Let’s keep this rolling…
Oh, and thanks for all the questions. PLEASE keep them coming…this is fun.
1) Which do you think is more likely within the next five years: (a) Howland winning a national championship; or (b) Neuheisel taking the football team to a BCS game?
With college basketball taking a drastic change in the last four-five years, I think it is way too unpredictable to give UCLA a national championship. With ones-and-dones, with transfers, with the AAU circuit blowing up, I can’t say for sure.
The football team is soaring up the charts, and will continue to do so with Neuheisel’s recruiting. BCS in the next 6-8 years, I think.
2) Obviously the staff is doing well recruiting defensive linemen, but do you think they are overlooking the continued need for offensive linemen? One good OL class is not enough.
I don’t know if they’re overlooking O-Linemen, or putting their eggs in certain baskets. Chris Ward would be a huge get, and he’s leaning toward UCLA. Sil Ajawara likes UCLA a lot; so does Wade Yandall. I don’t know if they’ll get an Xavier Su’A-Filo this year. Maybe they don’t need one.
3) What is your 40 time and how many stars are you rated by the recruiting services?
My best 40 time was 5.1 seconds, and I got recruiting letters from Ventura and Moorpark JCs. I was probably a .023 star. That’s about it. I still think I could have played. Damnit, now I miss my high school days.
4) Does it look like Keenan Graham is going to have to redshirt because of the broken jaw? But for the injury, do you think he would have gotten significant playing time?
First of all, Keenan is a great kid. Humble, kind, polite – great. There is enough talent on the D-line to hold him off a year, and I think the broken jaw probably only confirmed a redshirt. Nothing has been cemented, but I can’t imagine him playing this year.
5) Do you think the staff is doing a good enough job of getting the ball into the hands of carroll, pressley and thigpen?
People forget that it’s not always about the ability to break a touchdown or leap a defender. At least 75 percent of being a reliable wideout is downfield blocking, precise route-running, perfect hands. Forget yards after catch – a dude needs to get open, catch the ball, look upfield. Same with running backs; Thigpen is small, not the best blocker in the world at the moment, and still learning. They’ll get their time.
6) Now that there are four DL commits, plus the OSU transfer, how many more DL do you think the staff will try to sign?
I would expect them to perhaps go for one more major recruit, but back off on the two- and three-stars.
7) How is Nik Abele working out? Is he working with the OL or the DL? Will he likely red-shirt?
I have not seen much of Abele, and I don’t think the coaches have either. I would assume he is going to redshirt, but wait until some guys go down on the line, and maybe he’ll be thrown in a la Baca last season.
8) Are you surprised the team is 3-0?
Uh-oh, this is a weighty question. You trying to get me fired, bud? I’ll say this: The defense is much better than I thought it was, and I thought it would be very good. I expected greatness – everybody expected greatness – out of BP and Reggie and ATV. Did I expect Rahim Moore to have five INTs? No. Jerzy Siewierski to be as dominant opposite BP? No. So I guess you can say, no I didn’t expect the team to be 3-0. After the SDSU game, I thought they could beat Tennessee. After they beat Tennessee, I thought there was no way they could lose to K-State. So, perhaps, I thought they could go 3-0. My brain hurts.
9) Hi Jon, do you have any idea where talks are at regarding UCLA and its contract with Adidas?
I don’t, but that’s a good question and sounds like a feature I should inquire about. Thanks.
10) Which of the redshirt frosh are impressing the staff on the scout team.
Ricky Marvray has looked pretty good, as has Todd Golper. Iuta Tepa looks great and is a future star. Brandon Sermons is getting good run, as is Nick Mascarenas.