Check out the first batch of weekly answers…
1) There shouldn’t be any incoming recruits, except for possibly Hundley, that will be challenging for major minutes on next year’s team. Since you have already seen most of the current players in game action or at least in practice, what are your early, early, early predictions for the success of next year’s squad? Also, knowing this year’s recruiting class will be smaller than the previous 3, what/who would need to be in the class for it to be considered a success? – bruin pride
First of all, I think it’s ridiculous to have that assumption to begin with. Until these players have at least a chance to prove themselves, I don’t think you can count anyone out. Regarding the current talent base, which is essentially what you’re asking, I think there is enough raw talent to get to 7-8 wins in the regular season. The last three recruiting classes, which should begin to show some maturity, have been loaded with talent. Of course, it always starts up front, on both sides of the ball, and really, it ends at quarterback. Last season was pretty much the worst of both worlds, so if there is some stability at those three key spots, UCLA is in position to make a big step. Depending on the coaching, of course…
2) Hey Jon–Happy New Year. Next BB season we will have a lot of big men. How do you see them being used, with Nelson, Lane, Smith, Stover and the Wears all looking for time? Thanks for a great blog! – Keith
There certainly will be a log-jam, and you really do have to wonder how the Wears fit in next season. Each of the four current bigs has such a unique skill set – Nelson’s scoring, Smith’s combination of size and skill, Lane’s finesse and athleticism (and when he choose to use it, his shooting touch) and Stover’s frenetic energy. The Wears seem to fit in the Lane mold, and there will be some real decisions made next year.
3) In your opinion, what are our chances of Getting Wayne Lyons or any other high-level recruit? – Anonymous
I thought UCLA did have a shot at Lyons, particularly when he announced his final three, and two of them had no head coach, but I also think Stanford is building real momentum and will get a good head coach to continue the recent success, albeit with a drop-off next season. Regarding other high-level recruits, UCLA is still in play for several top targets, check it out here:
4) Whether Harbaugh stays at Stanford or goes to the Niners, it would seem to me that Fangio would remain his defensive coordinator. Regardless of where Harbaugh goes, did UCLA ever have a realistic shot of landing Fangio? – Anonymous
I think UCLA had a decent shot, but the problem with rumors in 2011 is they spread so fast and so far that even a “he could come to UCLA” turns into “he will come to UCLA” and in some cases “he has already been hired.” From what I’ve read and heard, the alleged rift between Harbaugh and Fangio was a bit overblown, but I also think that UCLA, if they open up the pocketbook, would make for an attractive destination.
5) Scout is saying that UCLA has somewhat decent to so-so chances of signing the following FB recruits, please advise what you’ve heard on any of them: CB Stefan McClure, DT Christian Heyward, DE Brennan Scarlett, OG Cyrus Hobbi, WR Devin Lucien. – tim warren
I wrote about this yesterday, but yes, UCLA has a chance for each of those players. If anyone can sell UCLA in its current state, its Rick Neuheisel, who is able to sell so many different attributes to so many different players and personalities. Some want playing time, some want to live in Los Angeles, some want to bring UCLA back to prominence, some want the academic, some want to play near home. Neuheisel knows how to capitalize on that better than most coaches I’ve ever met.