Friday, May 25, 2007

On the Recruiting Trail

In the dog days of summer, between the Spring and Fall practices, the coaches hit the pavement to evaluate high school recruits from around the country. Lots of companies and organizations hold combines, which are like day camps, where the players are put through drills, evaluated, and measured seven different ways from Sunday. Dorrell and company have been visiting a number of these camps over the last few weeks and racking up some frequent flier miles in the process.

Scout reported that Coach Walker was at the Palo Alto Nike Camp to see some of the best talent in the West. That included uncommitted running back Covaughn Deboskie, who is a top target for the Bruins. Some UCLA commits also had a good showings at the the Nike camp, including linebacker Uona Kaveinga.

Dorrell and running backs coach Dino Babers were in Hawaii for the PIAA combine. UCLA has landed some great talent from the islands in recent years, including starting offensive guard Micah Kia and backup defensive end Dylan Rush. It would be great to get a pineapple pipeline of players coming into Westwood. We'll see if Dorrell extends any offers after he returns to the mainland. On a side note, I need to get a job where flying out to Hawaii for a week is considered "working".

With UCLA getting off to such a fast start with the 2008 class, the coaches can take their time and be selective in offering players scholarships. There are still no offensive lineman committed in that class, so I expect the coaches to target a few of the top prospects this summer. The Bruins will probably also take another running back or two and it looks like UCLA is in the running for Milton Knox and Deboskie.

Deboskie has received a lot of attention from Division-1 schools like Arizona, Cal, Florida, USC and, of course, UCLA. He has mentioned in an interview with Scout.com that early playing time is a key factor in his decision making process.

"I may not go into a situation where I start, but I would like to get some playing time as a freshman," said Deboskie. "I want to be able to get some exposure as a freshman and get adjusted early.

With Markey leaving after this season, the Bruins will have an opening at the tail back position and Deboskie definitely has the talent to compete for playing time from day one. He also wants to play for a team with unity and chemistry, which the current Bruin squad has in abundance.

"I am looking for a team with a lot of unity," said Covaughn. "I want a team that plays hard together because those teams win a lot of games. I don't want to be on a team that is built around one player. When everyone starts up with all of the talk about this guy is an impact player and things like that, people get jealous."

Covaughn has said that he is looking to commit early and may make a decision before the football season starts. We'll have to wait and see if he decides to be a Bruin. It would be awesome to have Deboskie, Dean, and Carter in the backfield for 2008.

(Photo: Karl Dorrell, UCLA; Mark Banker, Oregon State; Dino Babers, UCLA. Credit: PIAA)
(Photo credit: azcentral.com )