Posted: 10:00 a.m. Thursday, July 25, 2013
By Jack Follman
UCLA continues our 12-part series where we are ranking the best recruits to sign with each Pac-12 school since the advent of serious recruiting coverage on the Internet (2002 serving as the furthest year back that you can find rankings for players online). Our rankings are put together by combining players' rankings from recruiting sites, offers and the amount of hype that surrounded their signings.
Please note that these are taking only into account how highly-rated players were coming out of high school, not their college careers. So please, no angry, insult-laden comments about how only a child murderer wouldn't realize that LaMichael James (Or any player who had a great college career, but was an under-the-radar recruit) should be number three on the list.
1. Brett Hundley Class of 2011 QB Chandler, AZ
Hundley was the top rated quarterback out West and seen as the full package as a big, strong, athletic quarterback with great instincts. Hundley committed to Bruins early as they won a very heated battle over Washington for his commitment. Hundley started in 2012 as a true freshman and had one of the best freshman quarterback seasons a Pac-12 player has ever had.
2. Ellis McCarthy Class of 2012 DT Monrovia, CA
McCarthy was arguably the top defensive tackle in the entire country in the Class of 2012 and was at least the top defensive lineman out West with his huge size and athleticism. McCarthy was recruited hard by every program out West and committed to Cal at one point and considered Oregon, USC and Washington too, but signed with UCLA in the end. McCarthy played a bit as a true freshman and is expected to see a lot of time in 2013.
3. Malcolm Jones Class of 2010 RB Westlake Village, CA - Oaks Christian
Jones was a huge running back at 6'0 215 that was far too fast for his size in high school and was one of the best running back prospects in his class. Jones was coveted by everyone out West and visited Stanford early in the process, but stayed home and signed with UCLA. Jones had tons of potential, but could never seem to break out as a Bruin and played behind Johnathan Franklin before leaving the program in 2012 and returning this off-season with one year left to play.
4. Marcedes Lewis Class of 2002 TE Long Beach, CA - Poly
Lewis was a gem of an athlete as a 6'7 basketball player that could stretch the field and was unlike any other tight end in the country, making him a five-star prospect and the number one tight end in his class. Lewis had four other five-star teammates at Poly in 2002 in a huge class, that all ended up signing with USC, but Lewis was the lone wolf that selected UCLA. Lewis became a huge stud at UCLA and went onto the NFL where he has been a standout throughout his career.
5. Rahim Moore Class of 2008 S Los Angeles, CA - Dorsey
Moore was a cornerback in high school, but was rated as one of the top cornerbacks in the entire country due to his amazing combination of size and speed for the position along with his ability to grab picks. Moore fielded interest from all over the country and he visited Georgia and North Carolina along with Arizona. Moore became one of the best safeties in the country at UCLA, as an interception specialist before heading to the NFL getting taken in the second round by the Broncos.
6. Brian Price Class of 2007 DT Los Angeles, CA - Crenshaw
Price was the top rated defensive lineman out West and a very athletic player that could move exceptionally well for his size, make him a very hot prospect. Price had attention from all over the country, but narrowed it down to West Coast schools and chose the Bruins over Arizona State. Price became an All-American at UCLA and won the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year before becoming a second round draft pick by the Buccaneers.
7. Morrell Presley Class of 2009 TE Carson, CA
Presley was widely regarded as the top tight end in the Class of 2009 and was an incredibly dangerous pass catcher at 6'4 215.Presley ended up becoming Rick Neuheisel's first big recruiting score at UCLA as he pulled him away from USC. Unfortunately, Presley did not pan out at UCLA and quickly transferred out of the program.
8. Priest Willis Class of 2013 CB Tempe, AZ - Marcos De Niza
A big, 6'2 195 prospect that is highly regarded as a cornerback and safety prospect, Willis is rangy in the defensive backfield and was rated as a five-star prospect by Scout. Willis had a long recruitment and the Bruins snagged him late in the game over Florida State, LSU, Nebraska and Virginia.
9. Owamagbe Odighizuwa Class of 2010 DE Portland, OR - Douglas
A guy who could really fly off the edge and get after the passer, Odighizuwa was probably the most-coveted pass-rusher on the West Coast in 2010. Odighizuwa had a long recruitment and ended up choosing UCLA over Cal, Florida, Nebraska and USC. Odiguhuwa has played a bit during his UCLA career and was expected to be a starter in 2013, but unfortunately will have to sit the season out due to injury.
10. Eddie Vanderdoes Class of 2013 DT Auburn, CA - Placer
Vanderdoes was far and away the top defensive lineman prospect out West in his class and arguably the best defensive tackle in the country. Vanderdoes had a very strange recruitment where he signed with Notre Dame over USC, UCLA and Washington but quickly changed his mind and is now transferring to UCLA. It sounds like Vanderdoes will have to sit out a year before he can play now and had it not all happened in such a strange way, Vanderdoes would be much higher on this list but the strangeness of it all took out a lot of the starch of him coming to Westwood.
Devin Fuller Class of 2012 QB Old Tappan, NJ
Damien Holmes Class of 2008 DE Colton, CA
Jordon James Class of 2010 RB Corona, CA
Ben Olson Class of 2005 QB Thousand Oaks, CA
Isaac Savaiinaea Class of 2013 LB Honolulu, HI - Punahou