Feb. 6, 2002
LOS ANGELES - Tight end Marcedes Lewis and safeties Eric McNeal and Mike Nixon head the list of 24 high school seniors who have signed letters-of-intent to attend UCLA.
Lewis, who made 44 receptions for 710 yards and 11 touchdowns, and Nixon, who made 109 tackles and eight interceptions, were members of SuperPrep's Elite 50. Lewis was named to the Parade All-America team while Lewis, McNeal and Nixon were selected to PrepStar's Dream Team.
"We are extremely excited about this class of new Bruins," said head coach Bob Toledo. "As I have said before, it usually takes a couple of years to properly assess a recruiting class, but we feel this one has outstanding potential. It is a large class because we had a senior-laden team last year and that enabled us to sign recruits at virtually every position.
"We are particularly pleased with our signings at quarterback, secondary and linebacker - these were real areas of need. Overall, we feel we strengthened the program at virtually every position and we are anxious to get these young men on the practice field.
"In addition to being outstanding players, these recruits are outstanding young men who we feel will represent our university in a first-class manner."
Twenty-one of the new Bruins were named PrepStar All-Americans, including cornerback Jebiaus Brown, linebacker Xavier Burgess, offensive lineman Robert Chai, cornerback Joe Garcia, defensive lineman Kevin Harbour, Lewis, linebacker Justin London, McNeal, kicker Justin Medlock, quarterback Matt Moore, cornerback Idris Moss, defensive lineman C.J. Niusulu, Nixon, tailback Glenn Ohaeri, quarterback Drew Olson, safety Jarrad Page, defensive lineman Thomas Patton, offensive lineman Alex Potasi, wide receiver Antwuan Smith, offensive lineman Elliot Vallejo and linebacker Wesley Walker. PrepStar's All-Region selections include fullback J.D. Groves, tight end J.J. Hair and linebacker Kirby Joseph.
Nine of the new Bruins were selected to SuperPrep's All-America team, including Brown, Lewis, London, McNeal, Moore, Moss, Nixon, Ohaeri and Walker. Burgess, Chai, Garcia, Groves, Hair, Harbour, Medlock, Niusulu, Olson, Page, Patton, Potasi, Smith, Vallejo were named to that magazine's All-Region teams.
Four of the signees -- Lewis, McNeal, Nixon, Olson - were named Tom Lemming All-Americans. Fifteen more new Bruins -- Brown, Burgess, Garcia, Groves, Hair, Harbour, Joseph, London, Moore, Moss, Niusulu, Patton, Potasi, Smith and Walker - were named Lemming all-region choices.
UCLA's class includes 18 members of the Tacoma News Tribune Western 100 -- Brown, Burgess, Chai, Groves, Harbour, Lewis, McNeal, Medlock, Moore, Moss, Niusulu, Nixon, Ohaeri, Olson, Page, Patton, Smith and Walker. UCLA's members of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team members include Burgess, Lewis and McNeal.
In addition, junior college transfers Ryan Boschetti and Patrick Pierre-Louis signed letters-of-intent in December.