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NATIONAL FOOTBALL SIGNINGS

UCLA figures it has a perfect 10

With a wealth of talent returning, Dorrell fills needs with quality instead of quantity.

February 08, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

UCLA expects to return 20 starters and a roster deep with experience next season, which is why the Bruins had a recruiting class of only 10 on Wednesday, the first day high school seniors could sign letters of intent for football.

But, with a group led by the Crenshaw High duo of running back Raymond Carter and defensive lineman Brian Price, UCLA believes it has filled several areas of need.

"We knew that this was going to be a small class for us," Coach Karl Dorrell said. "We had to put some targets on some people early. We landed the guys that we wanted to at the very beginning ... Brian Price and Raymond Carter. Then we followed up with some quality picks that were very important for us to have in this class.

"We have some quality playmakers that are going to make a difference in the future of this program. It's about quality."

Price made 131 tackles, including 15 sacks, for Crenshaw last season. Carter rushed for 893 yards and six touchdowns despite missing several games because of a groin injury.

Los Angeles Verbum Dei High also produced two future Bruins -- defensive end Justin Edison and linebacker Akeem Ayers.

The Bruins also added two to their secondary: Courtney Viney of Fresno Edison and Glenn Love of Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton.

From the San Diego area, UCLA signed quarterback Chris Forcier of St. Augustine and tight end Nate Chandler of Mira Mesa.

The Bruins also added offensive lineman Mike Harris of Duarte High and linebacker Steve Sloan of San Jose Archbishop Mitty.

"This class will be the type of class that will fill in the gaps, help us sustain a level of play," said Dorrell, whose Bruins were 7-6 last season. "It's my best class to date. We've gotten better each and every year."

UCLA had eight seniors last season and had two extra scholarships available because defensive back Robert Kibble (multiple sclerosis) and defensive lineman Chris Johnson (shoulder) left the program for medical reasons.

The Bruins came close to adding another recruit Wednesday, but defensive back Chris Conte of Los Angeles Loyola High, who last month told UCLA coaches that he would sign with them, reversed field and signed with California, the school to which he had given his original commitment.

"He was torn both ways the whole time," Dorrell said, "and he swayed one way at the very end.

"But that's recruiting. It's going to be a battle to the very end and that's how you have to think about it in every sense of the word. That's why you have to continue to recruit until you get the paper across your fax machine. It's a full-term process. You're never done until it's done."

lonnie.white@latimes.com

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

UCLA recruits

*--* Name Pos Ht Wt Hometown (High School) Akeem Ayers DE 6-2 215 Los Angeles (Verbum Dei) Raymond Carter RB 5-11 185 Los Angeles (Crenshaw) Nate Chandler TE 6-5 250 San Diego (Mira Mesa) Justin Edison DE 6-4 220 Los Angeles (Verbum Dei) Chris Forcier QB 6-3 180 Carlsbad (St. Augustine) Mike Harris OG 6-4 305 Duarte Glenn Love Jr. S 6-4 205 Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton) Brian Price DT 6-3 270 Los Angeles (Crenshaw) Steve Sloan LB 6-3 200 San Jose (Archbishop Mitty) Courtney Viney CB 5-10 160 Fresno (Edison)

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