In early October, I wrote an article wondering what in the heck Chip Kelly was doing on the recruiting trail at UCLA. Were they just being picky? Lazy? Were they waiting for something? Did they not want to get their hands dirty in the recruiting game? That original is included at the bottom of this one.
Since then, the Bruins have added six prospects, including a four-star, moving them all the way up to … 49th nationally as of the morning of December 20th, or right after most Division I players have already signed.
Some caveats do apply. UCLA still has room to make up ground. The traditional National Signing Day is still six weeks away, and the Bruins still have some targets on the board.
But this does appear to be a terrible start on this recruiting trail for UCLA and Chip Kelly. UCLA signed one high school player in the top 400 nationally. One.
UCLA was too picky. Offering 76 players, the second fewest in the nation, is simply not a good strategy.
That is only two more than Stanford, a program which is limited in the offers it can throw out due to what are likely the toughest academic standards in FBS football. UCLA is a good school, but it doesn’t have the academic restrictions that Stanford has.
Even doubling the number of offers UCLA threw out would still have it in the bottom sixth of the Power 5; 76 is a laughable number.