Life couldn’t be better for Lucas Giolito and Max Fried, the right-handed and left-handed standout pitchers for Studio City Harvard-Westlake.
On Wednesday they will sign letters of intent with UCLA and take a moment to celebrate.
“UCLA is my dream school,” Giolito said. “When I walked on campus, it clicked.”
Said Fried: “Just knowing I have a place going to college and get a great degree and have fun playing baseball under one of the best coaches in America ... “
Yes, UCLA Coach John Savage will be excited knowing that two of the top pitchers in the nation have signed to become Bruins, but the big question is: Will they show up for classes next year?
Giolito is considered a candidate to be the No. 1 draft pick in the nation in June. Fried is a possible first-round draft choice.
The dilemma for any college baseball coach is how much time and effort to invest recruiting a high school player who projects as a top pro prospect. Savage lost three high school signees in August after pro teams shelled out more than $7 million in signing-bonus money. November recruiting classes can suddenly not look so good come September when school begins.
UCLA is also picking up additional top pitchers in Hunter Virant from Camarillo and James Kaprielian from Irvine Beckman, plus versatile outfielder Ty Moore from Santa Ana Mater Dei.
Only time will tell how the Bruins’ recruiting class turns out.
USC is facing a similar waiting situation involving La Puente Bishop Amat standout Rio Ruiz, who’s expected to be a high draft pick. Ruiz may have to delay signing with USC because he took the SAT on Saturday and is waiting for an official score before being cleared to sign.
Dozens of high school seniors throughout Southern California will sign this week in all sports except football, boys’ water polo, track and field, and soccer.
In girls’ basketball, Nirra Fields, a top-20 prospect at Mater Dei, signed with UCLA. Teammate Jordan Adams will sign with USC.
In boys’ basketball, Mater Dei signees will include Xavier Johnson (Colorado) and Katin Reinhardt (Nevada Las Vegas).
Other basketball signees include Windward’s Nicholas Stover (Loyola Marymount), Orange Lutheran’s Gabe York (Arizona), La Verne Lutheran’s Grant Jerrett (Arizona), Los Angeles Price’s Skylar Spencer (San Diego State), North Hollywood Campbell Hall’s Cole Huff (Nevada), Mission Hills Alemany’s Marqueze Coleman (Nevada), La Verne Damien’s Chris Reyes (St. Mary’s) and Harvard-Westlake’s Josh Hearlihy (Utah).
In girls’ diving, UCLA will sign Maggie Denison of Los Angeles Immaculate Heart.
In softball, close to 75 players from the Orange County area are scheduled to sign, including Anaheim Canyon’s Lauren Young (Arizona), Huntington Beach Edison’s Jessica Plaza (Stanford) and Fullerton Troy’s Alexis Bennett (UCLA).