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UCLA Football Set to Host Third Straight Week of Major Official Visits, May 20-22

Six in-state recruits will be coming to Westwood to tour the team's facilities and campus and the Bruins try to bulk up their 2023 class.

The Bruins will be hosting their largest group of class of 2023 prospects so far this month.

UCLA football has invited offensive lineman Luke Baklenko, cornerback Maliki Crawford, linebacker Tre Edwards, offensive tackle Elishah Jackett, athlete Ethan O’Connor and offensive lineman Raymond Pulido to Westwood for its third straight weekend of official visits since the end of spring camp. The Bruins have two prospects committed for 2023, with wide receiver Grant Gray and safety Ty Lee recently pledging to the Bruins, so coach Chip Kelly’s staff is still trying to round out the class.

All six recruits hold offers from UCLA, but Jackett is the only one who has cemented the blue and gold as one of his semifinalists, making the cut as one of his top five schools as announced on May 12.

Offensive line coach Tim Drevno has been spearheading the efforts behind Baklenko, Jackett and Pulido’s recruitments, whileCrawford and O’Connor have been in contact with defensive backs coach Brian Norwood. Edwards, on the other hand, has been primarily recruited by inside linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr.

Here is where UCLA currently stands with the recruits visiting Westwood from May 20-22.

OL Luke Baklenko

The Bruins were the second team to offer the Southern California native on Jan. 31 and have been trying to secure his commitment ever since. However, UCLA faces steep competition from Boston College – which has an official visit booked for Baklenko on June 10 – and a wide host of West Coast programs.

According to the 247Sports Composite, the Oaks Christian (CA) junior is a three-star prospect, coming in as the No. 67 offensive lineman in the class of 2023 and California’s No. 67 player overall.

Baklenko has visited Westwood a few times already and chatted with players on the team during those unofficial visits, but May 20-22 will be his first official visit of 2022.

UCLA does not have an offensive line commit for 2023, so if the visit goes well, the 6-foot-7 blocker could be the first.

CB Maliki Crawford

Crawford decommitted from UCLA back on Jan. 23 after initially committing last summer, but the Oxnard native is coming back to Westwood as he reconsiders his recruitment.

The Bruins have stayed in contention for Crawford ever since he opened things back up, as he announced from the beginning that he would still hold UCLA up as a top destination for his future. The 6-foot-3 Pacifica (CA) defensive back recently came to Westwood for an unofficial on April 13 and has routinely posted graphics sent to him from the Bruins’ recruiting staff on social media throughout the offseason.

After stopping by Westwood, there are three more visits on the schedule for Crawford. He will be at Cal on June 10, USC on June 16 and Washington on June 24.

Crawford is a three-star prospect and the No. 44 cornerback in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite, while also being the No. 26 player in California and No. 3 uncommitted corner in the state.

LB Tre Edwards

UCLA sent Edwards his most recent offer on Jan. 29, and now the Bruins will also be the first team to host the Mater Dei (CA) linebacker for an official visit.

The 247Sports Composite has Edwards pegged as a four-star recruit, slotting him in as the No. 12 linebacker in the country and the No. 14 player in California, making this Norton’s first high-profile recruitment battle. With Mater Dei, Edwards won a Division 2-AA State Championship in his junior season, bursting onto the scene as one of the top defensive players in Southern California.

Former UCLA defensive line coach Johnny Nansen is leading the charge for Arizona as their new defensive coordinator, and the Wildcats have supposedly emerged as a program that may also be in the thick of Edwards recruitment.

However, in an interview with 247Sports, Edwards talked about Norton taking over his recruitment and his unofficial visits to Westwood.

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“That’s pretty big having Ken Norton there,” Edwards said. “He’s been (at) the highest level as a player and as a coach. Having an opportunity to learn from someone like that is huge and whatever he’s teaching you, you know it’s true since he’s been there and done that already.”

OT Elishah Jackett

Fresh off of narrowing his list of options to five schools – Cal, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, UCLA and Washington – Jackett is at a new stage in his recruitment and the Bruins are trying to get out in front of future visits the 6-foot-7 tackle has planned.

Jackett is visiting Cal and Washington on June 3 and 24, respectively, but regarding the pair of Southern schools, he still has not set a date for an official visit.

According to the 247Sports Composite, the El Modena (CA) junior is a three-star prospect, the No. 31 offensive tackle in the nation and is ranked as the No. 28 player in California overall.

Like fellow offensive line recruits Baklenko and Pulido, the hefty blockers could become the first commits from their positions in UCLA’s 2023 recruiting class after only bringing in one player up front in the 2022 cycle.

ATH Ethan O’Connor

Since Norwood was the assistant who offered O’Connor, the Bruins appear to be targeting the two-way prospect primarily as a defensive back despite his additional experience as a receiver.

The junior holds offers from top college football programs such as Alabama and Georgia, as well as West Coast powerhouses such as Oregon and USC. The May 20 visit will be his first of the official variety and could help UCLA make a big first impression on the 2023 recruit.

O’Connor is a three-star prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite. On the service, the Los Alamitos High School (CA) utility player is the No. 35 athlete in the nation and the No. 32 player in California.

When discussing his official visit plans with 247Sports, O’Connor spoke about how he felt about Westwood and the Bruins.

“I like the staff a lot and I’m very comfortable with coach Norwood and coach Kelly,” O’Connor said. “I’m looking for a family feel and I definitely have that at UCLA.”

OL Raymond Pulido

Pulido’s recruitment appears to be a two-horse race at the moment, with Louisville and UCLA standing as the major players in securing the 6-foot-6, 360-pound lineman’s commitment.

After this weekend’s visit to Westwood, the St. John Bosco (CA) junior is going to head east to Louisville on June 17 for his second official visit. On the unofficial visit side of the equation, Pulido is set to visit Alabama, Tennessee and Ole Miss from June 7-11.

The 247Sports Composite has Pulido pegged as a three-star recruit, slotting him in as the No. 70 offensive lineman in the country and the No. 68 player in California.

In an interview with 247Sports, the Apple Valley native spoke about his relationship with current Bruins left tackle Garrett DiGiorgio and what he is looking forward to in Westwood.

“UCLA is one of the schools recruiting me the hardest for sure,” Pulido said. “I have a great relationship with coach Drevno and Chip Kelly and loved my recent visit there. It’s an amazing place and I love the academic and football fit.

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