UCLA Football, On the "B" List

UCLA College Football

UCLA Football, On the "B" List

Name a better college to lure in big-time football recruits than what UCLA has to offer. It is a big and beautiful school with all the necessary amenities. The Bruins reside in scenic California with a built-in rival in the USC Trojans to spur interest. Past teams have produced their fair share of NFL players and award winners. They play their home games in the Rose Bowl for gosh sake. And yet, the UCLA Bruins, for whatever reason, never manage to bring in top level talent.

It is hard to figure exactly whose fault this is. It cannot be blamed on a single coach as years of coaching turnover has done little to stop this problem. UCLA has employed four coaches in the last ten years alone, with Jim Mora Jr. taking the reins in 2012.

Some would say recruiting in Southern California against USC is a fool’s errand and is the main reason UCLA can’t draw anyone. Who would want to play for the Bruins when they could play for USC? However, this logic has its own flaws. Namely, USC just went through a very dark and debilitating NCAA probe resulting in years of postseason bans. They also recently had a head coaching change of their own and while everyone claimed USC was finally down after years of being on top, they still managed to bring in much better players than UCLA did these past few seasons.

Obviously there are many teams who compete year in and year out without top recruiting classes. Virginia Tech is a great example of this. Coach Frank Beamer rarely brings in anyone above three or four stars and yet the Hokies vie for a conference crown every season. UCLA, though, does not. The coaching carousel has obviously aided this; UCLA being thought of as a basketball school does not help either. In the end, the Bruins have recruited less talent than they should and done less with it to boot.

Obviously no one at the university quite knows what the answer is. Whatever the reasoning behind it, picturesque Los Angeles, California just isn’t the locale high school football players are dying to play in. And that is certainly surprising considering the circumstances.


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