Just days after Jeff Faris took the tight ends coach job in Westwood, he has sent out his first scholarship offer to an upcoming prospect.
Mater Dei (CA) class of 2023 tight end Spencer Shannon was on the receiving end of that offer, making him the third player at his position in his class to earn one from UCLA football. The Bruins' staff visited Mater Dei, the 2021 high school national champions, on Thursday, attending the local school's designated evaluation session.
Texas, Tennessee, Cal, Colorado State, Nevada and Northern Arizona were among the other schools at that event. Shannon has yet to receive offers from any of those schools, although the Volunteers have shown interest, but he has reeled offers in from Kansas, Minnesota and Utah State.
The Bruins started officially recruiting Shannon back in September, when Derek Sage was still the tight ends coach in town. Sage left to become the offensive coordinator at Nevada earlier this month, but it appears Faris has kept Shannon on the board by moving forward in his recruitment.
Shannon, playing for a team that produces four and five-star prospects at nearly every position on the regular, has not broken through on the stat sheet through his junior season. The rising high school senior hauled in just three passes last season, but did manage to convert them into 81 yards and a touchdown.
What Shannon does immediately bring to the table, however, is size, measuring in at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds. Shannon is built in the same mold of another Mater Dei tight end UCLA earned a commitment from back in 2019, Mike Martinez.
Like Martinez has been for the Bruins, Shannon projects as a blocking specialist at tight end, and some scouts have even suggested that he will move to offensive tackle somewhere down the line. But with Faris leading Shannon's recruitment and a blueprint for success already in-house in the form of Martinez, it does not seem like UCLA's coaching staff is attempting to recruit him as a lineman just yet.
247Sports and Rivals both have Shannon rated as a three-star prospect. Rivals has Shannon listed as the No. 47 player in California, while 247Sports has him at No. 113 in the state and No. 38 at his position.
Greg Dulcich departed from the Bruins' tight end group earlier this offseason in order to pursue a spot in the NFL, while returners Martinez and Michael Ezeike will likely have burned through their eligibility by the time the 2023 recruiting class enrolls.
The pair of consensus four-star 2022 recruits, Jack Pedersen and Carsen Ryan, will likely be the leading men of the position group by that point, but neither have the size and blocking prowess as Shannon.
Duce Robinson and Walker Lyons – who are five and four-star recruits, respectively – are the other two tight ends UCLA has sent offers out to for the 2023 class, but both of those relationships were fostered by Sage. It remains to be seen how Sage's departure affects the Bruins' chance with those two highly-rated prospects, but as seen in Shannon, Faris seems happy to pick up where his predecessor left off on the recruiting trail.