The Bruins’ recruiting circuit was centered around Torrance on Friday night.
Inglewood High School (CA) beat Leuzinger High School (CA) 31-0 on the neutral site, clinching the Ocean League title in the process. Leading the charge for Inglewood were a couple of UCLA football commits and another target set to make his decision within the week.
Those three recruits with Bruin ties made up three quarters of Inglewood’s captains for the game – defensive back Clint Stephens, running back Tomarion Harden and quarterback Justyn Martin. Stephens and Harden are already committed to UCLA, making their verbal decisions back in the spring.
Martin, who was initially committed to Cal before backing out last month, will commit to either UCLA, Ole Miss or Michigan on Oct. 28. Martin led the way with four touchdown passes in the first half Friday, the longest of which went for 54 yards.
In addition to being captains together, the three will also visit UCLA together this weekend.
“I’m super excited because I like going up to the campus,” Stephens said. “There are pretty girls, the dudes are fun on the team, I’ve got a good relationship with the guys on the team already, they’re all nice and everything. And I like seeing the coaches and just being able to bond with them.”
Visiting campus and the Rose Bowl with friends and teammates stands to make the trip even more comfortable for the three SoCal natives, Harden said after Friday’s victory.
“We should have a good time,” Harden said. “Lay back, watch this game and just have fun.”
UCLA will be playing No. 10 Oregon on Saturday with the whole nation watching, as the game is also serving as the host site for ESPN’s College GameDay. Despite not being nearly as highly-ranked as the Ducks, the Bruins actually enter the matchup as the odds-on favorites playing on their home turf.
Both Harden and Stephens said they were looking forward not only to watching the team play, but also joining a program with some real momentum and a gritty mentality.
“I love it.” Harden said. “I can see the improvement in the program and I’m glad that I’m about to be a part of it. It really feels great, it feels like home.”
While Stephens and Harden are already committed to UCLA, Martin’s visit is less of a formality and more of a key piece to the puzzle that is his winding down recruitment.
Martin’s two teammates will surely play a part in trying to reel him in to Westwood alongside them. The only time in the last seven cycles that the Bruins have hauled in a trio of high school classmates was in 2020 with receiver Logan Loya, linebacker JonJon Vaughns and safety Jake Newman of St. John Bosco (CA).
Stephens is a four-star recruit in the 247Sports Composite and ranks No. 280 in the ESPN 300. Harden already boasts great size out of the backfield at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, and is a three-star on 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.
Martin is currently No. 10 on the SI All-American quarterback watch list and is the highest-ranked player at his position who remains uncommitted. The 6-foot-4 signal-caller is a four-star prospect according to 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals.
Ducks Digest Publisher Max Torres contributed to this report