The Bruins are officially in contention for one of the best linebackers in Southern California and the nation.
Class of 2023 linebacker Tre Edwards announced his top four finalists Monday afternoon, and UCLA football made the cut. The Mater Dei Catholic (CA) recruit is also considering Arizona, Cal and Oregon, and he said he will make his commitment Friday.
Edwards also had offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Notre Dame, Oregon State, San Diego State, Texas A&M, UNLV and USC.
Edwards came to Westwood over the weekend with six other prospects with offers from UCLA for an official visit.
UCLA Director of Player Personnel Ethan Young tweeted his signature “BOOM!” Monday morning, which he does every time the team receives a verbal commitment. Edwards’ visit had ended just days before Young’s tweet, and it was only a matter of hours before Edwards announced his finalists and his commitment date.
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 this offseason, while San Diego State, Oregon, Arizona, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Nevada, and Utah State sent Edwards bids for the following offseason.
UCLA began officially recruiting Edwards last September under Don Pellum, who sent Edwards his official offer in late January, five weeks before Ken Norton Jr. took over as inside linebackers coach.
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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 had 96 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks and a forced fumble, and also had two touchdown receptions on two offensive catches.
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 be in their fourth year on the program in 2023, leaving the future in the position that lies in the dark behind lone 2022 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 has yet to officially book a visit to Westwood, the Bruins are believed to be among the favorites to lure him in and that momentum could develop further given Edwards’ imminent decision.
If Edwards were to commit to UCLA, he would likely become the third member of coach Chip Kelly’s 2023 recruiting class alongside receiver Grant Gray and linebacker/safety hybrid Ty Lee. However, top running back target Roderick Robinson II will also sign Thursday, so there’s certainly a lot at stake for the Bruins on the recruiting path this week.
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