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Thursday, March 20, 2014
Josh Rosen picks UCLA

By Erik McKinney
ESPN.com

UCLA scored a major recruiting victory on Thursday afternoon, as Josh Rosen -- the No. 1 quarterback and No. 16 overall recruit in the class of 2015 -- announced his verbal commitment to the Bruins and coach Jim Mora.

While Rosen began his recruitment as a strong lean to Stanford, Cal actually emerged as the team to beat for a moment after Rosen's relationship with the Cardinal faded due to him not receiving an offer. But a poor season by the Golden Bears allowed UCLA to jump into the picture.

"I knew for sure it would be UCLA four days ago," he said. "I put UCLA in front a few months ago, but the Michigan visit made me go in depth about why UCLA was the right place for me. A lot went into the decision and it wasn't made just for football. I'm going to the university where I fit best in all aspects."

During his recruitment, Rosen remarked at how the situation at UCLA could play out perfectly, as it is close to home, and if Brett Hundley leaves for the NFL following the 2014 season, he could be in the mix to play as a true freshman.

With Rosen on board, the Bruins' staff will undoubtedly use him -- Rosen is popular among his peers and has name recognition -- to recruit other 2015 athletes. Rosen has already struck up a friendship with 2015 ESPN 300 wide receiver Cordell Broadus, as the two went together on nearly every rep at the recent Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp.

It's also big for the Bruins because UCLA is dealing with limited scholarships for this class, due to the roster situation. UCLA will likely take fewer than 20 signatures in the 2015 class, and could be down to as few as 15 new enrollees.

To close the 2014 cycle, the Bruins missed out on several big-name targets down the stretch. But with Rosen on board, UCLA already has five verbal commitments for this class, including three in the ESPN JR 300. All three are on the offensive side of the ball, as Rosen joins tight end Alize Jones and athlete Jaason Lewis.

There were some flags raised late last week, when Rosen took a two-day unofficial visit to Michigan. Rosen said he was hoping the trip would convince him that UCLA was the right place for him, but the visit with the Wolverine coaches went better than he anticipated. Still, the Bruins held enough of a lead that Rosen's ultimate destination was never in doubt.

Rosen also held offers from Florida State, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, USC and Washington. He plans to graduate early and enroll at UCLA in the spring of 2015.