Kiper lists Forbath No. 1 K for 2011 Draft

Here’s what Mel Kiper had to say in his top-five positional preview for the 2011 Draft:

“Analysis: Forbath wasn’t just 28-of-31; the only three field goals he missed this past season were from more than 50 yards, and he went 3-of-6 from beyond 50 overall. He’s also 7-of-10 for his career. Definitely an NFL-caliber leg, and a rare junior who could have tested the waters.”

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Bruin Free-Agent List

Here’s how it ended up working out for several UCLA football players after the NFL Draft:

Logan Paulsen – Free agent, Washington
Reggie Carter – Free agent, Seattle
Chane Moline – Free agent, Oakland
Kyle Bosworth – Free agent, Jacksonville
Korey Bosworth – Free agent, Denver

Ryan Moya – Tryout, Cleveland
Nick Ekbatani – Tryout, St. Louis

I talked to Ekbatani last night, and he couldn’t be more excited. The St. Louis coaches are very interested in him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he caught on.

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Bruins Beckon Brady, Beckham

UCLA fans are used to hearing about the celebrity sightings across town, with actor Will Ferrell and rapper Snoop Dogg frequent attendees of USC games and practices.

The Bruins appear to be garnering a cult following as well.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Wes Welker were joined by soccer megastar David Beckham at the Rose Bowl, and the trio commanded plenty of attention – and plenty of flashbulbs.

“That was Norm’s son’s buddies,” Neuheisel said. “I didn’t see them, but they’re good Bruins. It’s absolutely the place to be now. It always has been.”

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The Revolver Misfires

The NRA has a message for the UCLA offense after Saturday’s spring game: Time to rename the offense.

For roughly half of UCLA’s spring game at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night, the Revolver offense packed all the punch of a water pistol.

All the progress made during 14 spring practices negated by an inconsistent running game and a passing game that lacked timing.

“I’m a little disappointed, and I told them so,” offensive coordinator Norm Chow said. “We’ve been practicing very well, but we for some reason came over here, and it didn’t seem like we came out on fire. We needed to get going a little earlier than we did.”

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At the Rose Bowl for Spring Game

Hey folks, I’m here at the Rose Bowl for the UCLA Spring Game. I’ll have updates after the game, with some quotes. Team looks crisp in pre-game, with a couple of nice catches by Jerry Johnson and Ricky Marvray.

Terrence Austin was picked with the 12th pick of the seventh round, 219 overall to Washington…

Also, Reggie Carter signed a free-agent contract with Seattle and I’ll try to get a hold of him over the next few days…
Stay tuned…

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Verner to Tennessee w/ 6th pick of fourth round (104 overall)

From UCLA:

UCLA All-America cornerback Alterraun Verner is now a member of the Tennessee Titans. He was selected as the sixth pick of the fourth round (No. 104 overall) on Saturday morning. The Titans traded up in the round to make the pick.

“Alterraun is the prototypical student-athlete we look for when we go recruiting at UCLA,” said Bruin head coach Rick Neuheisel. “He did an unbelievable job for us, both on and off the field. He was one of our team leaders and played like the All-American that he was. He excelled in the classroom and always represented our program with dignity and class. I am excited to watch him play for the Titans.”

Verner made 37 career starts for the Bruins, including his final 34 games. He made 13 career interceptions, tied for seventh on UCLA’s all-time list. He returned four of those for touchdowns, a new school record, and also returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown, giving him five career scores. He also ranks 19thh on the school’s all-time tackles list with 279.

In 2009, he was named first-team All-America by and third-team All-America by Associated Press and Phil Steele and was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection by the league’s coaches. He also earned second-team All-Pac-10 All-Academic honors after earning first-team acclaim as a sophomore and a junior.

Verner was named the winner of UCLA’s Donn Moomaw Award for Outstanding Defensive Player vs. USC and the defensive winner of the Paul I. Wellman Memorial Award for All-Around Excellence. His five interceptions this past season ranked tied for 32nd in the NCAA and tied for second in the Pac-10 and he ranked fifth among the Bruins with 72 tackles.

In 2008, he led the nation in passes defensed in 2008 while earning Academic All-Pac-10 acclaim.

The last Bruin defensive back to be drafted higher than Verner is Matt Ware, who was selected in the third round (No. 89 overall) of the 2004 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles.

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UCLA wins NCAA gymnastics national championship, No. 105 in the books

From UCLA:

Needing to score 49.1 on floor exercise in the final rotation to win the NCAA Championship, UCLA scored 49.55 to easily win the title with a 197.725. The gymnastics championship was UCLA’s sixth in school history and its first since 2004. UCLA has now won a national-best 105 NCAA titles.

Oklahoma finished in second place with 197.25. Alabama was third with 197.225, followed by Stanford with 197.1, Florida with 197.0 and Utah with 196.225.

The Bruins had 11 scores of 9.9 or better, including a 9.95 on floor from Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs and a 9.95 on vault from Brittani McCullough. Vanessa Zamarripa’s all-around score of 39.625 was the highest of the night, followed by Anna Li’s 39.575.

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James Washington hired as assistant director, alumni giving

James Washington, UCLA All-America safety and Super Bowl winner with the Dallas Cowboys, has come home.

Washington has been hired as Assistant Director, Alumni Giving for the university and will begin his new duties on April 26. Washington will be responsible for raising scholarship funds for the campus and the visibility of the Bruin Scholars Initiative.

Washington has an extensive and diverse background including marketing, sales and fundraising which will be invaluable in his efforts to secure scholarship support.

Washington graduated from UCLA with a degree in History in 1987. A four-year starting free safety as a Bruin, he helped the Bruins win two Pac-10 titles (1985 and 1987) and four bowl games – the 1985 Fiesta Bowl, 1986 Rose Bowl, 1986 Freedom and the 1987 Aloha Bowl.

He then played in the National Football League for eight years with the Rams, Cowboys and Redskins. He was a starter when Dallas won Super Bowls in 1993 and 1994.

Washington also runs his own Foundation – Shelter 37 – and has served as a college football analyst for FS Prime Ticket.

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Price at 35 to Tampa Bay

The Tampa Buccaneers have rebuilt their defensive line, tabbing Gerald McCoy with the third pick and then UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price with the third pick in the second round, 35th overall.
With best friend Reggie Carter riding shotgun in the recliner next to him, Price’s family exploded in celebration.
Among the comments:
Tom Jackson: “His body type strikes you as a little bit odd – but Vince Wilfork. This guy wreaks a lot of havoc when is motor is on.”
Mel Kiper: “I don’t understand the pick. To me, you have to help out your quarterback, Josh Freeman.”

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