While it was football that got all the attention last week, National Signing Day was not exclusive to just that sport. February 1st was the first day that high school seniors could commit to a school in several sports – cross country, soccer, track and field and men’s water polo. High school seniors in these sports have until August 1st to send in a letter of intent.
There are a few effective differences from football signing day: as ESPN noted in their soccer signing day story, there is not the same rush for players to make a decision and to send in their LOI on signing day itself. Due partly to that fact – as well as the standing of these sports compared to football – there is no listing of commitments on the official site, not yet at least, and as a result the commits that follow were culled from outside sites – national sites such as ESPN’s high school portal, sport specific sites and local sites and blogs covering prep sports – and may not be exhaustive for any or all sports.
Anyone who follows these UCLA sports or the local prep scene that has some thoughts or info on these recruits – or those that I might have missed – please chime in via the comments section.
Juan Cervantes (G – Gardena) ESPN – #34 overall, Top Drawer – #97 overall
Holden Fender (D- Marietta GA) ESPN – #44 overall, Top Drawer – #40 overall
Grady Howe (CMF – Corona del Mar) ESPN – #68 overall,
Cole Nagy (F – Scottsdale AZ) ESPN – #29 overall
Mario Rodriguez (F – North Hollywood) ESPN – #1 overall, Top Drawer – #5 overall
Javan Torre (D – Santa Monica) ESPN – #5 overall, Top Drawer –
I am not BN’s resident soccer expert, but at first glance this looks like a very nice recruiting class headed to Westwood. Despite one-time Bruin commit Marc Pelosi signing a professional contract (and an EPL contract at that) with Liverpool, UCLA has signed 2 of the top 5 collegiate prospects per ESPN, including #1 overall recruit Mario Rodriguez from North Hollywood and Santa Monica’s Javan Torre. Both, as well as fellow Bruin-to-be Grady Howe are part of the LA Galaxy’s academy program. ESPN HS published a short review of UCLA’s commits in a Signing Day story looking at some of the top recruiting classes.
UCLA: The Bruins’ class took an expected hit when early verbal Marc Pelosi signed a professional contract. Still the loss of Pelosi does not kill what figures to be another strong class, led by Mario Rodriguez and Javan Torre, along with Holden Fender, Grady Howe, Cole Nagy and Juan Cervantes.
As ESPN noted in their signing day story, not everybody in this recruiting has necessarily signed an LOI yet. Tim Fairley, a forward from Folsom has been mentioned as a verbal commit, but I have not seen confirmation that he has in fact officially committed to UCLA. Commit lists come from ESPNHS and TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Taylor Alderete (F – Anaheim)
Tayler Dragoo (F – Fullerton) ESPN – #113 overall
Kristiana Konkol-Mroczkowski (F – Malibu) ESPN – #44 overall, Top Drawer – #56 overall
Kodi Lavrusky (F – Yucaipa) ESPN – #31 overall, Top Drawer – #18 overall
Belden Long (D – Santa Rosa, CA)
Taylor Smith (Fort Worth, TX) ESPN – #8 overall, Top Drawer – #4 overall
Cassie Sternbach (G – Calabasas) ESPN – #55 overall, Top Drawer – #96 overall
Madison Tye (CMF – San Rafael, CA)
Coming off of a regular season that ended with a #2 ranking but a disappointing 2nd round exit in the NCAA Tournament, the Bruins have signed a recruiting class that was rated #10 nationally by TopDrawerSoccer and contains several elite players, including a pair that switched their commitments to UCLA as the soccer season concluded – Taylor Smith – from Florida State, and Kodi Lavrusky – from Stanford.
For all of the high school student-athletes that are coming to Westwood over the next few months, whether you are named here or otherwise, welcome to UCLA and GO BRUINS!