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UCLA BRUIN FOOTBALL: 2018 RECRUITING CLASS
Number of Signees: 27
Number of 5-stars: None
Number of 4-stars: 10
Pac-12 Ranking: 4th
National Ranking: 18th
- Dorian Thompson-Robinson, QB, Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman HS
- Bryan Addison, ATH, Gardena (CA) Serra HS
- Chase Cota, WR, South Medford (OR) HS
- Bo Calvert, LB, Westlake Village (CA) Oaks Christian HS
USC TROJAN FOOTBALL: 2018 RECRUITING CLASS
Number of Signees: 18
Number of 5-stars: 4
Number of 4-stars: 13
Pac-12 Ranking: 1st
National Ranking: 4th
- JT Daniels, QB, Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei HS
- Amon-Ra St. Brown, WR, Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei HS
- Olajiah Griffin, CB, Mission Viejo (CA) HS
- Palaie Gaoteote, LB, Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman HS
A good image illustrating the ongoing war between Los Angeles’ two institutions of higher learning for supremacy; I don’t know why that Stanford Cardinal tree is there. Photo courtesy of dailybruin.com
THOUGHTS AND ANALYSIS:
The prevailing thing that went through my mind after the high school blue-chippers chose their caps and announced where they will be playing football in college was…
“The rich got richer.”
How could I not think otherwise after USC (again) got the lion’s share of top talent, including a quarterback who was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year and has graduated high school a year early to possibly replace Sam Darnold behind center next fall?
Plus the top-ranked receiver in the nation, who happened to be a teammate of the quarterback I just mentioned?
For a class that has only 18 guys, second fewest only to Clemson among schools ranked in the top 25, a ranking that high is remarkable.
But that’s just how a program like the Trojans’ has always operated and will always operate, as long as those very influential and very rich boosters and alumni make it known that they will not tolerate anything less than a Pac-12 Championship, a Rose Bowl berth, a spot in the College Football Playoff, or any combination of the three, every single year.
If not an outright national championship.
It’s hard to argue against tradition and historical success, particularly to high school kids looking to excel at the next level and eventually get to the NFL.
Which is the main factor of ‘SC always doing so well in recruiting.
As For UCLA,
As was the case for the past few years, my feelings about the kids that Chip Kelly signed for my alma mater was…
“Pretty good, but not as spectacular as I had hoped.”
Their rankings of fourth in the Pac-12 and 18th nationally attest to those personal sentiments.
At least the Bruins did quite a bit to fill a bad need on the offensive line and the defense front seven, with twelve of the 27 commits being offensive linemen, defensive linemen, and linebackers.
Which included three junior college transfers, which I was glad about as those are guys who could contribute right away a little more than someone out of high school could.
A NICE “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG” MOMENT: UCLA’s and USC’s mascots exchanging pleasantries among the members of the Bruin Spirit Squad and the Trojan Song Girls. Photo courtesy of dailytrojan.com
UCLA’s top signee, Dorian Thompson-Robinson, is a young man who I will be watching the most going forward, because I see him having a pretty big battle with Devon Modster – who did a very good job filling in for Josh Rosen when he was injured, particularly against California and Kansas State in the Cactus Bowl – for the starting quarterback job.
It’s too bad that Robinson’s not enrolling early and participating in spring practice, because if he did, his chances of being the man under center at the Rose Bowl against Cincinnati on September 1st are VERY good.
As such, I won’t say how I see the Bruins, or the Trojans for that matter, faring next fall – that will be saved for the previews in August.
But I will say what I’ve always said on National Signing Day;
If any of those new Bruins or Trojans think they’re just going to come in and continue being studly stars and putting up the ridiculous numbers that they put up two, three, and four months previously, they need to leave those expectations at the signing table with all those different colored caps right now.
Because as I hope they well know, as of the moment they step onto the campus of their choice and put on that cardinal helmet with that gold Trojan on the side,
Or that gold helmet with those four blue letters in script,
For their first practice…
They are nothing but newbies.
Kids who need to prove themselves.
That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Photo courtesy of 247sports.com