The Bruins had one of their top targets shuffle up his top five finalists, and they managed to stay put as one of the leaders in his recruitment.
Class of 2023 offensive tackle Elishah Jackett publicly announced his top five on Thursday, and UCLA football is one of the final contenders. The El Modena High School (CA) product is also considering Washington, Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Cal as his other top options.
Jackett told 247Sports in March that his top five was UCLA, Washington, USC, Texas A&M and Texas, but he appears to have subbed the Trojans and Longhorns out for the Rebels and Golden Bears. San Diego State, Rice, Arizona State, Arizona, Oregon State, Kansas, Washington State and UNLV also have offers out to Jackett.
Jackett had unofficial visits to both Cal and Ole Miss in April, getting the chance to watch the Rebels' spring game down in Oxford at the end of the month. The Golden Bears' offensive line coach is Angus McClure, who was the Bruins' offensive line coach from 2007 to 2011 and their defensive line coach from 2012 to 2017.
New offensive line coach Tim Drevno took over recruiting Jackett after replacing Justin Frye earlier in the offseason, and he offered the Orange County prospect on Feb. 28. While Jackett has not taken an unofficial to Westwood yet, he has an official scheduled for May 20 before heading back to Berkeley on June 3 and Washington on June 24.
The 6-foot-7 Jackett made a leap in 2021, and his recruitment saw a quick spike as a result. USC and San Diego State had been in touch through most of the fall, but Jackett did not have an offer until November.
Once those two schools hopped on board, Rice was not far behind, and nearly a dozen more programs have offered Jackett since the end of his junior season.
Jackett weighed in at 250 pounds at the Under Armour All-American camp in early March, but he is reportedly up near 270 pounds over two months later. Jackett still has ample room to add weight at his height, though, and he has shown in games and at camps that his length and foot quickness make him an intriguing prospect as is.
247Sports, Rivals and On3 all have Jackett pegged as a three-star recruit, while ESPN has him at four stars. In the 247Sports Composite, Jackett is the No. 28 recruit in California, the No. 31 tackle in the country and the No. 432 overall prospect in his class.
UCLA is facing a lot of turnover at offensive tackle heading into 2022, with Sean Rhyan going to the Green Bay Packers in the NFL Draft and Alec Anderson signing with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent. The Bruins were therefore left with redshirt freshman Garrett DiGiorgio and career special teamer Josh Carlin heading into spring camp, leading to the staff bringing Tyler Manoa over from the defensive line.
Rutgers transfer Raiqwon O'Neal, Oregon transfer Jaylan Jeffers and incoming freshman Sam Yoon will join the position group in the fall, but none were available for spring ball. Without a blue chip like Rhyan or a veteran like Anderson in the fold, there are bound to be some major position battles at both tackle spots in 2022 and 2023.
Offensive tackle is one of Drevno and coach Chip Kelly's most heavily-targeted position groups in the 2023 recruiting class, with seven offers currently sent out to non-committed prospects.
The Bruins already hosted Elijah Paige and Heath Ozaeta for official visits earlier in the month, while St. John Bosco (CA) tackle Raymond Pulido and Oaks Christian (CA) lineman Luke Baklenko will be visiting Westwood alongside Jackett on May 20.