Archive for January 2010

USC Suffers, and UCLA Rejoices   3 comments

With the imminent loss of Peter Carroll to the NFL Seattle Supersonics (I mean, Seahawks, since the Sonics were wrenched from the city and moved to Oklahoma), USC is staggering. Staggering over the loss of a coach who won 97 games in 9 seasons (including 7 Pac-10 titles and 2 national titles). Staggering over the looming NCAA investigations over potential amateurism violations with Reggie Bush and, now, Joe McKnight. (The NCAA is also investigating similar violations of the USC basketball program for similar violations in regards to OJ Mayo.)

But do not despair, for in the midst of tragedy, there is rejoicing… by UCLA. The biggest winner in all of this is Rick Neuheisel and UCLA football. Over the next few weeks and months, here are some players that UCLA has a chance of getting, both from nabbing the indecisive and from poaching away from USC. (By the way, here’s one thing that Rick has on Pete. Rick is already at his dream job. He can stay at UCLA for the next 20 seasons because he’s back where it all started for him.)

Ronald Powell (DE): 6-4, 240 (#2 DE by Scout, #1 by Rivals, #2 by ESPN)
He has great size and athleticism for his position, and he just looks physically imposing. As one scout said, “[Powell] has the speed, strength and athleticism to beat much bigger offensive linemen. He can win battles up front using technique, speed or strength.” Powell’s first two choices, Florida and USC, have both lost their head coaches in the past few weeks (Urban Meyer of Florida for health reasons and Pete Carroll of USC for legacy reasons). These coaching changes will most likely get him to reconsider his top two school choices, as well as his desire to remain close to home (because when the world is changing around you, there’s nothing that can comfort like familiar surroundings). Therefore, I believe that Powell will more strongly consider other Pac-10 schools, especially the two remaining California schools, UCLA and Cal. (Powell is from Moreno Valley, CA, a suburb of Riverside.)

Hayes Pullard (LB/ATH): 6-1, 215 (#3 MLB by Scout, #15 ATH by Rivals, #49 ATH by ESPN)
The word on Pullard is all over the board. This much is clear, however… Pullard is an athlete. He has a 40-time between 4.5 and 4.6, and he has a 35-inch vertical. “Pullard is a very explosive player that runs through the ball carrier and excels at blitzing up the middle, using his speed and strength to go unblocked.” From the videos I’ve seen, Pullard is a ball-hawk, but he does need work on pass coverages. My reason for having hope in him becoming a Bruin is that he’s from Crenshaw High School. Although UCLA has widely ignored local area players, there has been a recent revival in interest in nabbing these local prospects. Currently on UCLA’s roster are three Crenshaw High alumni, including NFL-bound Reggie Carter and Brian Price. Furthermore, UCLA has made put significant focus on other local inner-city schools, including Long Beach Poly, LA Crespi, Dorsey and Compton.

Ricky Heimuli (DT): 6-4, 285 (#6 DT by Scout, #6 by Rivals, #13 by ESPN)
I’m putting Heimuli on this list solely because of Norm Chow and his Mormom background. (I’m not sure if Heimuli is Mormom, but I know that he’s from Salt Lake City, UT, so it’s a fairly safe assumption that he has some ties to that faith. FYI… Norm Chow is tasked to recruit Heimuli.) Although Heimuli lacks technique, his “bull-rush may be the best in the country. He is very strong and will not be intimidated by anyone. Heimuli is a headhunter and one of the toughest and meanest competitors in the country.” I LOVE people who are mean!

Josh Shirley (OLB): 6-2, 220 (#10 OLB by Scout, #8 by Rivals, #20 by ESPN)
Shirley’s top two college choices are: USC and UCLA. ‘Nuff said.

Marquis Flowers (S): 6-2, 200 (#11 S by Scout, #31 by ESPN)
Dude has 4.4 speed! Although he needs to work on some techniques in pass coverage, he is “not afraid to come up in run support and make the tackle. Flowers is very rangy and can cover a lot of ground using his tremendous speed.”

Anthony Barr (ATH): 6-4, 225 (#4 ATH by Rivals, #9 by ESPN)
His top two choices are Notre Dame and UCLA. I hope that the fact that he went to Loyola High in Los Angeles helps Bruin recruiting efforts.

Anthony Jefferson (CB, ATH, S): 6-2, 175 (#20 CB by Scout, #14 ATH by Rivals, #48 S by ESPN)
Jefferson is choosing between three schools: UCLA, Cal, and Oregon. Jefferson needs to improve his speed and strength. However, he would be an intriguing prospect at CB since he is such a tall athlete.

Erick Dargan (S): 6-0, 195 (#21 S by Scout, #22 by Rivals, #55 by ESPN)
UCLA is among his top three choices, along with Arizona State and Oregon. BTW, he’s from Pittsburg, CA, not Pittsburgh, PA.

James McConico (RB): 6-0, 195 (#24 RB by Scout, #54 by Rivals, #24 by ESPN)
Here’s what one scout says about him: “McConico is a large-framed back with a great size-to-speed ratio. We do question his running leverage and longer body at the position, but he has a ton of physical development left and should grow into a productive one-cut-and-go slasher at the next level.”

UCLA already has a pretty solid recruiting class with 16 prospects (1 5-star, 6 4-stars, and 9 3-stars, according to Scout). Their recruiting class is among the best in the nation (#24 by Scout, #19 by Rivals, #17 by ESPN). Among the 9 prospects I’ve listed, if the Bruins are able to bring in 2 or 3, as well as sign a few more 3-star prospects, they should have a recruiting class that has a good chance of being in the top-10.

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Posted January 9, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized