Four-star DB Elijah Gates picks UCLA

UCLA pulled in another highly-ranked defensive back for its 2017 recruiting class as four-star recruit Elijah Gates committed to UCLA on Monday.

Gates, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound defensive back from Buena Park, chose the Bruins over Oregon. He joins an elite group for UCLA defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin, who also pulled in five-star Darnay Holmes, four-star Jaylan Shaw and three-stars Quentin Lake and Morrell Osling.

“The coaches, the players, the whole environment of everything, I felt like I was at home,” Gates told the Southern California News Group’s Jonathan Khamis.

According to Scout, Gates is the No. 5 defensive back in California.

He’s UCLA’s 18th verbal commit with National Signing Day coming in a little over a week.

UCLA’s commitment list so far:  Continue reading

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UCLA football links: Anthony Barr heading to Pro Bowl

Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press

Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press

Former UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr was selected to his second straight Pro Bowl, the Minnesota Vikings announced Monday.

Barr, who was drafted by the Vikings in 2014, will replace Atlanta’s Vic Beasley, Jr., who will play in Super Bowl LI. Barr is the first Vikings linebacker to be selected to two Pro Bowls in his first three years in the NFL.

UCLA’s Matthew Slater was voted to the Pro Bowl as a special teamer, but is relinquishing his spot as the New England Patriot will head to Houston for the Super Bowl.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 29 at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.

Other links:

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Cal hires Marques Tuiasosopo

Quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo and quarterback Josh Rosen talk over a drill during spring practice. (Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze)

Quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo and quarterback Josh Rosen talk over a drill during spring practice. (Photo by Brad Graverson // Daily Breeze)

Berkeley is the next stop on Marques Tuiasosopo‘s tour of the Pac-12. Cal hired the former UCLA quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for the same positions Monday, marking Tuiasosopo’s fourth Pac-12 coaching position in five seasons.

Tuiasosopo, who has also coached at Washington and USC, spent one year at UCLA during his second stint with the school, but his short tenure as quarterbacks coach was marred by a shoulder injury to his prized pupil Josh Rosen.

When he joined UCLA head coach Jim Mora‘s staff prior to last season, Tuiasosopo signed a two-year contract, but was put in a precarious position when Mora hired Jedd Fisch as the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Tuiasosopo will work under Cal head coach Justin Wilcox. The pair worked together in 2013 at UW under then-head coach Steve Sarkisian.

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How I voted in the college basketball AP poll: UCLA drops

Arizona's 96-85 win over UCLA on Saturday vaulted it past the Bruins in the AP poll

Arizona’s 96-85 win over UCLA on Saturday vaulted it past the Bruins in the AP poll

I wouldn’t go so far as to say UCLA was exposed in Saturday’s 96-85 loss to Arizona. The Wildcats are a very good team in addition to being particularly strong at the wing positions, where UCLA’s defense is weakest. Defensive liabilities Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton weren’t at their best offensively Saturday either, a double-negative during a discouraging first half.

I don’t think it would have been impossible for the Bruins have made a few plays on either end of the floor Saturday that could have altered the momentum enough for them to win the game. In other words, Arizona isn’t out of UCLA’s league by any stretch – but they certainly earned this week’s ranking above UCLA in the polls. But I think UCLA should be worried that Arizona is only getting better, considering several freshmen are playing key roles and Allonzo Trier just rejoined the team.

But there is no debating that right now UCLA is no longer the No. 3 team in the country. It’s the third-best team in its own conference with plenty to prove about whether it deserves more than a No. 3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

How I voted in the men’s college basketball AP poll:
1.Villanova
Villanova has wins over Creighton, Notre Dame, Purdue and Xavier, all mainstays in the top 25 this season. The Wildcats are the defending NCAA champions. And they’re No. 2 in RPI. Their quality wins are better than Kansas or Baylor and their lone loss is better too. Plus, Gonzaga simply doesn’t have a deep enough schedule to be in the conversation for No. 1 yet.
2. Kansas
3. Baylor
4. Gonzaga
5. Arizona

How much better did the Wildcats get on Saturday simply by having Allonzo Trier on the court for the first time this season? Significantly better. We’re talking about a Naismith Player of the Year candidate if he plays the whole season. And Arizona was already good and rapidly improving considering the naturally steep learning curve of a roster chock-full of freshmen.
6. Oregon
7. UCLA

The Bruins margin for error is miniscule at this point if it wants to win the Pac-12. It can’t afford to slip up against the conference’s middle-tier teams like, for example, USC, who it plays on Wednesday. But UCLA still controls its own destiny and it can earn its way back into the top 3 or 4 teams in the country if it can win rematches with Oregon and Arizona.
8. Kentucky
9. Florida State
10. Creighton
11. Notre Dame
12. Butler
13. Virginia
14. Louisville
15. North Carolina
16. Wisconsin

There are some whispers that the Badgers are ranked higher than they deserve to be simply because of their history of success. To that point, Wisconsin’s RPI is only 25th. But it did jump up seven spots last week. They don’t have a ton of opportunity to prove themselves in a weak Big Ten, but the Badgers’ losses have been to three high quality opponents.
17. Saint Mary’s (Cal)
18. Cincinnati
19. Duke
20. Maryland
21. Purdue
22. Xavier
23. West Virginia
24. Florida
25. SMU

The actual men’s college basketball AP poll:
1. Villanova (35) 19-1
2. Kansas (28) 18-1
3. Gonzaga (2) 19-0
4. Kentucky 17-2
5. Baylor 18-1
6. Florida St. 18-2
7. Arizona 18-2
8. UCLA 19-2
9. North Carolina 18-3
10. Oregon 18-2
11. Butler 17-3
12. Virginia 15-3
13. Louisville 16-4
14. Notre Dame 17-3
15. Wisconsin 16-3
16. Creighton 18-2
17. Duke 15-4
18. West Virginia 15-4
19. Cincinnati 17-2
20. Purdue 16-4
21. Saint Mary’s 17-2
22. Maryland 17-2
23. South Carolina 15-4
24. Xavier 14-5
25. Florida 14-5
Others receiving votes: Kansas St 41, SMU 33, Northwestern 28, UNC Wilmington 14, Iowa St. 12, Virginia Tech 7, USC 6, Dayton 6, Middle Tennessee 1, Illinois St. 1, Akron 1, Utah 1.

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Josh Rosen’s Heisman odds

UCLA's Josh Rosen fumbles the ball as Arizona State's JoJo Wicker, middle, and Salamo Fiso moves in to make a recovery during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

UCLA’s Josh Rosen fumbles the ball as Arizona State’s JoJo Wicker, middle, and Salamo Fiso moves in to make a recovery during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Despite coming off shoulder surgery, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is among Bovada’s leaders for the 2017 Heisman Trophy.

The Las Vegas oddsmaker set Rosen’s Heisman odds at 12/1, which is tied for eighth in the country with Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph and Alabama’s Jalen Hurts.

The UCLA quarterback will be working under his third offensive coordinator in as many years this season as Jedd Fisch took over the position earlier this month.

Rosen’s chances are the third-highest for a Pac-12 quarterback behind USC’s Sam Darnold (9/1) and Washington’s Jake Browning (10/1). Washington State’s Luke Falk also makes the list at 35/1.

Bovada's Heisman Odds as of Jan. 23, 2017

Bovada’s Heisman Odds as of Jan. 23, 2017

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