The Bruins have snagged a new centerpiece for their future linebacker corps.
Class of 2023 linebacker Tre Edwards verbally committed to UCLA football Friday, he announced on Instagram Live. The Mater Dei Catholic (CA) recruit had his official visit with the Bruins over the weekend – the only one he’d booked with a school – and it apparently made enough of a mark to sweep the blue and gold across Arizona, Cal and Oregon Select .
Edwards is the fourth player to join coach Chip Kelly’s 2023 recruit class, with wide receiver Grant Gray, safety/linebacker hybrid Ty Lee and running back Roderick Robinson II making the top three. Robinson signed from UCLA Thursday, and the state’s top running back hails 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 commitments, and he may not be done yet. Norton has made offers to six other linebackers, some of whom came for official visits the week before Edwards.
Several signs pointed to Edwards committing to the Bruins, having just returned from an official visit to Westwood when he announced his last four and decision date. Ethan Young, UCLA’s Director of Player Personnel, also tweeted his signature “BOOM!” a few hours earlier, meaning the program had received a verbal commitment.
When Friday came, Edwards tagged Oregon Football in his Instagram bio. Edwards also archived all of his posts alongside his last four announcements and photos from his official visit to Eugene. However, those last-second moves appear to have been a red herring and he is eventually tied to Westwood.
Edward’s first offers came after his freshman season with the Crusaders when he was named a 2019 Freshman All-American by MaxPreps. USC, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, Illinois, UNLV, Cal and Arkansas all bid that offseason, while San Diego State, Oregon, Arizona, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Nevada and Utah State have since submitted Edwards bids .
UCLA began officially recruiting Edwards last September under Don Pellum, who delivered his official offer to Edwards in late January, five weeks before Norton’s acquisition.
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Edwards is a consensus four-star prospect and is ranked the top inside linebacker in California by 247Sports Composite and ESPN. Rivals is the highest at Edwards, ranking him 137th in his class and 6th at his position, and all three systems have ranked him as the nation’s top 15 linebacker and California’s top 20 player.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound linebacker played in 11 of Mater Dei Catholic’s 13 games in 2021, helping them go unbeaten and win the CIF Division 2AA State Championship. Edwards was able to accumulate 96 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and one forced fumble, and also had two touchdown receptions on two catches on offense.
While Edward’s career in tackles remains the 103 he recorded as a freshman, he made great strides in 2021 as a pass rusher and run stuffer, earning a spot on the MaxPreps California All-State team in the process.
Hawaii transfer Darius Muasau, Ale Kaho and Kain Medrano will be the main players in UCLA’s two inside linebacker spots in 2022, but Kaho is likely to leave in the next offseason and Muasau and Medrano are likely to be finished after 2023. Even the depths of JonJon Vaughns, Damian Sellers, Jeremiah Trojan and Choe Bryant-Strother will enter their fourth year on the program in 2023, leaving the future in the dark at the position of 2022’s last lone signee, Jalen Woods.
UCLA is also on the hunt for Edwards’ Catholic Mater Dei teammate and fellow four-star wide receiver Jeremiah McClure. While McClure is still officially booked to visit Westwood, the Bruins are believed to be one of the favorites to lure him in – and that was before they picked up a signing from his classmate.
Edwards’ engagement moved UCLA from 49th to 40th in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings for the Class of 2023.
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