Rather than waiting for him to break out, the Bruins are getting in on the ground floor for one of the top signal-callers in Southern California.
Class of 2024 quarterback Elijah Brown received a scholarship offer from UCLA football on Friday, he announced on Twitter. Brown is the first class of 2024 prospect coach Chip Kelly and his staff have extended an offer to.
Brown is also sitting on offers from Arizona, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, USC, Utah and Colorado State.
As the starting quarterback at Mater Dei (CA), Brown has already had to deal with filling the shoes of JT Daniels and Bryce Young. It didn't take long for him to make the most of the spotlight, though, as he led the Monarchs to the high school national championship as a sophomore this past fall.
Brown racked up 30 touchdowns and 2,581 yards on 74.1% completion, while also rushing for another two scores, in 2021. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound quarterback still has two years of high school left to play, and he is already considered one of the best at his position in the entire region.
SI All-American named Brown its "Freak of the Week" on Oct. 5, crediting him for his five touchdowns and 263 yards in No. 1 Mater Dei's win over No. 2 St. John Bosco (CA).
247Sports and Rivals both have Brown pegged as a four-star recruit, and the former currently has his ranked as the No. 4 quarterback in his class. Mater Dei hosted an evaluation session Thursday, and UCLA's staff was in attendance along with coaches from Texas, Tennessee, Colorado State, Cal, Nevada and Northern Arizona.
There are nearly two full years left in Brown's recruitment, and many more high-profile programs are expected to join the fray in the meantime.
UCLA will finally be losing Dorian Thompson-Robinson after the 2022 season, and top 2022 recruit Justyn Martin will be fighting for the starting job with former Washington transfer Ethan Garbers in 2023. Come 2024, Garbers will still have eligibility and Martin will likely be a redshirt sophomore, so the Bruins will have multiple options at quarterback even before they get Brown or another 2024 prospect to commit.
Brown is the first 2024 player at any position to get an offer from UCLA, but two consensus top-five quarterbacks in the class of 2023 – Nicholaus Iamaleava and Jaden Rashada – secured offers from Kelly's staff last month.
The quarterback position in Westwood has been steady for the better part of four years with Thompson-Robinson holding down the starting job. Change is just around the corner, though, and with Kelly now under contract through 2025, he is actively looking for his next partner-in-crime at the quarterback position.