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UCLA Football Sends Offer to Top Local Defensive Back Zabien Brown

One of the top cornerbacks in the country is now being pursued by the Bruins along with USC, Alabama, Notre Dame and Michigan.

The Bruins are continuing to build out their future recruiting board with the best prospects Southern California has to offer.

Class of 2024 cornerback Zabien Brown picked up an offer from UCLA football on Sunday, he announced on Twitter. Brown is coming off a star sophomore season with Mater Dei (CA), but his recruitment has been red hot since his freshman year. 

Brown was offered by UNLV, FIU, Oregon State, Michigan and USC before he ever played a game for the Monarchs, and Penn State wasn't far behind. Last summer, he earned offers from Georgia and Alabama before adding one from Boston College midseason.

This offseason, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Utah, Cal, Oregon and now UCLA have jumped on board in recruiting Brown.

After appearing at the ESPN300 Elite Underclassmen Camp in 2021 and earning a spot on the All-Trinity League 2nd Team Defense as a freshman, Brown was named to MaxPreps' Preseason Sophomore All-America Team. Brown made good on that preemptive honor by making MaxPreps' official Sophomore All-America Team by year's end.

Brown put up 23 tackles, 1.0 tackle for loss, three interceptions and five passes defended in the fall 2021 campaign for the undefeated Mater Dei, which has produced UCLA defensive backs Quentin Lake and William Nimmo III and tight end Mike Martinez, as well as over a dozen NFL players.

Mater Dei has a more concrete history of sending players to USC, but there is still a long runway ahead in the recruitment of the 6-foot-1 cornerback from Los Alamitos. UCLA has also sent offers to Mater Dei's starting quarterback Elijah Brown and their starting offensive tackles DeAndre Carter and Brandon Baker.

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Brown is a four-star recruit, according to 247Sports and Rivals. In the 247Sports Composite, Brown is the No. 11 player in California, the No. 10 cornerback in the country and the No. 91 overall prospect in his class.

UCLA's cornerback room is facing a lot of turnover heading into 2022, having already lost three starters in Obi Eboh, Cameron Johnson and Jay Shaw. Meanwhile, Devin Kirkwood might leave for the NFL after the 2023 campaign, and Jaylin Davies and John Humphrey could be in their final years with the program come 2024 without a single 2022 or 2023 commit to succeed them.

Defensive backs coach Brian Norwood has now doled out two offers to 2024 cornerbacks, having just made one to St. John Bosco (CA) product Marcelles Williams on May 12. The two Los Angeles-based corners are the consensus top-two players at their position in the state.

As a whole, coach Chip Kelly's staff has made 12 offers to 2024 prospects, just four of which play on the defensive side of the ball. Of those dozen, four are five-stars in the 247Sports Composite and eight are four-stars. Two-thirds of them are from California, and all but two are from the West region.

UCLA had 21 players enter the transfer portal this season, and 13 of them were out-of-state recruits coming out of high school. However, the Bruins signed 11 commits in the 2022 cycle and 10 of them were from California.

The trend towards focusing on local targets is apparently continuing into 2024, and Brown became the latest beneficiary of that with the offer he reeled in over the weekend.

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