Soso Jamabo, the second-ranked running back nationally, according to the 247 Sports Composite, announced on ESPNU that he's headed to UCLA and not Texas in 2015. A five-star and the 32nd-ranked player nationally, Jamabo has a 0.9854 rating on the 247Sports composite scale.
Texas and UCLA were listed as the finalists in the running for Jamabo, though he also took an official visit to Notre Dame. The Longhorns got the final official visit on Jan. 23, but the Bruins were the favorite. (He also joked on TV that he's deciding between ITT Tech and the University of Phoenix.)
"It looks as if longtime favorite UCLA surged over the weekend, with a Monday report emerging that Jamabo had also told the Texas staff he's headed to another school," said Wescott Eberts before the announcement. "The Bruins the only other option, he's expected to ink with head coach Jim Mora's program."
Jamabo has an impressive combination of size and speed. He runs a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, and stands at 6'2.5 and 210 pounds. A native of Plano, Texas, Jamabo received considerable interest in Texas schools, also holding offers from Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor. He received high-profile offers from all over the country, including Alabama, Oregon, Michigan and Ohio State.
Jamabo broke out as a senior, rushing for 2,279 yards on 234 carries (9.74 yards per carry) and 44 touchdowns. He also finished with 16 receptions for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers helped him make USA Today's First-Team All-America team and receive an invitation to 2015 Under Armour All-America Game.
While Jamabo has been a star running back in college, he has the ability to switch to defensive end, as Eberts wrote in a scouting report:
"The obvious question looking at Jamabo is whether he will be able to stay at the running back position in college, as he's well on the tall side of the spectrum for a running back, prompting ESPN to classify him as an athlete. Adding to that belief is the fact that his long, lean frame appears capable of holding 30 more pounds, a weight that would put him into the range of defensive ends.
"To some extent then, his ability to stay at running back in college will depend on where his body takes him.
"There are certainly a handful of skills he possesses that would allow him to stay at the position. Jamabo has a leaping slide cut that allows him to break diving arm tackles in the open field, turning medium-length gains into monster plays. He also has nice lateral movement that allows him to quickly bounce runs outside the tackles, where he seems the most comfortable. Finally, a jump cut gives him some elusiveness in the backfield and is impressive for his size."