Mique Juarez is staying in his home state for college. The North Torrance (Calif.) High standout announced on National Signing Day that he’s headed to UCLA.
Juarez chose the the Bruins after identifying UCLA and Ole Miss as his top two last month. However, he raved about his recent visit to Alabama and took his final trip to BYU. Ultimately, neither the Rebels nor those two other schools could convince him to move away from the West Coast. The No. 1 outside linebacker and No. 8 player in the class of 2016, Juarez committed to USC last January but elected to reopen his recruitment in October, after the school fired former coach Steve Sarkisian. He had since been referred to as a UCLA “lean”. That characterization proved prescient.
As a senior at North Torrance, Juarez recorded 23 passing touchdowns and 36 rushing touchdowns while playing quarterback on offense, and tallied 146 tackles plus five sacks on the other side of the ball, according to the Los Angeles Times. Scout.com notes that Juarez is “one of those rare athletes that could probably just about any position on the field and be very good at it,” and adds that he “plays on the edge and is one of those players you just never feel comfortable playing against. He's an extremely physical player who loves to hit and plays with a ton of emotion.”