Here is the eight set of answers:
You noted that UCLA’s FB recruiting efforts have turned much more national in scope. While this is certainly welcome, has this been accomplished at the expense of inroads made at city section schools such as Dorsey, Crenshaw, etc.?
I talked to coach Rick Neuheisel about that recently, and will post some stuff about it over the weekend. That said, his message was that SoCal remained a priority, but areas of need (like offensive line) are not as strong in SoCal this season. But he said at least “70 percent” of the recruiting class should come from SoCal, but he does want more of a national presence.
How is Ben Olson’s recovery from foot surgery coming along?
I saw him on campus Thursday and he was still on crutches, but he said he really didn’t need them and he was going to the doctor’s next week. He said he remains on target and should be ready for summer throwing.
Given your discussion of the number of coaches still being paid by NFL teams, is this abnormal compared to other staffs of other schools? Does this likely portend a substantial overhaul at the end of the year?
I have no idea because I don’t know about other staffs across the country. I do know that at UCLA, this is the first time since I began covering in the summer of 2003 that a staff member is being paid by an NFL team. I don’t think it means there will be an overhaul at the end of the season because I think UCLA will only need to come up with another $200,000 or so to keep this staff in tact, that is, if all the coaches want to remain at UCLA or are invited back for a second season.
If Chris Forcier is unable to beat out Craft and Crissman next year, would he consider a position change to wideout to take advantage of his athleticism a la Drew Bennett?
I don’t know because I have not asked him, but that is something I thought about during the spring and will ask him if it gets to that point.
Would your colleague Ramona strike you out in 3 consecutive pitches?
No way. I’m a contact hitter.
Which of the quarterbacks participating in spring practice (excluding the injured Cowan) has the strongest arm? Which one is the most accurate passer? Who displayed the best command of the offense? Which quarterback seemed to be the best leader? Who will wind up as the starter barring injury? Who will be the top backup?
Ben Olson for every question except the last, which then becomes Kevin Craft.
how “raw” offensively is Morgan? And, why do you think howland went after him?
I can only speak to what others tell me, and they say he needs to develop considerably as an offensive player in the low post. Howland went after him because, talent-wise, he is very good, he can rebound, block shots, is a big body and can play tough. In short, Howland went after him because Morgan was the top big man available.
Regarding the Brandon Carroll walk-on video, in your opinion, was it a negative overall for SC? Does it have any effect on recruiting or has it already had some effect?
I think it will have very little impact on recruiting, and I though the video was laughable, and didn’t portray USC in the best light. After all, USC is one of the top three programs in the nation, so it doesn’t need stuff like that circulating.