Less than a week removed from offering one of the nation's top long snappers a spot on the roster, the Bruins have reeled in the elite special teamer.
Class of 2023 long snapper Jake Eldridge picked up an offer from UCLA football on June 23, and he verbally committed to the Bruins on Wednesday. The 6-foot-2 recruit out of IMG Academy (FL) took part in a special teams camp in Westwood on June 4 and made the event finals.
Eldridge's only other offer was from Air Force, but he was also being courted by several Power Five programs from across the country.
The Bradenton, Florida, native unofficially visited Miami (FL), Virginia, Notre Dame, Indiana, Northwestern and Baylor, while Cal, Penn State, Oregon, Rutgers and Wisconsin had previously expressed interest in Eldridge.
Assistant special teams coordinator Bailey McElwain was the coach who offered Eldridge last week, and Ikaika Malloe – UCLA's newly-hired outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator – was also involved in courting Eldridge. The current special teams staff had reeled in a few preferred walk-on commits for the 2022 class, but this is their first addition for 2023.
Eldridge sits towards the top of Rubio Long Snapping's rankings for the upcoming recruiting class. In the class of 2023, Eldridge is the No. 2 long snapper in the nation and is one of 14 prospects to earn a five-star rating.
Chris Rubio is a former UCLA long snapper himself, starting three seasons without botching a single snap. Since leaving Westwood in the late 1990s, Rubio has been running the country's premier long-snapping camp, training countless future Division I and NFL prospects.
At the most recent Rubio Long Snapping event, Eldridge made the finals and the top 12 overall.
UCLA’s current long snapper is Jack Landherr IV, but he is heading into his senior year in Westwood and could be gone by the time Eldridge arrives. Landherr, as well as his predecessor Johnny Den Bleyker, were Rubio alumni themselves.