And so it begins. UCLA landed its all-important first prospect from Class of 2014 on Friday when highly-touted Barry Ware committed. Days earlier, mind you, the Bruins decided to put a scholarship offer on the table for the 6-foot-3 and 190-pound wide receiver from Corona (CA) Centennial.
The timing's announcement could not be better. For both sides, apparently. Securing a pledge is a step in the right direction for UCLA. Ware, after all, is one of the nation's premier players. And with the decision made, he figures to be a bit more focused, without potential recruiting distractions.
In the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Ware is the country's No. 10 player at his position. He compares favorably to counterparts such as Drake Harris of Grand Rapids (MI) Grand Rapids Christian, Michiah Quick from Fresno (CA) Central East, as well as KD Cannon from Mount Pleasant (TX).
Now that they have Ware in the mix, the Bruins will most likely turn their attention toward luring other wide receiver targets to Westwood, including Malachi Dupre of New Orleans (LA) John Curtis, Mark Andrews of Scottsdale (AZ) Desert Mountain and Jalen Brown of Phoenix (AZ) Mountain Pointe.
Before the decision to commit, Ware was receiving some interest from Pac-12 Conference programs Cal, Oregon and USC. Each of those in the aforementioned group did not offer him though.
The Bruins, on the other, had a scholarship waiting for Ware. It proved to be too good of an opportunity to pass up. As a result, UCLA is on the board with its first commit from the Class of 2014.
Sean Ceglinsky has covered prep and college sports on the West Coast for the better part of the past 15-plus years. Follow him on twitter: @SeanCeglinsky