After going on a tour of some nearby schools in recent months, ESPN Watch List outside linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) used some free time this week to visit the Los Angeles schools.
And one stood out above the other.
“UCLA is definitely going to be in my top 10. I loved it there,” Allen-Williams said. “At USC, I didn’t really get that feel that I got at UCLA.”
Allen-Williams arrived in town on Monday and dropped by the Bruins’ practice that night. He took in USC’s practice the next afternoon before making a return trip to UCLA on Wednesday morning.
The Bruins, Allen-Williams said, are recruiting him harder.
“At UCLA I got to talk to coach Jim Mora for 35 minutes, while at USC I only got to talk to coach Lane Kiffin for about five,” Allen-Williams said. “Me and coach Tee Martin have a really good relationship, but I didn’t get a chance to talk to the linebackers coach. They want me to play defensive end there and that’s a hard task in the Pac-12. I just didn’t get the feel of being wanted like I got at UCLA.”
UCLA visited Allen-Williams' high school in the days leading up to national signing day, and Mora promised the 6-foot-2, 215-pound prospect that the staff would be swinging by again this spring.
“Coach Mora was telling me how highly he and his staff think of me,” Allen-Williams said. “They said they’re going to come out twice to see me. It’s not an easy flight. It means a lot that out of all of the players in the country, I’m their top linebacker target. That’s a huge honor. I loved it there.”
Allen-Williams, whose aunt lives in the Los Angeles area, didn’t completely eliminate USC from consideration, but said he would likely use one of his official visits next fall on UCLA. He likes the USC campus and tradition, but has established a stronger relationship with the coaching staff across town.
“I’m probably going to narrow it down before the summer,” Allen-Williams said. “I don’t really have a top 10 or anything right now, just a list of schools that I really like. I’m going to trim it down before the summer starts.”