It's official: UCLA is All-Madden

Perhaps the more appropriate and far less confusing way to put it is, Madden Iamaleava, the 11th ranked quarterback in the recruiting class of 2025, will be joining head coach Deshaun Foster and the UCLA football program. Iamaleava, who fielded offers from UCLA's former Pac-12 foes such as Colorado, Arizona, California and Washington, as well as traditional powers such as Miami FL, TCU, Ole Miss, Auburn, and Tennessee, made it sound like the decision to stay close to home — Iamaleava grew up only fifteen miles from UCLA's campus — was a no-brainer.

“UCLA was my childhood favorite school,” Madden Iamaleava told Greg Biggins of 247Sports (h/t Blair Angulo of 247Sports). “I love the new staff and fit the offense really well. Eric Bieniemy recruited me really hard and spent a lot of time with me getting to know me as a person, not just as a QB. He's a great offensive mind and someone I know I can learn a lot from. He's worked with some great QBs in the past and I think he can help me get to the next level and that's always the dream.”

If that name sounds familiar — Iamaleava that is, not Madden — it's because Madden's older brother, Nico Iamaleava, will be entering the 2024 season as the starter at the University of Tennessee after leading the Vols to a Citrus Bowl win over Iowa in what was his first collegiate start this past January. Nico was named MVP of the game, throwing for 151 yards and 1 touchdown while adding three more scores with his legs against a short-handed Hawkeyes defense that had stifled opponents all season.

Madden Iamaleava making a throw under pressure

How does Madden Iamaleava compare to Nico Iamaleava?

When Nico Iamaleava committed to the University of Tennessee in the spring of 2023, he did so as a five-star recruit and the #2 player in the country according to 247Sports rankings. He was compared to Justin Herbert and had already been touted as a potential 1st Round NFL Draft pick before he ever took a college snap. Madden Iamaleava doesn't come to UCLA with such hype.

By no means is Madden Iamaleava a slouch. He's the nation's 164th-ranked prospect, according to 247Sports rankings. And while he doesn't bring the same sort of physical stature (Nico was listed at 6'6″ and 205 lbs. while is listed at 6'3″ and 185 lbs.) or the high-end physical gifts (Madden is considered mostly a pocket-passer, while his older brother was classified as a dual-threat quarterback) as his older brother, there is still a lot to like about UCLA's newest recruit.

“Like his older brother, Iamaleava is a two-sport standout and a talented volleyball player but his future is definitely at quarterback,” Biggins wrote in his scouting report on 247Sports. “He has always had a strong arm but has made a nice jump in poise, accuracy and maturity. He shows dual-threat ability and although he doesn't run a ton, he has very good pocket mobility and can extend plays.”