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Thursday, January 24, 2013
UCLA lands elite safety pair

By Ted Miller

UCLA needs to replace three of four starters in its secondary heading into 2013, but it appears that's being addressed well on the recruiting trail.

The resurgent Bruins received commitments Wednesday from two safeties ranked in the ESPN 150: Priest Willis and Tahaan Goodman. They are the No. 5 and 9 safeties in the nation, according to ESPN.

Willis, 6-2, 199 pounds, is the nation's No. 59 overall recruit. He chose UCLA over Arizona State and LSU. Goodman is ranked 109th overall. He picked the Bruins over Arizona State, LSU, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

UCLA’s commitment list now stands at 23, including seven ESPN 300 prospects. It's presently ranked 21st in the nation and third in the Pac-12 behind USC (No. 6) and Washington (No. 17) by ESPN, but it likely will bump up a few notches.

New coach Jim Mora made a notable mark last winter when, in his first experience recruiting college players, he led the Bruins to a strong close on signing day. Perhaps we're about to see UCLA recruiting take another step forward, where it might challenge USC for Pac-12 supremacy?