UCLA Football: 2017 National Signing Day Position Group Report Card
Go Joe Bruin takes an in-depth look at National Signing Day for the UCLA Football team as we examine and grade the individual position groups.
The UCLA Football team landed themselves a Top 20 recruiting class with strengths and weaknesses in various position groups.
Go Joe Bruin takes a look into each group and graded them based on recruiting effort, need and depth.
These grades are not based on the talent of the athletes, but rather than the necessity and success in recruiting for these position groups.
Austin Burton, QB, 3* (West Orange HS/Winter Garden, FL) 6’3″, 203 lbs.
There’s no doubt that Burton is going to need some work, and it is uncertain in what capacity he will work with the team. It also means that something is amiss when the only quarterback you get is 3-star rated. The coaching staff missed out on a lot of big quarterback recruits which has been a trend.
Running Backs: C
Getting a running back was not a necessity as the Bruins are deep as it is, but there maybe should have been at least one solid prospect that wanted to come to Westwood. Not this year.
Wide Receivers: D
The Bruins are also stocked with receivers on their roster, but that does the mean they could not have landed one or two receivers. The way UCLA performed in the receiving game last year, there should definitely have been at least one incoming recruit that had fantastic hands. Speed I could live without for now. Let’s just catch a ball.
Tight Ends: A-
Jimmy Jaggers, TE, 4* (Roseville HS/Roseville, CA) 6’4″, 232 lbs.
Moses Robinson-Carr, TE, 3* (Antelope Valley HS/Lancaster, CA) 6’5″, 260 lbs.
This tells me that UCLA is going to continue with the use of tight ends and I like it. If the Bruins are going to have multi-offensive sets, then they are going to need to incorporate all positions and make sure there is talent behind it.
Offensive Line: A
Stephan Zabié, OT, 4* (Westlake HS/Austin, TX) 6’5″, 290 lbs.
Sean Seawards, OG, 3* (Saguaro HS/Scottsdale, AZ) 6’3″, 315 lbs.
Zack Sweeney, OG, 3* (St. Thomas Aquinas HS/Fort Lauderdale, FL) 6’3″, 260 lbs.
Jax Wacaser, OT 3* (Saguaro HS/Scottsdale, AZ) 6’5″, 260 lbs.
Kanan Ray, C, 3* (Sierra Canton/Chatsworth, CA) 6’4″, 275 lbs.
UCLA signing five offensive linemen, three in the last month, shows that they are addressing needs at this position. And to get Zabié was a late surprise that raised the grade of this position.. These recruits address the depth issue, now for the coaches to develop that talent.
Defensive Line: A+
Jaelan Phillips, DE, 5* (Redlands East Valley HS/Redlands, CA) 6’6″, 250 lbs.
Greg Rogers, DT, 4*, (Arbor View HS/Las Vegas, NV) 6’4″, 298 lbs.
Martin Andrus, DT, 4* (Los Angeles Senior HS/Los Angeles, CA) 6’1″, 280 lbs.
Odua Isibor, DE, 3* (St. Mary’s HS/Phoenix, AZ) 6’5″, 235 lbs.
Defensive Line Coach Angus McClure put in the work and he is reaping the benefits. Knowing that he had several players leaving after the 2016 season, McClure went out and got UCLA some of the best talent around.
Rahyme Johnson, LB, 4* (Salesian HS/ Los Angeles, CA) 6’4″, 210 lbs.
If Johnson did not recommit, UCLA would have no LBs in this class. That is not good for a position group that might have depth issues in 2017. That means LB Coach Scott White has to really get down and dirty on the recruiting trail in 2018.
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Defensive Backs: A+
Darnay Homles, CB, 5* (Calabasas HS/Calabasas, CA) 5’10”, 195 lbs.
Elijah Gates, CB, 4* (Buena Park HS/Buena Park, CA) 5’11”, 170 lbs.
Jaylan Shaw, CB, 4* (Centennial HS/Corona, CA) 5’11”, 170 lbs.
Morrell Osling, CB, 3* (Antelope Valley HS/Lancaster, CA) 6’3″, 170 lbs.
Quentin Lake, CB, 3* (Mater Dei HS/Santa Ana, CA) 6’1″, 175 lbs.
Jim Mora doesn’t just want one or two good defensive backs, HE WANTS ALL THE DEFENSIVE BACKS!!! The Bruins cleaned up with this position group, as they usually seem to, and this class will help the secondary stay relevant for seasons to come.
Special Teams: C
There really was not a need for special teams in this class, but the Bruins should always look out for good talent. The only thing that worries me is that special teams is also led by Scott White, and as the coach of two position groups, only getting one player seems a bit underachieving.
Overall Grade: B
Though there were a few areas that were not tended to as they should have been, the UCLA coaching staff made huge efforts in other areas, especially on the defensive side earned a Top 20 recruiting class ranking.