A week has gone by since National Signing Day for college football. So now, a look at how the PAC-12 South:
The final class rankings for the PAC-12 South go as follows: (National Rankings)
#21 Arizona State
Sun Devils fans will be happy to know that the Bruins didn’t “steal” any Arizona prep players in this year’s class. Most ASU faithful will agree that it is tough watching former Chandler High standout Brett Hundley lead the UCLA offense.
Coach Mora inked a decent class, getting what he needed. However, they lost out on three highly rated prospects that made UCLA one of their final choices. Worse than that, those particular standouts chose to play at USC. For Mora and Bruins fans….that’s got to hurt.
UCLA did, however pick up some good athletes. One unusual signee was graduate transfer Malcom Bunche. Bunche is a 6-6, 320 pound offensive lineman that started for Miami (FL) in 2012, but came off the bench in 2013. That benching is what probably caused Bunche to look elsewhere. Coach Mora also picked up two more offensive linemen, including Kolton Miller, who is 6’8″, 305 with long arms that offensive line coaches love.
As quarterbacks go, UCLA signed 3-star dual-threat signal caller Aaron Sharp. Sharp is nationally rated as the #17 dual-threat QB. There isn’t too much hype surrounding Sharp, but most scouts believe he is a solid pickup for this crucial position.
The big splash for the Bruins was the signing of four highly touted linebackers. For some reason, the UCLA program has recently started to call itself “Linebacker U”. This appellation is of course being “borrowed” from Penn State as the Nittany Lions try to rebuild their image. Whether this self-branding is connected or not, the Bruins did, in fact sign four outstanding linebackers in Zach Whitley (4-stars, TX), Dwight Williams (3-stars, CA) Cameron Griffin (4-stars, CA) and Kenny Young (4-stars, LA).
Even though it is generally accepted that UCLA can recruit nationally, they pretty much stayed in the state of California. And while there are about 80 football programs around the country that would have loved to land the #27 recruiting class, for UCLA it’s a slight disappointment. The Bruins were hoping to parlay their recent success on the field into success in recruiting. Surely, after beating USC in November to be the “Kings of LA”, the Bruins had to be miffed about losing 3 stud recruits to the Trojans.
Time will tell how this class impacts UCLA on the field. They were young last year, which means coach Mora has no problem playing freshmen (see Myles Jack). But rest assured that the Bruins will put a quality team on the field next year and try to take back their PAC-12 South title.