The UCLA Bruins have certainly had a roller-coaster season on the field in 2017, and it seems that some of the previously-committed players have taken notice.
The Bruins have had five players de-commit in a little over a week, and it could mean trouble for them moving forward, particularly along the offensive line.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times recently talked to Brandon Huffman, recruiting coordinator for Scout, who noted the rare nature of so many de-commitments in a short amount of time.
“Five in a one-week span isn’t very common at all,” said Huffman. “Usually, when you see that, a coaching change just happened.”
While that coaching change has not happened, many suspect that Jim Mora’s time in Los Angeles could soon be coming to an end. His name is frequently mentioned as being on the hot seat, rumors abound that Chip Kelly would want to take the UCLA job if it were available, and a group of UCLA fans recently started a GoFundMe campaign to have a banner voicing their displeasure over Mora to fly over the stadium.
Three defensive back prospects (Davyen Coleman, Ken Montgomery and Kendrick Torain) have de-committed, though Huffman notes that it was no guarantee those players would sign with the Bruins.
“I don’t think any of those three you were 100% confident [the Bruins] were going to sign,” Huffman said. “Even if UCLA was 7-2 right now, those guys were probably still going to end up elsewhere.”
Offensive linemen Blake McDonald and Jason Dickson’s departures are more troublesome, as UCLA lacks depth at the position. Factor in the fact that committed 3-star offensive tackle Marco Brewer is potentially facing charges of rape in his home state of Oregon, and that dwindles those numbers even further.
Mora has acknowledged that the defections are worrisome.
“When you read about the decommits, you worry about it,” Mora said, “but there’s a hidden reality to it, I guess I should say.”
UCLA currently has the nation’s No. 12 class according to 247Sports composite rankings, but that number is sure to drop once the de-commits are factored in.