On what Pro Day means to him:
“Business, man, this will make-or-break you. Today was the day I’ve been waiting for since I was a baby, a little kid, especially since I’ve been here at UCLA. It was an important day.”
On his performance:
I had my ups-and-downs. I thought I started off pretty good. Probably should’ve finished a little better. You take it for what it was. You lose some, you win some. It’s really about how mentally tough you are. So I had a cool day, it wasn’t great. Hopefully I’ll be given another opportunity to show what I can do. Good thing is there’s always time to improve. I’m still young.”
On Pro Day:
“It’s a job interview, that’s how you have to approach it. The only two things I control are my attitude and effort. I came out here with a good attitude and I’m willing to give a 100 percent effort. That’s what I did, so the sky is the limit.”
On his performance at the NFL Combine:
“I thought I did well. I could’ve done better if I wasn’t a little banged up. But everything happens for a reason, and God blessed me to go out there. I mean, I don’t have a serious injury, so things are great. I have to get better, get in better shape and get after it. I felt good about today and everybody else did, too.”
On what he needs to improve:
“I have everything to improve on. I’m not perfect. Everything. Every part of my game needs improvement because I’m not the best…yet.”
On finding a go-to receiver:
“I don’t feel like it’s that important. I feel like we’ve got enough guy to where we don’t need a go-to-guy. With Taylor (Embree) and Nelson (Rosario) and now Josh Smith in the mix and Morrell Presley stepping up and Cory Harkey, all those guys, I don’t feel like there’s going to be a need for that go-to guy, which is good, because that makes the defense have to respect everybody that’s on the field. With everybody more experienced now and the weapons we have, I don’t feel like there’s going to be a need to have the No. 1 target.”
On his offseason training:
“Coach Linn has kind of a goal weight for us, and for me it was 230 pounds. In the first two weeks of the offseason I got up to 230 and I’ve maintained that. I ran a 4.53 in the 40, and I can’t remember my shuttle time. I think it was in the high 4.3′s area. I think I was at 215 toward the end of last season. After the jaw, I tried to get back up to 215. I feel like we all made big gains (this offseason); I feel stronger, a lot healthier. I couple times a week I went in with Anthony Venute and Dale Rudd and those guys and just did rehab with the shoulder and that’s feeling good. I threw four days this week and I don’t feel any soreness in my shoulder. I think it’s the little games like that that will help us.”
Why are you so optimistic going into spring ball?
UCLA safety Rahim Moore: “We have more hard-workers now, a lot of guys who’ve got a chip on their shoulder. A lot of guys are hungrier. That’s a good thing. Everybody is hungry for wins. Our strength and conditioning coaches have done a good job as far as getting us ready and getting us stronger. I have a lot of expectations for the team this year and I can’t wait for spring ball to kick off.”
Coach Neuheisel said the goal for this season was eight or more wins…
Moore: “Nah, not enough. Ten is enough. Twelve is the ultimate goal; that’s everybody’s goal. That’s the main goal.”
How important is the continuity going into Year 3 of the Neuheisel Era?
“Our camaraderie is a lot better; we’ve all been in the program for two, three years now. For a lot of us, this is our second big spring. Now we’ve seen the system, we’ve been through the practices, we know the pace and everything. We know the goals we want to accomplish.”
On the general feeling going into spring ball:
“We’re real excited, just by the mere fact of how well the offseason went. We finished strong last year with that bowl win. I think that set us off on a good note into the offseason, kinda carried over and showed. Everyone was coming out working, getting faster and stronger. We just had a meeting yesterday with Coach Neuheisel, and he said it’s time. It’s no longer time for people to hope that we get up to the upper echelon of the Pac-10, it’s the time they expect that we’re supposed to be up there. This spring ball is going to be big for us to get a head start on the season, get the offseason going, we’re going to do a couple new things there. It’s time that when people expect it, we fulfill these expectations.”
On the expectations, in terms of number of wins:
“It’s nice to pick a number to shoot for, but it’s always tough to do that. Last year, when people asked that question, we kinda dodged it. We said, make a bowl. And obviously we’ve gotta make a bowl this year. But for me, I don’t know how many wins it’s going to take, but I want to be competing for that Pac-10 championship spot. However many wins that takes, that’s what I want to compete for.” Continue reading →
LOS ANGELES – Senior right-hander Garett Claypool (3-0) recorded nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings, and three Bruin relievers combined to throw 2.1 hitless frames, leading the No. 6 UCLA baseball team past Pepperdine, 2-1, on Tuesday evening at Steele Field at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The victory pushed UCLA’s historic season-opening win streak to 21 games.
Claypool limited the visiting Waves (8-15) to one unearned run and two hits in extending UCLA’s record to 21-0. Right-hander Dan Klein notched his team-leading fifth save, striking out the side in order in the top of the ninth. Continue reading →
UCLA sophomore center J’mison “Bobo” Morgan was dismissed from the program on Tuesday, head coach Ben Howland announced.
Morgan was rumored to have been looking to transfer, but Howland preempted the move with this decision, which comes on the heels of a disappointing season for Morgan.
A highly touted recruit out of Dallas, Morgan had difficulty finding court time despite little post depth for the Bruins. Morgan averaged 1.9 points and 1.3 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game for UCLA, which finished 14-18 and out of the postseason for the first time since 2003-04.
“It’s just there’s a point in time where you have to move forward, and I just felt it was in our best interest in the program, as well as for him,” Howland said during a conference call with reporters. “He’s leaving here in good standing academically, and he’ll be better for the experience here, not only as a player but as a person.”
Morgan came to UCLA as part of a quintet of “future superstars,” alongside guards Jrue Holiday, Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee and forward Drew Gordon. Labeled the top recruiting class in the nation by many, the group has been a disappointment, and now only Lee and Anderson remain. Gordon transferred six games into the season to New Mexico and Holiday entered the NBA Draft after his freshman season and was selected with the 14th pick for the Philadelphia 76ers, for whom he now averages 7.7 points in 23 minutes per game. Continue reading →
There was the expected: Brian Price, projected as a first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft.
There was the unexpected: Ben Olson, a year removed from his college football career, more than 800 days removed from his last college pass.
UCLA’s Pro Day had it all on Tuesday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion and Spaulding Field.
Wide receiver Terrence Austin, second on the UCLA list in career all-purpose yardage, doing the 40-yard dash.
Tight end Ryan Moya sprinting from side-to-side in the shuttle run.
Linebacker Kyle Bosworth doing rep after rep on the bench press.
And in the middle of it, Price, who drew approximately 45-50 scouts and is projected as a first-round pick.
Price did not perform in many drills after already completing several at the NFL Combine, but he was certainly the prime cut of this meat market. He was officially measured and participated in individual position drills, forgoing the testing phase.
“It’s a job interview, that’s how you have to approach it,” Price said. “The only two things I control are my attitude and effort. I came out here with a good attitude and willing to give a 100-percent effort. That’s what I did, so the sky is the limit.” Continue reading →
What was the goal out there today?
Former UCLA running back Chane Moline: “The goal is to come out and look good running, put up some numbers and keep the dream going. Hopefully you get picked up by a team and get to keep extending your career. I’ve been playing football since I was nine, ten, so I just want to keep playing.”
What were you most focused on?
Moline: “I focused a lot on bench press, but everything really. The 40 I focused on a lot. I just came out here to look good, look fluid, look like a football player. Like a good athlete. I have a lot of good film to show, a lot of experience. So I just wanted to come out here and look good running when they could see me in person.”
Do you see the excitement bubbling from the players affecting the older coaches? Is it almost a trickle-up effect?
UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel: “Bob and Norm, and I don’t mean old-school because of their age, but they’re from a school of thought that is prove it. Prove it to me. They’re not going to overload their backsides with their mouths. That’s not who they are. I’m from a slightly different place. You have to picture it, you have to talk about the finished product, so that everyone knows where we’re going. Relentlessly positive, it’s an action. It’s not just that the glass is half full. I want to make the glass be half full. I’m going to force it. If I have to go find the water, I’m going to. We’re going to find a way. We think about it all the time, and we have to do that. Now there’s a bunch of kids from this class who think everything’s wonderful. They don’t know why, but they think everything’s wonderful. There’s a balance to all of it. All of us want good things to happen, but you need people who say there’s no such thing as a good day, people who are going to extract the energy and demand and never say it was good enough so that you keep getting there. Then you need the people who are pressing and making you dream with your feet on the ground. Here’s the action that’s going to get us the dream we all have. I mean, you talk to my recruits, and every one of them would say we’re going to the Rose Bowl. There would be no question in their mind that we’re going to the Rose Bowl. They would say this year. But I want them with that optimism, that pie-in-the-eye, lets-go-get-it-done attitude, devil-may-care.”