Last Saturday the UCLA Bruins feasted on corn in what was their biggest win in the early Jim Mora Jr. era. While squashing a ranked Nebraska Huskers squad gave the Bruins faithful those warm and fuzzy feelings, there was an event just two days later that garnered another cause for celebration.
Albeit the little brother of the USC Trojans, the Bruins are among the elite in the Pac-12 recruiting arena, and Monday the reputation continued. Kenny Lacy a 6’5″ 270 pound tackle, gave his verbal commitment to Mora, making him the fifth offensive lineman to pledge allegiance to Pasadena.
In just two games into his UCLA tenure, Mora has propelled a dormant program back into the top 25 thanks in large part to a bevy of talent on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Brett Hundley has been stellar, running back Jonathan Franklin is among the nations elite, and tight end Joseph Fauria will likely be a stud on Sundays. Defensive end Datone Jones, leads an athletic line.
Verbals from top skill position players often receive more hype than the next Michael Bay blockbuster. While the practice works for a televised audience or fan base that is into tracking pretty numbers, the future of a program is built in the trenches.
Mora has a chance to make 2012 a special year if he can somehow upset the Trojans. A win November 17 would be huge, but Mora is looking for sustained succes. So far his 2013 class is working toward such a goal.
Lacy has the power to run block with precision, but he also possesses a hoard of athletic ability. On game film, Lacy also gets snaps as on the defensive line displaying quickness and tenacity. The Phoenix product attracted interest from big-time programs all over the nation; USC was not one of them.
What should be noted, (and the Lacy verbal is yet another sign) UCLA is gaining, and Pac-12 schools outside of the Los Angeles metro would be smart to take notice.
James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America
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