The Bruins are moving on to the next stage with one of the top cornerbacks in California.
Class of 2023 cornerback Aaron Williams announced his top-eight finalists Thursday afternoon, and UCLA football made the cut. Oregon, Ole Miss, USC, Georgia, Penn State, Oklahoma and LSU are the other seven programs who are still in contention.
Williams also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Kansas, Oregon State, UNLV, Utah and Washington State.
Williams earned his offer from UCLA on Sept. 15.
In his seven-game junior season at Centennial (CA), Williams had 32 tackles, two passes defended and 2.0 tackles for loss and four passes defended. In his shortened, three-game sophomore season coming off a torn ACL, Williams posted eight tackles and 1.0 tackle for loss. He entered that campaign as a MaxPreps Preseason Second Team Sophomore All-American.
Senior cornerback Jay Shaw and redshirt sophomore defensive back Kaleb Tuliau went to Centennial as well.
Williams is rated as a four-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite, Rivals and ESPN. The 247Sports Composite gives him the highest ranking among 2023 cornerbacks at No. 12, while ESPN and Rivals have him at No. 17 and No. 18 for his position, respectively.
Rivals has Williams as a top 10 player in California, but the 247Sports Composite and ESPN have him on the outside looking in at No. 12 and No. 13, respectively. Rivals pegs Williams as the No. 1 corner in the state, while the 247Sports Composite has him No. 2 behind fellow UCLA offerree Rodrick Pleasant and ESPN has him No. 2 behind Daylen Austin.
Coach Chip Kelly and his staff have offers out to 17 class of 2023 targets, and five of them are cornerbacks. Between Williams, Pleasant, Cole Martin, Caleb Presley and lone commit Maliki Crawford, UCLA has offered five of the top eight cornerbacks in the West.
The Bruins have a history recruiting at the schools of the remaining three top corners in the region – Daylen Austin of Long Beach Poly (CA), Jshawn Frausto-Ramos of St. John Bosco (CA) and Justyn Rhett of Bishop Gorman (NV).
UCLA does not have a single true cornerback commit in its 2022 recruiting class, although two-way athlete Clint Stephens can play receiver, safety or corner in the future.