GUYS! WAIT! DON’T LEAVE! I forgot I had the fifth set of answers! Thought I posted this yesterday, but whatever…

1) Can you give us a list of which freshman you believe will redshirt this year?

That’s not quite ready yet. I’d assume, though, Sermons, Pollard, McKay, Mascarenas, Marvray, Loster, Makka, Hilliard, Golper, Capella, Bowens and Abele. Once again, a guess.

2) What is the problem in the mobley situtuation why can’t he enroll now?
Not all of Mobley’s credits are transferring from OSU to UCLA.

3) Fatburger or In-’N-Out?

Is that a joke? Heaven or Hell? The Broncos or the Raiders? Laughter or suffering? This isn’t a question, it’s a gimme, a chip shot, a layup. IN-’N-OUT. DUH. It’s no Tommy’s, but it’s still a landslide. Man, after that question I need a double-double…animal style.

4) I heard UCLA will take Barr M. Jones and James if they committed. Considering the Depth we have at RB would we automatically redshirt them? Even if we get 2 out of 3 that’s alot of rb so close together and would we consider moving Barr or Jones to linebackers or is that out the question?

I gotta believe that they’d redshirt an incoming running back, which would give them a full two years behind Thigpen and three behind Franklin and Coleman. A position switch is possible too.

5) How do you think that UCLA’s offense will respond after the bye week? Are we going to see more productivity, esp. from the passing attack?

I think the running game will continue to improve and the passing game will be a bit more refined, though I don’t know how often they’ll go deep.

6) What is your opinion on the Pre-game, during the game, after the game activities? Do you think UCLA needs to make a more meaniful entrance into the game like other schools do like the SEC or Big 10? How does one make suggestions to the school?

I absolutely love the pomp and circumstance of the SEC, the pageantry of the Big 10, the grandeur of the ACC. That’s not something that comes out of thin air. It takes a conference-wide dedication to small-town football – Knoxville breathes for UT.

7) When are you going to put your bio up?

Aww, pal, I didn’t know you wanted to know. I’ll get it up soon.

8) I love Jefferson from Chula Vista and I know they are going hard after Riley. Does 4 safeties seem like too many to you or are they planning on making any of them LB’s? Jefferson plays LB now but they said he will play safety.

Riley is an absolute beast, and I could see him putting on weight and making the move. Four safeties is two starters and two backups. In other words, necessary.

9) If Brehaut is so far behind Craft in terms of playbook knowledge and Craft is firmly entrenched as #2 behind Prince, why is the coaching staff burning Brehaut’s redshirt year? This seems like a real waste!

Because I think long-term, they believe Brehaut will usurp Craft this season.

10) Which game is throwback jersey day again?

November 7th at the Rose Bowl, UCLA vs. Washington

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Just a heads up

Yo guys,

Loved the Q&A, and it went so much more smoothly than I imagined. I hope you enjoyed it. Sorry I wasn’t all there with the recruiting stuff, but I hope I wasn’t too off. There’s nothing to report from my end today, and I have a wedding to go to – another. freaking. wedding. – and I’m going to sign off for the day.

Maybe if I can find some cool stuff around the net, I’ll toss it up. Maybe if I hear from a recruit or two, I can get that up.

Aside from that, I’ll see you all tomorrow!

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YGQ, IGA – Part 4

Let’s keep this rolling…

Oh, and thanks for all the questions. PLEASE keep them coming…this is fun.

1) Your thoughts on the biggest recruiting needs other than DL?

The offensive line, first and foremost. Linebacker and safety could use some young talent.

2) Is there a significant chance that Brehaut could start over Craft at Stanford, or has Craft clinched the job given the win against KSU?

They say it’s an open competition, but I highly, highly doubt it.

3) Who are the second team linebackers at the present time?

Steve Sloan is set, Patrick Larimore is climbing and Sean Westgate looks good, with Mike Schmitt in the mix.

4) What are the reasons that Craft is playing over Brehaut? Can Brehaut still redshirt or did the action against SDSU take his redshirt away?

Craft is playing because Neuheisel and Chow believes he gives them the most chance to win. That’s the sellout answer. I really think Brehaut just isn’t ready yet. He can still redshirt I believe.

5) Will USC loss to Washington help UCLA in recruiting?

Can’t hurt.

6) What are your thoughts on the scout team for the Bruins? Are there any standouts, and why do they standout for you?

I have been VERY impressed by Joseph Fauria and Jerry Rice Jr. They are quite reliable. Ricky Marvray has flashes of brilliance mixed with bonehead plays.

7) After losing 20 lbs. during training camp. How the heck did Eddie Williams gain it all back since it ended? He look VERY pudgy, as does MAIVA. Optimally what weight does the staff want them both at?

I don’t know what the staff wants them at, but it’s quite typical for an offensive lineman to put on some weight during the regular season.

8) Anybody on the team strike you as an athlete who would be considered a “FREAK”?
Brian Price is a freak. Xavier Su’a-Filo is a freak. Damien Thigpen is freakish.

9) Who do you see as the most athletic and capable playmaker on the team?
Taylor Embree is a very capable wide receiver. Damien Thigpen can break a return at any time. Alterraun Verner is a future star.

10) Which player has surprised coaches the most since the beginning of camp with on-field production and development?

I think they are most impressed by Johnathan Franklin and Morrell Presley.

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UCLA Coaches Recruiting Plans

Hey guys,
Here’s where the UCLA coaching staff is headed during its bye week…
Remind me never to do the linking thing again here…

Todd Howard
Temple HS, TX
Lache Seastruck
Cedar Park HS, TX
Holmes Onwukaife

Rick Neuheisel
Brighton HS, Utah
Ricky Heimuli

Lakes HS, Wash.
Sione Potoae

Sheldon HS, Ore.
Curtis White


Punahou HS, Hawaii
Kawai Crabb
Iolani HS, Hawaii
Sealii Epanesa

Todd Hundley
Lincoln HS, Calif.
Davon Dunn

Valhalla HS, Calif.
Shane Pennix

Carnell Lake
Edison HS, Calif.
Wesley Flowers

Tevin McDonald

La Costa Canyon HS, Calif.
Kenny Stills

Frank Gansz
Pittsburgh HS, Calif.
Erick Darga

Granada HS, Calif.
George Atkinson

Bob Palcic
Loyola HS, Calif.
Colin Tanigawa

Reggie Moore
Highland HS, Calif.
Christian Thomas

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Awesome email from blog reader

A InsideUCLA reader sent this to my email, and it’s just awesome. I love this dedication, guys. I can’t imagine writing this blog and for the paper without this kind of fan base. Thanks.

I was bored at work today and decided to put together the attached chart showing our roster by position by class year. Just sent it to my UCLA buddies but wanted to get your thoughts (if you have time).

What I found interesting is while we do graduate a lot of people this year including 5 starters on D (Carter, Bosworth x2, Jersy, ATV), 3 on O (Austin, Moya, Moline) and will probably lose Price, our Junior class is not as important…Forbath, Ramirez, Eddie Williams, Stokes and David Carter. So next year we might have trouble replacing Defense, especially LBs, but in 2011, we are still going to have most of our guys from this year (I put who I think will start next year in bold and most will be Soph and Juniors). In 2011, we could be dangerous.

I was also looking at the areas we need to recruit strongest in (commits and recruits on the right). QB, RB and TE should be pretty deep but wouldn’t mind throwing a stud like Jones or Barr into the mix. WR is deep too but could use a top tier guy…maybe Class of ’11 since we’re not recruiting that position very well this year. OL could be pretty deep too if we get a couple guys from the Ward-Ajawara-Yandall crew and the Mormons don’t go on their missions.

We actually have a ton of DLs with 2 transfers and 3 frosh recruits in addition to all of the guys we brought in the last 2 years. DBs are pretty deep too with only ATV leaving in the next 2 years and 3 guys already committed. LB is really where we will need help unless Golper, Bowens or Maka could step in. Could really use a couple top recruits there.

Realistically, if we get some LBs, a couple more OLs, 1-2 top-tier offensive playmakers and a stud DT (all of which are totally feasible), we could be legitimately challenging for the Pac-10 from 2011-2013. You’d also have to buy in to Prince or Brehaut being capable of taking us to the promised land (vs. a Top 5 QB) and Norm Chow sticks around long enough in Neuheisel land. Also, SC is still going to recruit very strong, as are Cal and Oregon, and Stanford and Washington are building back up, so I’m not saying we should be handed the title, but I think we’ll be very competitive.

Would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

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Three for Three with Terrence Austin

On what went wrong in the special teams game against Kansas State:
“We had some mistakes on the kickoff team, some miscues that allowed them to get some returns on us. We worked on that specifically a whole lot this whole week. We can’t set up our defense up like that.”

On the focus of special teams during the bye week:
“I think we were getting a little loose last week, and we need to tighten up. We can’t afford that. The Pac-10 is really tough, so we have to get it down.”

On ST coach Frank Gansz getting fired up:
“He’s been on us hard. He’s been ornery – that’s his thing. We’ve got offensive and defensive players on special teams, so it’s a mixture of us, and we kind of have to be one. Everybody has to be in there solid. We have to have the gameplan down.”

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Neuheisel On:

On Thursday’s practice:
“I’m very excited about the way we practiced today. This is what we needed. I feel much better about the week, and very excited to practice Sunday. We’re 0-0, we start a new season, and we’re eager to get off to a good start.”

On winning the Pac-10:
“When you’re at UCLA, and you walk into a hall of fame that has 103 national championship trophies, you can’t become part of that scene until you win a Pac-10 championship. That season starts this next weekend.”

On Christian Ramirez’ recovery:
“We had him in a little scrimmage, got him some live action there at the end, and I hope he’s ok. He got up a little hobbled there. He’s got to start playing through that.”

On Gavin Ketchum’s recovery:
“He’s getting there. It’s been a while. He doesn’t seem right now willing to explode out of it. But that’s why this bye week is so important.”

On Kevin Prince losing weight with a broken jaw:
“He’s a put together kid. He’s been working out. He’s been running. He’ll be fine.”

On the battle at cornerback with Aaron Hester down:
“Sheldon Price is now competing, and Courtney has to win that job back from him. Sheldon has had the job. We’ll have plenty more opportunities the next couple weeks to see who’s ready to play.”

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Post-practice update

With school starting today, Rick Neuheisel knew his player’s focus would not entirely be on football.
He was wrong.
Neuheisel said he was pleasantly surprised by the effort today, even after yesterday’s lackadaisical performance. UCLA did extensive special teams work and scrimmaging, trying to nail down fundamentals before installing the Stanford scheme.
Christian Ramirez got some good work in during elevens, but was tackled hard and hobbled on his way up.

Stay tuned for some quotes, and I’ll try to get another answer session in there before the night is through.

Thanks for sticking around

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YGQ, IGA – Part 3

Let’s keep this rolling…

Oh, and thanks for all the questions. PLEASE keep them coming…this is fun.

1) Is there anyway we can get some real in depth news instead of just links to other stories published by other new papers or internet sites?

Nope, sorry.

2) Jon, Why does UCLA still put its players in the hot baked sun of the Rose Bowl? It makes no sense for the home team to bake in the sun.

If anyone has gone from a high school basketball or football game to a major arena, the whole depth of the field changes completely. It is absolutely crucial to get some in the stadium, just to see how the ball moves, the angles of light, etc.

3) Why doesnt the staff play Theriot more on run plays?

Chane Moline is the starting fullback.

4) Have you heard from Dohn and do you know what he is doing now?

Haven’t spoken to Dohn since he moved back east; just haven’t had much time. I have it on good order that the family is doing well, the kids are loving New Jersey and their school(s?) and that he is settling into his new job, though he hasn’t been writing as much as he gets his ducks in order.

5) Jon – if Kevin Craft plays extremely well for the next two games (no turnovers, great pass completion ratio), will he then be the starting QB despite a healthy Prince for the games thereafter?

I cannot believe that would happen, not unless he goes LIGHTS OUT. Being a good quarterback is more than just having a good game on a particular Saturday. If Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow see enough in Craft to make them believe he is their best option, he’ll get the job. But it will be more than just on the next two Saturdays.

6) Hi Jon, do you know where can I buy a UCLA sweater vest? I’d like to be Neuheisel for Halloween, but can’t track one down at the student store.

I literally just tried every possible google search, but no dice. I say you just make one yourself. Well worth it.

7) How do you like the job so far?

Love it. When I was four or five years old, a class assignment asked what we wanted to do with our life. I wrote, “Write about sports. UCLA sports.” My mom still has the paper.

8) What do you think of Neuheisal so far…coaching style and ability and general personality?

In 2005, when I was covering San Diego State, I wrote emphatically that the Aztecs should have hired him over Chuck Long. I stand by that.

9) Whats up with Hasiak. He began the season starting, then against Tenn he shared the guard postion and last game against KSU he didn’t play at all. The next step is playing on the scout team.

Hasiak is a freshman behind a sophomore who started eight games and a talented JUCO transfer. He’ll get his time, don’t worry.

10) You had said you would have to do a lot of catch up on recruiting, but I believe you addressed RB Malcolm Jones already. Scout.com says it’s down to UCLA and Stanford. Any idea which way he might go or when he might decide?

I have a feeling he’ll pick UCLA, just because it’s closer to home. He really, really likes Stanford though. This one will be tough, I’m not going to lie.

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Practice schedule

Hey guys,

So practice just started, and the players look very fired up on the first day of classes. Practice is off tomorrow and Saturday, resuming Sunday.

I’ll be finishing up the Q&A session tomorrow, hopefully hammering out answers throughout the day to these great questions. But keep in mind, this is a dialogue, not a monologue, so keep posting your responses. All this is great preparation for the marathon chat sessions I want to get started.

Sorry I have not been diligent on the Throwback Thursday and Westwood Wednesday this week; the bye week has thrown me off. I will guarantee at least one Future Friday tomorrow with a UCLA recruit, and I’ll try to get a couple to make up for the lack of WW and TT.


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