Weekly Q&A

Hey guys,

Fire away with questions for this week’s Q&A. Please don’t post new questions on the answers section, because I don’t always check the comments. Save them for next week.

I have a ton of questions to pore over, so this will be a pretty loaded Weekly Answers…


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Quotables: Kevin Prince

How important are days like today for building a winning program?
Kevin Prince: “They’re pretty important, especially with the coaches not being able to come out here and be with us. It’s important for us to get out here, the captains especially. Myself, Rahim, Micah taking the linemen in the meeting room – just taking that role, making sure things get done because their aren’t coaches out here, that’s huge.”

As quarterback, do 7-on-7s give you the opportunity to reaffirm your trust in a target or establish a new trust?
“It helps to gauge people, especially the young guys who you haven’t seen play. I’ve seen Anthony Barr make some plays – I think he’ll be able to contribute for us early – and there’s no way to know that without things like this. Just by looking at a kid, you won’t be able to know what he can do. And you get to reaffirm who you can count on; Nelson and Taylor have been out here doing their thing. Then again, there’s guys who haven’t necessarily stepped up like they should, come out as often as they should, and it helps to know who you need to talk to and regain their focus.”

Has football become 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for you?
KP: “It’s got to be. A lot of the guys are starting to feel that way. I see guys in the film room more often. It’s just got to be. If we want to take that next step and become a big-time program, that’s what we have to do. You have to take this seriously.”

Besides Barr, who are the other guys that have stepped up in your mind?
KP: “Man, there are some big-time guys. You can just tell by the size of these guys. It’s tough to say for the defensive linemen we got just because we’re not doing contact, but as far as offense, I like Jordon James a lot. He’s a quick guy, real down-to-earth, smart. He seems like he can pick up things, and what really helps is if you’re smart and can pick up things. Barr’s like that. So is Malcolm Jones, even though we’re not running the ball that much right now.”

And defensively?
KP: “You’ve got AO, who’s just a physical specimen, just making plays out here all the time. Deitrich Riley’s really been doing well. The first week we were out here, I think he had a couple interceptions. He’s got really good what Coach Chow calls ‘giddy-up’ speed. When he gets beat, he can make that space up. He’ll be a player for us. It’s exciting to see those guys come in and probably able to compete for us right away.”

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7-on-7 observations, Pt. 2

* 7-on-7s are truly only good for observing the passing game, and if today was any indication, Ricky Marvray could emerge as a true threat over the next couple of years. No one tries harder than Marvray, and his passion for the game and his attitude are evident. He’ll open some eyes.

* Josh Smith does not look 100 percent, but he’s close. He stayed step-for-step with Sheldon Price on a deep ball, and he had a beatiful catch-and-run that had some guys falling over laughing. The guy doesn’t run with the ball, he dances with it.

* Cory Harkey and Fauria will form a potent tight end combo for the Bruins, and I would expect a high focus on the horizontal game this season. If Smith can and Rosario can stretch the field as expected, UCLA should have a much more complex offense. Everyone talks about Norm Chow not having the weapons to unleash…he does now.

* One last thing on the turnout: I was very surprised by the number of players in attendance, and by the enthusiasm for the task at hand. While there was certainly some playfullness, when the ball was snapped, there was good energy and a lot of learning going on.

* Prince interview to follow tomorrow morning…

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Quick observations from today’s 7-on-7, Pt. 1

I headed down to Spaulding Field today for today’s 7-on-7, and here are some quick observations, followed later by a quick interview with Kevin Prince…

* Prince continues to grow in his role as team captain, and was absolutely in command of the entire team out there today. Micah Kia was out with the 7-on-7 guys for a little while before returning to the film room to rejoin the offensive linemen, and the team is really going to need that leadership from him, too.

* Even on completions, Prince was in guy’s faces, correcting sloppy routes or even just congratulating them. His arm looked very strong, but he was off on a few throws, and the timing does not look perfect.

* Prince does, however, have a favorite target in Joseph Fauria, who made a few great catches, including a one-handed snag of a tipped ball over incoming freshman linebacker Aramide Olaniyan, after which he playfully tossed the ball at AO. Fauria is one funny dude, and just wait until his “A Day with Joe” video comes out soon. Hilarious.

* Speaking of Olaniyan…Wow. The kid is jacked. I was very impressed by the size of many of the incoming freshmen, particularly Olaniyan, Malcolm Jones and Dietrich Riley. Prince said something interesting about just how big this class is, and I couldn’t agree more. Watch out for AO and Riley especially this year.

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Shirley to join Washington

Josh Shirley will join the Washington Huskies, the school announced today. Shirley had been vehemntly denying that he would play for the Huskies, who were among his final schools during his original recruitment. After being charged with felony theft in late-June (charges that are still pending, though could be lessened to misdemeanor) along with fellow then-incoming freshmen Paul and Shaq Richardson, Shirley and the Richardsons were release from their letters of intent by UCLA and denied admission.

Here’s a link to the announcement:

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Hasiak ineligible for 2010 season

UCLA sophomore offensive guard Stanley Hasiak was ruled academically ineligible for the 2010 season by the NCAA and will not be able to compete for the Bruins.
Hasiak will redshirt this season and will have three years of eligibility remaining.
“his is an unfortunate situation for Stanley,” UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said. “I expect Stanley to work hard to ensure this situation does not occur again. We expect him to help us on the scout team this year and work himself into a contributor for 2011.”

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Cole powers USA past Japan

From UCLA:

OMAHA, Neb. – UCLA rising junior Gerrit Cole allowed one run and struck out seven batters in six innings to lead the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team past Japan, 4-1, on Wednesday evening at Rosenblatt Stadium in a friendly international game.

Cole (1-0) was impressive from the start, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced. Team USA’s bullpen was equally dominant, as Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) and Noe Ramirez (Cal State Fullerton) worked the final three innings, scattering two hits and notching one pair of strikeouts.

UCLA’s rising junior catcher Steve Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with one run in Team USA’s victory.

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