Bruins get quality instead of quantity

first_imgWhat kept UCLA from joining the elite ranks was the size of the class. The Bruins lost only eight scholarship seniors, and two other players to medical issues, so they signed just 10 players, matching the lowest number in the nation and the fewest for a BCS conference. “This class is going to (have) the quality playmakers that are going to be differences in our program in the future,” Dorrell said. “This class has been our best class so far, since I’ve been here. It’s about quality.” The loss of Conte was big. He originally gave an oral commitment to California, but changed his mind last month and switched to UCLA. Dorrell said he and his staff learned Wednesday morning that Conte had changed his mind again and signed with Cal. “It was a very hard choice for him and a hard decision,” said Conte’s mom, Anne. “He maturely looked at a lot of things, not just football. I think there were a lot of intangible things he considered. He struggled and struggled and struggled with it. It’s been a pretty emotional day for him.” Conte did not return a message left on his cell phone. “Those things happen,” Dorrell said. “It’s common. It happens a lot. We got exactly the number we were targeting to get. We’re in pretty good shape the way things ended up.” It was previously reported that safety Robert Kibble (multiple sclerosis) would take a medical scholarship and end his football career, and Dorrell said offensive lineman Chris Johnson (shoulder) is doing the same. Among the signees who may make an immediate impact are Price, Carter, defensive back Courtney Viney (Edison of Fresno), linebacker Steve Sloan (Archbishop Mitty of San Jose) and linebacker/defensive end Akeem Ayers (Verbum Dei). Safety Glenn Love (Hamilton of Chandler, Ariz.), tight end Nate Chandler (Mira Mesa of San Diego) could see action. Meanwhile, quarterback Chris Forcier (St. Augustine of San Diego), offensive lineman Mike Harris (Duarte) and defensive end Justin Edison (Verbum Dei) will have time to develop in the system. “We had to put some targets on some guys early,” Dorrell said. “We landed the guys that we wanted to at the very beginning, with Brian Price and Raymond Carter, and we followed it up with some very quality picks that, I think, were important for us to have in this class.” brian.dohn@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The group is led by Crenshaw defensive tackle Brian Price and tailback Raymond Carter, both of whom should play significant roles in the upcoming season. UCLA’s class was ranked 38th in the nation by rivals.com, but the average of 3.60 stars per player ranked eighth nationally, despite the unexpected defection of Loyola High safety Chris Conte. “I’m a little bit confused with how they do the rankings,” Dorrell said. “It’s hard for us to be a highly ranked recruiting class because our numbers were so small. But if you go by in terms of quality that is in the class, I would say it’s probably top-10, or inside the top 10.” Rick Kimbrel, who runs bruinblitz.com on the rivals.com network, said several factors determine the rankings. “It is the quality of the player and depth of the class,” Kimbrel said. “I guess you could say, the more, the merrier.” center_img UCLA’s recruiting class barely registers on the national radar, but that did not dampen the spirit of Bruins football coach Karl Dorrell. Not when, top to bottom, he signed arguably his best of five classes Wednesday on national letter of intent signing day. last_img

Leave a comment