the nation and featured six players on the ESPNU 150 list.
In other words, the Bruins had a happy signing day, particularly when they landed a number of elite recruits with nationally televised announcements.
The Bruins had particular needs on the defensive front seven and the offensive line. They addressed both areas with quality and numbers. The class is notably strong at linebacker, which should feel extra good for Bruins fans because that was one area where rival USC felt short.
Top prospects: Owamagbe Odighizuwa was rated the No. 2 defensive end in the nation. Jordan James and Malcolm Jones give the Bruins two of the top-eight running backs in the country. Safety Dietrich Riley picked the Bruins over USC. All four linebackers could compete for immediate playing time. Cassius Marsh could play early at defensive tackle.
Under the radar: Offensive tackle Wade Yandall is a former volleyball player, but he now tips the scales at 310, according to Neuheisel. Defensive end Derrick Bryant has a frame that could support 30 or 40 more pounds, Neuheisel said.
Issues? The Bruins didn't sign a quarterback -- Brett Nottingham was a one-time commitment, but he ended up signing with Stanford. Neuheisel also said he wished he could have found one more receiver.
Notes: Neuheisel said linebacker Josh Shirley, who was expected to go to USC, had been a secret commitment for a while. Neuheisel said it was Shirley's idea to keep his intentions secret. ... Both Odighizuwa and Riley announced their decisions on ESPNU, which Neuheisel said was "great exposure." ... Linebacker Eric Kendricks is the younger brother of California linebacker Mychal Kendricks. ... Receiver Paul Richardson's father, Paul Sr., played receiver for the Bruins from 1987-1990. Neuheisel was his position coach.