Photo courtesy of Golper family
Robert Kuwada (formerly a UCLA beat writer at the OC Register) recently had a long Q&A session for Bruin Report Online with UCLA linebackers coach Clark Lea (click here for the interview, subscription-based). Halfway through the interview, Kuwada asks Lea about the linebackers, and in this excerpt Lea mentions former Arcadia star Todd Golper, who was a redshirt freshman last season. Golper was a two-time All-Star News first-team member.
With the Mikes, where do you see that starting off this spring?
”Well, I think those are discussions that will (come). Right now we’re going through cut ups from last season and kind of figuring out where we are at personnel wise and what we need to work on, and then at the end of this month, in the next couple of weeks I’d say, we’ll probably hammer out a depth chart and really get a feel for where we want to see guys and how we want to see them.
”Right now, I’d be maybe speaking a little premature, but obviously you’ve got Steve Sloan, who has started before, and he is the elder statesman so to speak. He is the older guy. You can anticipate seeing him rolling through there early. And with Patrick Larimore being a guy who has had a year, two years now here, and so he’s getting to know the system and he’s going to push Steve and they’re going to compete, and then Todd Golper being a guy that is also in that mix, a guy that we’re looking to continue to develop. It’s a tough position to fully grasp, though, in your first year because we ask the Mike to do a lot. You saw how Reggie played and how he controlled things. It does take some time to get there.”
Todd Golper, he’s obviously the youngest of that group, but where do you see him?
”Todd is such a conscientious worker and a guy that, to be honest with you, as a player that is redshirting, has done a tremendous job picking up the defense. He really has. I’ve been impressed with him. He’s a guy that’s going to get in there and get his reps and we’ll see where he’s at in terms of his development. You know, obviously, it takes time and so it’s really hard to comment on where he is right now because he spent the fall really working with the scout team. We’ll get him out there and get him going and see where he’s at, and that’s where my job becomes critical. How soon can he be ready? I’ve got to find where his buttons are that need to be pushed and work with him that way.”