UCLA was mocked in some quarters — particularly cardinal and gold quarters — when in advertisements before the season they said, "The Football Monopoly in Los Angeles if Officially Over"."
They took a big step to make that not so funny to the Trojans with a stunningly good recruiting class — one that includes former USC recruits.
The first words out of Coach Rick Neuheisel's mouth at his post-recruiting news conference were, "Hopefully you all had a good day, I believe UCLA's football program had a great day."
It got better, as L.A. Cathedral wide receiver Randall Carroll announced he would sign with UCLA two hours later. Along with Carson tight end Morrell Presley, that gave the Bruins two players who had been committed to USC.
Nobody thinks UCLA is suddenly a program on par with USC, but this was a big first step in bringing in the talent that can compete.
More importantly, in the ever-important game of perceptions among future recruits, UCLA just made big strides. Scout.com says the Bruins class was the fourth best in the country, while USC’s is seven. If they can start to show promise on the field next season, the next back of recruits may want to be on the up and coming — not the overcrowded — team.