- Erik McKinney, RecruitingNation
If you're looking for what a difference a year can make in recruiting, look no further than the UCLA Bruins. On signing day 2014, head coach Jim Mora went full on "Casey at the Bat," taking a vicious swing at a number of high-profile recruits on signing day and coming up empty.
The recruiting class overall was very good, and UCLA did add linebacker Kenny Young on signing day, but Solomon Thomas, Malachi Dupre, Mattrell McGraw, Rashaan Evans and Adoree' Jackson were all ESPN 300 prospects who selected other programs over UCLA in announcements televised on ESPNU. Those announcements came one day after the Bruins lost out on ESPN 300 recruit Budda Baker, and UCLA also missed out on flipping ESPN 300 defensive end Davon Godchaux from LSU, and three-star athlete Kalen Ballage from Arizona State on signing day.
One year later, there was plenty of rejoicing in Mudville -- or Westwood, as it were -- as UCLA went into signing day with the potential for the same elation or disappointment, depending on how televised commitments played out.
The attention UCLA received with the televised commitments helped lift its 2015 recruiting class to a top 15 ranking, much improved over 2014.