Friday, December 14, 2007

Big Recruiting Weekend

Today kicked off UCLA's big recruiting weekend. The program is hosting 18 of the 21 committed players on their "official" visits. They took in the practice today and will get a chance to talk with interim head coach Walker and the position coaches. The three players who won't be there are Milton Knox, Corey Harkey, and E.J. Woods.

Knox is off on a recruiting trip to Florida. Like most of the other Bruin commits for 2008, he is being heavily recruited since Karl Dorrell was fired. Knox has been to Westwood a number of times for unofficial visits, so his absence this weekend isn't something to panic about. But as the cloud of uncertainty hangs over the program, without a permanent head coach, it is hard to be sure if any of the recruits are 100% solid.

Harkey is playing basketball and couldn't attend. Woods went on a trip to Colorado. He said he plans to visit UCLA after a new coach is named.

Aundre Dean looks like he is not going to UCLA next year. All of the recruiting services removed him as a commit and his interest in the program is low. He may not take an official visit and the uncertainty of the coaching staff for next season has him looking elsewhere. The rest of the recruiting class has formed a bond, since they are all from Southern California, but Dean is the sole out-of-state player. I'm not holding my breath on him wearing the blue and gold next season.

For those attending, it will be an important weekend. Most of the players are taking a wait-and-see approach to their decision. If Walker is retained (even as the defensive coordinator) then I think the vast majority of this class will stick. If an exciting head coach is brought in, then it should keep them around. However if Walker is let go, then all bets are off. A number of schools, like Arizona State, having been pushing hard for these kids and I think a fair number would go elsewhere.

I'm sure DeWayne and the rest of the staff have quite a task ahead of them. It would have been easier if a head coach were in place already, but not much can be done about that now. I'm glad Guerrero is taking his time and interviewing a number of candidates. This is an important decision that will impact UCLA football for the next 5 to 10 years. No need to hurry up and rush it.

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