Jerzy Siewierski, a defensive tackle at Reed High of Sparks, Nev., watched UCLA dismantle Oklahoma on Saturday, then discussed his college options with his mom. When it came to the Bruins, he found only positives, with the final piece being the 41-24 beating of the Sooners. To him, it meant UCLA was back in the college football spotlight, and the following day gave a non-binding oral commitment to coach Karl Dorrell. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “When they beat (Oklahoma), that shows the program has made a complete turnaround, that (UCLA) is someone to look out for, and it definitely means a lot to me.” said Poly High receiver Terrence Austin, adding that UCLA leads Notre Dame for his commitment. “That’s a big thing for me because they’re on the rise, they’re coming up, and it shows me that if I did chose that program, then I will be in that situation with the possibility of winning a national championship.” The biggest win of Dorrell’s three-year tenure catapulted UCLA into the top 25 for the first time in nearly three years. And in the landscape of college football, where the Big 12 Conference is known for its brawn, and the Pacific-10 for its beauty, that No. 25 UCLA (3-0) played the more physical game was as a surprise. Crenshaw’s Darian Hagan Jr., rated the No. 5 safety in the country, said UCLA’s win “helps a great deal’ in making a decision. C.J. Gable, rated the No. 5 running back, said USC remains his leader, but after nearly ruling out the Bruins, he re-opened his recruitment with UCLA. And Siewierski, the No. 2-rated player in Nevada by rivals.com, isn’t the only one of UCLA’s recruiting targets to place a great bit of emphasis on the Bruins easily defeating a program with Oklahoma’s pedigree. In fact, 10 of UCLA’s high-profile, non-committed targets for the 2006 class, each said it was imperative to see the Bruins win such a game, and prove Dorrell’s model for rebuilding is working. “At first I didn’t even look at UCLA because they weren’t that good, but now they’re having a good recruiting year, and they’re undefeated,” Gable said. “I was impressed (with) how good they played. First, I thought they would have a losing season, but now they’re doing real good. I didn’t think they’d be that good.” Much of recruiting is about perception, and it’s been a while since the Bruins post a victory that caused such a stir. UCLA’s staff, led by Dorrell and recruiting coordinator Eric Bieniemy, already put together a strong recruiting class, led by five offensive linemen, before the season began. But now some of the most high-profile players in Southern California are taking an extended look at the program. Allen Bradford, the No. 1 linebacker in the country, said he was impressed by the win. “I think they needed that win,” said Bradford, who added speculation of him being earmarked for USC is not true. “I think it’s important for them to win that game, and to have the points that they scored. I think it’s very important.” Oklahoma is not the caliber of team it was the last two years, when quarterback Jason White led the Sooners to back-to-back appearances in the BCS championship game. But the school’s impressive legacy sticks in the minds of recruits. “I knew (UCLA) was a program on the rise, but that was obviously a huge win for them,” said Konrad Reuland, the No. 1 tight end in the nation. “I have a feeling just from watching them play, that they can keep it going. That is very important to me because I want to play somewhere for a championship. “I always liked Notre Dame, and (UCLA) was still on my list of schools even before the game, but it definitely showed me a lot. It was definitely a positive.” An issue that is much closer to resolution after the victory is Dorrell’s status. In the vicious world of recruiting, coaches from other schools would bring up Dorrell’s security, several recruits said. He entered the season with a 13-14 mark, and was coming off a bowl loss to Wyoming. Reuland’s teammate, running back Chane Moline, who is the No. 5 fullback in the nation, said that is no longer an issue. “I knew they weren’t doing so hot, and I knew Dorrell had to turn it (around) pretty soon or he was going to lose his job,” Moline said. “I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon now.” Moline considers himself a “soft’ commitment to for the Bruins he plans to take official visits to UCLA, Utah and Mississippi but added “I did not make any kind of commitment’ to the coaching staff. However, the Bruins are his leader, and could be tough to beat, especially since his brothers, starting defensive tackle Chase and walk-on linebacker Chad, play for UCLA. Among the recruits attending the Oklahoma game were Moline, Reuland, linebacker Jonathan Cornell, Hagan Jr., and defensive end Jeff Miller, who said he came away impressed by the atmosphere. Miller lists UCLA, Oklahoma and Oregon as his top three schools. “It was cool to really see how into it the fans really are, and the atmosphere they play in, and how excited they get on the sidelines,” said Miller, the No. 18 defensive end. “It seemed like everyone was into it. It was definitely more than I thought.” UCLA has 16 non-binding oral commitments, but long-snapper Christian Yount will not enter school until January 2007, so will not count against the 2006 class. It gives UCLA, at this time, five more scholarships to fill before reaching the NCAA limit of 85, but that number could rise via offseason attrition. According to NCAA rules, coaches are not allowed to talk about recruits until receiving a signed national letter of intent. Signing day takes place in February. However, Bieniemy, in his first year as recruiting coordinator, said feedback has been strong from high school seniors. “When you’re doing what we’re doing, kids tend to pay more attention to you,” Bieniemy said. “So right now we just have to keep riding this wave, and keep doing our job of preparing our kids and getting them to play well on Saturday, because it’s paying off in the end. “When you have such big victories, it does show that our program is heading in the right direction. I know there were some kids, probably across the country sitting around, saying, /\x27/Well, we just want to wait and see how UCLA is going to perform.” So right now we’re off to a good start. The key is maintaining the level of play, and also keep convincing prospects around the country that, /\x27/Hey, UCLA is the place you need to be. ‘ ‘ 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!