The Bruins have landed a new centerpiece for their future linebacking corps.
Class of 2023 linebacker Tre Edwards made a verbal commitment to UCLA football on Friday, he announced on Instagram Live. Catholic rookie Mater Dei (CA) had his official visit with the Bruins over the weekend — the only one he’s booked with any school — and it apparently left enough of a mark on him to choose blue and gold over Arizona, California and Oregon. .
Edwards is the fourth player to join coach Chip Kelly’s recruiting class of 2023, with wide receiver Grant Gray, safety/linebacker hybrid Ty Lee and running back Roderick Robinson II being the top three. Robinson committed to UCLA on Thursday, and the top running back in the state comes from the San Diego area, as does Edwards.
Between Edwards and Lee, new inside linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr. was the driving force behind two of those engagements, and he may not be done yet. Norton made offers to six other linebackers, several of whom came on state visits the week before Edwards.
There were several signs that Edwards was committed to the Bruins, as he had just completed an official visit to Westwood when he announced his final four and his decision date. UCLA Director of Player Personnel Ethan Young also tweeted his signature “BOOM!” hours earlier, meaning the program had received a verbal commitment.
When Friday rolled around, however, Edwards tagged Oregon football in his Instagram bio. Edwards also archived all of her posts in addition to her last four announcements and photos from her official visit to Eugene. Those last-second moves appear to have been a red herring, though, and he’s tied to Westwood after all.
Edwards’ first offers came rushing after his first season with the Crusaders, when he was named 2019 Freshman All-American by MaxPreps. USC, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, Illinois, UNLV, Cal and Arkansas have all offered offers this offseason, while San Diego State, Oregon, Arizona, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Nevada and Utah State have sent offers to Edwards since .
UCLA began its official recruiting of Edwards last September under Don Pellum, who sent his official offer to Edwards in late January five weeks before Norton took over.
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Edwards is a consensus four-star prospect and is ranked the best inside linebacker in California by the 247Sports Composite and ESPN. Rivals is the highest on Edwards, ranking him No. 137 overall in his class and No. 6 in his standing, and all three systems rank him among the top 15 linebackers in the nation and the top 20 players in California.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker played in 11 of Mater Dei Catholic’s 13 games in 2021, helping them finish undefeated and win the CIF Division 2AA state championship. Edwards managed to rack up 96 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and one forced fumble, also notching two touchdown receptions on two catches on offense.
While Edwards’ career record in tackles remains the 103 he recorded as a rookie, he made major leaps forward as a pass thrower and rush rusher in 2021, earning a spot in the MaxPreps California All-State team in the process.
Hawaii transfer Darius Muasau, Ale Kaho, Kain Medrano are in line to be the top contributors to UCLA’s two inside linebacker spots in 2022, but Kaho is likely to leave next offseason and Muasau and Medrano will likely be finished after 2023. Even depth plays from JonJon Vaughns, Damian Sellers, Jeremiah Trojan and Choe Bryant-Strother will be in their fourth year on the program in 2023, leaving the future murky at the post after lone 2022 signee Jalen Woods.
UCLA is also in pursuit of Edwards’ Catholic Mater Dei teammate and four-star rookie wide receiver Jeremiah McClure. While McClure has yet to officially book a visit to Westwood, the Bruins are considered one of the favorites to bring him back – and that was before they made his schoolmate’s commitment.
With Edwards’ commitment, UCLA moved from No. 49 to No. 40 in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings for the Class of 2023.
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