Redshirt freshman receiver Kam Brown is expected to highlight UCLA’s 2021 recruiting class during the early signing period as the lone four-star recruit in the class.
Brown announced his verbal commitment to the Bruins in late November and will have four seasons of eligibility upon his arrival at UCLA.
The Texas A&M transfer, who originally committed to UCLA as a high school junior, is the son of Super Bowl XXX MVP and former Dallas Cowboys defensive back Larry Brown.
The Bruins’ recruiting class is expected to feature four other receivers, the most of any position in this class.
The class is ranked 69th by 247sports.com with 13 of 14 verbal commitments being three-star prospects.
UCLA flipped defensive end Christian Burkhalter, a three-star prospect from Alabama, from his commitment to Oregon last week.
Burkhalter will sign his national letter of intent on Wednesday and is one of three defensive ends to make a pledge to the Bruins.
Offensive tackle Thomas Cole of San Luis Obispo is the top high school prospect of the class. He’s expected to enroll early and add depth along an offensive line that has shown improvement during the pandemic-shortened season.
San Jacinto dual-threat quarterback Kajiya Hollawayne is another local recruit who fits the mold that Coach Chip Kelly is looking for on offense.
“We try to recruit in that mode,” Kelly said when talking about the importance of recruiting after backup Chase Griffin was asked to fill in for Dorian Thompson-Robinson on short notice in November. “Our quarterbacks are similar.”
Devin Kirkwood’s decision will be the one to watch locally. The four-star athlete from Serra High of Gardena recently de-committed from UCLA after committing in May.
“There’s a lot of balls in the air,” Kelly told the media on Monday when asked about recent de-commitments. “It is a different recruiting environment now with COVID-19, and kids not being able to take visits.”
Kirkwood still considers UCLA one of his top options, but he could go with USC.
Running back Byron Cardwell from San Diego and wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala of Hawaii are both uncommitted four-star prospects who could sign with the Bruins.
As Kelly alluded to, no in-person recruiting has been allowed since college sports initially shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No visits to high schools, no official visits to campus for the recruits, and no in-home visits, an exercise that was supposed to begin this month.
Instead, college coaches have been spending their time doing virtual meetings with recruits and their families.
Under Kelly, the Bruins’ 2020 class was ranked 33rd in the nation. Their 2019 class ranked 40th.
—– UCLA 2021 VERBAL COMMITS —–
(according to 247Sports.com)
Kam Brown, WR, Texas A&M (Colleyville, Texas)*
Jordan Genmark Heath, S, Notre Dame (San Diego)*
Thomas Cole, OT, San Luis Obispo (San Luis Obispo)
Keontez Lewis, WR, East St. Louis (East Saint Louis, Ill.)
Noah Pulealii, OG, Palma (Salinas)
Christian Burkhalter, WDE, Spanish Fort (Spanish Fort, Ala.)
Isaiah Newcombe, ATH, Casteel (Queen Creek, Ariz.)
Ezavier Staples, WR, Millikan (Long Beach)
Kajiya Hollawayne, QB, San Jacinto (San Jacinto)
DJ Justice, WR, Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills)
Garrett DiGiorgio, OT, Serrano (Phelan)
Benjamin Roy, OC, Liberty (Henderson, Nev.)
Tyler Kiehne, SDE, Los Lunas (Los Lunas, N.M.)
A.J. Campbell, WDE, Copley (Akron, Ohio)
* = incoming transfer