How do you think Rick Neuheisel’s done in his time at UCLA?
Maurice Jones-Drew: “He’s definitely bringing in a lot of good athletes from all over the country. They’re not just focusing on the West coast. They’re really going everywhere to grab kids and bring them over. They understand what it is to be a Bruin. He’s breeding that winning way. He wants hard workers, not just guys who can play. He doesn’t mind telling the guys if they’re not doing it right.”
What’s the next step for Neuheisel and the program?
“What I really think he’s done is built a foundation of players who want to play. That’s all you need in college. You want players who want to play and want to be great. When I was coming out – I came from De La Salle, a winning program – and I could’ve gone to USC, I could’ve gone to Texas, I could’ve gone to Oklahoma. I wanted to go someplace where my legacy could be left. I went to the school at 6-6, when I left, we were 10-2. We went through the adversity, we built all these good things. That’s what these kids are starting to understand: You become more of a man when you go somewhere that is not already established. You see who you are. When you have to go through that conditioning, when you lose 52-14 to Arizona when you’re No. 8 in the country, these are things you deal with. It builds character, and I think that’s what Coach Neuheisel is doing.”