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Tag:Jim Mora
Posted on: January 16, 2012 11:29 am
 

Double dose of commitments for UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

UCLA continues to add commitments at a brisk pace since the hiring of new head coach Jim Mora, picking up two more last week in Upland (Calif.) fullback Christian Powell and Davie (Fla.) athlete Fabian Moreau.

"When I went on my visit, I just really enjoyed it," Powell told BruinBlitz.com. "I like the campus, the area and everything about it, as well as the academics."

The 5-foot-11, 250-pounder also had offers from Colorado, Nebraska, Washington and drew a late offer from USC as a defensive tackle. Like Powell, Moreau held several other major offers but was drawn to the Bruins after visiting and seeing the style of offense the new staff will run.

"The visit out to California was great," Moreau told Rivals. "I had a really good time on the visit and it just felt great being out there. I feel I fit perfectly in the offense that they are going to run. They like me at slot receiver and running back, but I just want to get out there and work."

The pair gives UCLA 26 commitments for the class of 2012 less than a month before Signing Day, a number which will likely go down before February 1st.
Posted on: January 9, 2012 12:26 pm
 

UCLA lures another SMU commitment to Westwood

Posted by Bryan Fischer

UCLA has been on quite the tear on the recruiting trail ever since Jim Mora was hired and the Bruins added another on Sunday with the commitment of Anaheim (Calif.) offensive lineman Carl Hulick.

"Coach Mora has a five-year contract, which means he shouldn't be going anywhere," Hulick told BruinBlitz.com. "He's going to be doing huge things at UCLA. You can just tell by the gleam in the look of his eye that he is going places and he is going to be doing amazing things."

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Hulick was previously committed to SMU and follows his position coach, Adrian Klemm, to Westwood.

"Coach Klemm, I feel like I have been playing for the guy for three of four years," Hulick said. "I have such a great relationship with him and I have never played a snap of football for him.

The Bruins are close to a full class with Hulick's pledge, currently with 23 commitments just a few weeks from Signing Day.
Posted on: January 8, 2012 5:34 pm
 

Tairen Owens flips from Washington to UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

New UCLA head coach Jim Mora has already stolen defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin from Washington and now he has swiped a commitment. The Huskies first class of 2012 pledge, Pasadena (Calif.) running back Tairen Owens flipped on Saturday to the Bruins.

"I switched because I feel that it's a better fit for me," Owens told Scout. "I get to stay home in Pasadena and things will be much more convenient for me and my family."

The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder attends Martin's alma mater and is a longtime UCLA fan, causing the change in commitment.

"Coach Martin was recruiting me for Washington is now at UCLA and now he's recruiting me even harder, which makes our connection that much stronger," he said.

Owens was a multipurpose threat that scored 10 total touchdowns during his senior season. He becomes the 22nd commitment for the Bruins class of 2012.

"Tairen shows a good burst, vision, balance, and proves to be one of the more slippery backs in Southern California," analyst Tom Lemming said. Very tough to get a hold of, he catches the ball well coming out of the backfield and is very creative in the open field."

Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:29 pm
 

National notes: Movers & shakers in team rankings

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's getting down to crunch time on the recruiting trail, with just over a month until National Signing Day. With most of the Holiday season over with and attention turned to the new year, things are about to pick up even more as the decommits, recommits and surprises start happening.

The Eye on Recruiting has already given you some players ticketed for a rise on offense and defense in the recruiting rankings and now it's time to cast a critical eye on the teams that are looking to move up and a few that could be on their way down.

Team rankings movers

Alabama

Is there a better recruiter than Nick Saban? Currently, it's hard to argue with the man's success on the field and on the recruiting trail. He could be putting together an all-time great class in 2012 and just recently added lineman Alphonse Taylor and highly regarded running back T.J. Yeldon. Though they already have a quarterback in Alec Morris, the Tide are heavily pursuing dual-threat signal-caller Jameis Winston, one of the best players in the state and at his position, and top safety Landon Collins. If they can add Winston and close in on a few other top targets, Saban's team could vault to the top of the team rankings when everybody signs on the dotted line.

Ohio State

In just a short amount of time, Urban Meyer has made his presence felt in Columbus and nationally thanks to his recruiting acumen. The biggest splash has been made along the defensive line, where's he's grabbed commitments from the number three player in the country Noah Spence, tackle Tommy Schutt and end Se'Von Pittman. Though the NCAA handed out a bowl ban to the program, that probably won't deter too many recruits and playing for Meyer will be enough for some of them. They could land top 100 players like offensive tackle Jordan Diamond and athlete Davonte Neal so expect the Buckeyes to close well.

Notre Dame

The Irish and Brian Kelly put together a great group of defensive lineman last year and appear to have a balanced group of quality players at every position this year. California commits Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard seem solid and can make an impact right away after getting aclimated to South Bend. As is usual for Notre Dame, plenty of top recruits like Nelson Agholor, Arik Armstead and Gunner Kiel have the Irish on their short list and could turn a good class into a great one.

USC

The Trojans' great year in 2011 has proven they're one of the few schools who can shake off harsh NCAA sanctions and still play and recruit well. Lane Kiffin has a plan to deal with scholarship reductions and it will be put to the test in 2012 with 2012 being the first class limited to 15 players. USC has already signed a few top players early, such as linebacker Scott Starr and top JUCO safety Gerald Bowman. They have a chance at some top national guys Agholor and Andrus Peat so it's possible for it to be a small but great recruiting class for the Trojans.

California

Like their Pac-12 counterparts, the Bears could come on strong late with some top recruits. They're in good position to land Armstead and most consider five-star safety Shaq Thompson a lock to go to Berkeley. Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi is a tremendous recruiter and with a great year out West for talent, should do pretty well. Cal's current group of commits, with quarterback Zach Kline and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, is a good start.

Team rankings shakers

Florida State

This is still a very good group of players but there's no doubt that the Seminoles class has taken hit in the past few weeks - thanks in large part to Alabama. Defensive end Chris Casher is a solid building block but future teammate Mario Edwards is looking hard at Oklahoma and Texas. Losing Winston would be a huge blow and there's a slim chance some, like Dante Fowler and Mario Pender, could pull a switch on Signing Day. Jimbo Fisher has done very well with the 2012 class but fans have a reason to be a little nervous at how they'll close.

Florida

A 6-6 season and losing offensive coordinator (and noted recruiter) Charlie Weis to Kansas have caused the Gators to slip a little. It still looks like they'll be a lock for a top 10 class come February with so many top 100 recruits but there's no doubt the uncertainty surrounding the program could come back to bite them. The loss of Weis in particular could hurt with possible pledges like Agholor and put a damper on Will Muschamp's first full recruiting class. Expectations are high with Meyer doing what he's doing in Columbus so a class that isn't filled with five-stars will further the perception that the program is slipping a bit.

Auburn

Will there be a meltdown on the Plains? It seems as though things haven't been going the Tigers' way recently with rival Alabama in the national championship game and stealing top commit in Yeldon. On top of that, defensive coordinator Ted Roof is gone and big time offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn surprisingly moved on to a head coaching job. This is still a very good class but they'll need to hold the current group together as well as snag a few top recruits to help reload an already young team.

Teams sitting pretty

Texas

Mack Brown has pulled in some impressive recruiting classes to Austin but this may be his best yet. The country's top running back and second-ranked wide receiver are headed to the 40 Acres and the depth of the group is one of the reasons why the Longhorns are the top ranked team in the latest Maxpreps rankings. There's no doubt that they should finish among the top three but it still remains to be seen if they can keep the top spot. Texas isn't completely done recruiting and could add a few impact players between now and Signing Day.

Michigan

Brady Hoke put together the bulk of this class before even coaching a game and has occupied the top team spot for most of the year. From top-to-bottom this might be the best class in the country with plenty of players who should come in and make an impact early  The Wolverines have seemingly filled all their holes and are still in the running for a few national recruits that could bolster their ranking so Michigan definitely has a shot at being ranked as the best.

Mora turning heads in Westwood

As soon as Jim Mora was hired in Westwood, the first question would be how well could the longtime NFL coach recruit at the college level? As it turns out, pretty well if early indications are to hold up in the future.

Mora's best recruiting job was the hiring of his assistants, notably ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, secondary coach Demetrice Martin  and former Arizona State offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The trio, among others, have plenty of West Coast ties and have allowed the staff to hit the ground running despite being hired so late in the game. Keep an eye on this group poaching a few recruits from the Sun Devils once-promising class as well as a few Los Angeles natives.

December has seen the Bruins' class add several good players. Defensive backs Marcus Rios and Ishamel Adams are two players who could play early on defense and landing linebacker Kenny Orjioke out of Atlanta is a solid get for the staff. For the most part, the commitments prior to the new staff have hung in and seem sold on the direction of the program.

Though they're not anywhere close to getting elite talent, the signs out of UCLA are encouraging for a relatively inexperienced staff. The problem in the past has not been about recruiting however, it's been talent development and in that area things are still TBD. Still, given the progress on the recruiting trail, the coaching change has given plenty of Bruin fans something to smile about in a relatively dour year.

Video of week

I'm headed out to the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta this year, which features some of the top juniors (class of 2013) in the state of Georgia. Among the headliners this week is linebacker Reuben Foster, an Alabama commit and easily one of - if not the - top players at his position next year. Here's some of his highlights:

Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:03 am
 

UCLA lands coveted corner Ishmael Adams

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of Jim Mora's priorities in the time between officially taking over at UCLA and Signing Day was to make a big splash on the recruiting trail and he did just that on Monday. Westlake Village (Calif.) cornerback Ishamel Adams was not planning on committing to the Bruins but felt he could best help the class in doing so.

"It was coming down to the wire and UCLA needs to make moves on bigger recruits," Adams told BruinBlitz.com. "They thought that my name might bring out other recruits to UCLA and change the program with me. I decided to declare earlier and not wait to the end."

The 5-foot-9, 185-pound defensive back was considered a heavy Cal lean but surprised many by staying close to home. Adams held scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona, Notre Dame, Oregon and others but the new staff in Westwood won him over with their approach to the game.

"The new coaches are total 'league' minded right now," he said. "They are all about business and winning games."

Adams becomes the 22nd commitment in UCLA's class of 2012 a little over a month away from Signing Day. The four-star corner is ranked 111th overall in the country by MaxPreps and is considered the 12th-best player at his position.

"An expert at the bump and run, he competes on every down and shows All-American skills in man to man coverage," analyst Tom Lemming said. "Stocky in his build, he loves to mix it up, breaks on the ball quickly, and rarely misses a tackle. Has fast hands and can turn and run with the swiftest of receivers. He's as confident and hard working as they come."

Adams had 34 tackles and two interceptions his senior season.

Posted on: December 20, 2011 7:59 pm
 

Two more commitments for Mora and UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

So much for a lack of experience recruiting.

UCLA head coach Jim Mora gained two more commitments Monday to run his total to three since taking over in Westwood with the pledges of Arcadia (Calif.) safety Taylor Lagace and Marrieta (Ga.) linebacker Kenny Orjioke.

"I called up Coach (Adrian) Klemm and Coach Mora and told them I was a Bruin," Orjioke told Scout. "Coach Mora was ecstatic. And Coach Klemm, he was the one who reached out to me and offered. All the coaches talked with me and everything worked out great and I'm excited."

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Orjioke's commitment marks a coming home of many sorts. He played last season for Junipero Serra High in the region and despite holding scholarship offers from schools such as Arizona State, California, Georgia Tech, Louisville and others, the offer from UCLA was the one he wanted.

"I grew up in Southern California and I still have a lot of friends out there," he said. "I knew when I was offered that was where I would end up, so there was no reason to prolong it."

Legace switched his commitment from Washington shortly after secondary coach Demetrice Martin was hired by the Bruins.

"Coach (Martin) left for UCLA and I feel he will make me work to be the best player I can possibly be," the 6-foot, 175-pound Lagace said.

UCLA is getting close to a full class with 21 commitments for 2012.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:59 pm
 

Mora boosts recruiting quickly with two hires

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Jim Mora knows that he has some limitations coming from a long career in the NFL and, recently, from television. Taking over at UCLA, he identified recruiting as one area he would need help in and he significantly boosted the Bruins ability to do that Tuesday night, hiring SMU offensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Adrian Klemm and Arizona State receivers coach Steve Broussard.

The two will take on slightly different responsibilities in Westwood, with Klemm also coordinating the run game and Broussard moving over to running backs.

Klemm's hiring is a coup for Mora given his signficant ability to land West Coast talent and, in particular, Los Angeles-area recruits. A former NFL lineman and three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots, Klemm went to school at nearby St. Monica High before playing at Hawaii. While at SMU, he had a knack at bringing Southern California recruits to Dallas.

Venice (Calif.) wide receiver Gabriel Marks and South Gate (Calif.) running back Robert Lewis are just two top recruits Klemm landed in the class of 2012 for the Mustangs. There's a good chance both stay closer to home and flip their pledges to UCLA with the hiring.

Broussard has numerous ties to the region thanks to time at Arizona State and Washington State, where he was a stand out running back. He managed to break into area powerhouse Long Beach Poly and snag five commitments for the Sun Devils this year.

UCLA has 18 commitments for the class of 2012.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:47 am
 

12/12 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Another bowl game in Florida could boost Michigan State's recruiting in the state.

Linebacker Darius Parson decommitted from Syracuse.

 Linebacker Thomas Brown is "set in stone" with Nebraska.

 A Toledo recruit is a big fan of new Illinois head coach Tim Beckman.

New UCLA head coach Jim Mora has plenty of catching up to do, including recruiting.

Funny story about Pete Carroll recruiting Tim Tebow to USC.

 Florida commits won't waver with Charlie Weis at Kansas.

Commitments

 Offensive lineman Ralphael Green committed to Indiana after visiting Missouri.

 Defensive back D.J. White and athlete Anthony Autry committed to Georgia Tech.

 Colorado received the sixth commitment from a defensive lineman in Josh Tupou.

 Safety K.J. Dillon committed to West Virginia on his visit.

 Quarterback Kendric Bostic flipped his pledge from UCF to Princeton.

 Defensive tackle DeAngelo Brown committed to Louisville.

 
 
 
 
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