Weekly Answers, Pt. 4

Check out the latest batch of weekly answers…

1) Hey Jon, Do you think now that Norm is Gone that XSF will follow him to Utah when he comes back from his LDS Mission. Or does the state of Matter more than one Coach in his Eyes?? – Saiko
Xavier Su’a-Filo implied to me before he left that he was tied to UCLA and Coach Neuheisel, not Chow so much. Recent reports have been that he’s been in communication with the staff and assured them he would return.

2) Outside of Datone Jones, who is going to be the leader of our defense next year? – Anonymous
Tony Dye, for certain, and I think Patrick Larimore could have a true breakout season if healthy, both in terms of production and leadership.

3) How can Neuheisel coach quarterbacks? What he be doing when the other team has the ball? Will he be coaching his quarterback on the sideline, or watching the defense on the field? – Mt Hermon
Many college coaches also count as position coaches, and given Neuheisel’s experience with quarterback, I wouldn’t even consider it a change. On game day, he’ll be focused on the entire team.

4) While Hundley has declared that he is not the Savior of Westwood, do you think that title goes to Steve Manfro, a highly coveted record-setting 2-star RB? With all joking aside, how does he fit in the program? Will he ever be more than a scout team player with Franklin, Coleman, Jones, and James ahead of him? – Anonymous
Man, you guys can be really harsh sometimes. The kid had what, 50 touchdowns last season? In a good league? Can’t you wait until he actually steps on the field for UCLA to criticize him?

5) Who has the best work ethic on the basketball team? Is there anyone who works as hard as Westbrook or Afflalo did? – Shoyu
I’m not sure anyone works as hard as Westbrook and Afflalo, but I’ve heard very good things about Malcolm Lee’s work ethic, as well as Lazeric Jones’.

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  • Anonymous

    Re: Manfro. I think those kind of questions are asked because you made him out to be some kind of second coming of Toby Gerhart.


    Nah those qustions are asked because people are idiots!

  • INawe

    agreed with Bruinbeatch.

  • Anonymous

    Scout team players come in handy during practices.

  • Exactly how did I make him out like Gerhart? What implied that from what I wrote?

  • Anonymous

    How about “For Manfro, having the opportunity to someday step into JONES-DREW’s shoes is a dream come true.” or one better- “At 5-10, 176 pounds, Manfro is bigger than WOODHEAD…” So the kid hasn’t set foot on the field and you’re comparing him to only two NFL All Pros.

  • If you’re basing Manfro’s ability on his 2-star rating, Rivals gave 2 stars to several RBs who are now in the NFL when they were in high school for example:
    Chris Johnson
    Chris Ivory
    Justin Forsett
    Rashad Jennings

    Scouting is only so accurate as evident by this and what happens in the NFL draft where early picks are often busts and late rounders are Pro Bowlers.

    I’m not putting Manfro in the pros at this moment, but if you watch his videos, you see he’s got speed, good hands, ability to break tackles, and he’s clearly got the numbers in a solid football league. Manfro should contribute to UCLA during his tenure one way or another.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Sorry I asked the question re:Manfro. I think it was someone else in the comment section that compare Manfro to Gerhart, not Jon.

    And Manfro actually compare himself to Woodhead and MJD in his own quotes. “I want to compete in the top level of football,” Manfro said. “With smaller running backs, it’s starting to get big now. Woodhead is 5-7 right? Hes balling it up. Maurice Jones-Drew is small. He’s great.”

    I’m not hating on the kid. I wish him well at UCLA. But I’m just saying that although it’s great he has confidence in his own ability, let’s just slow down a bit and not act like he is an all-world commit just because he put up great number in high school.

  • Coach Thom

    The $UC and ‘I hate UCLA’ posters on this board are getting monotonous. Jon, do you really have to give them air-time? They are immature, noxious, and irrelevant. Why do we have to put up with them?

  • MichaelRyerson

    Monkeys. Typewriters. Wasn’t Michael Crabtree a 2-star recruit? Just sayin’

  • cv

    Crabtree was a four star, #16 WR in the nation, just for the record

  • Flexmonk

    Idiots on this board. Nobody compared him to Toby Gerhart, who was actually a 3-star recuit. Who heck would cry about getting a back who had 3,700+ AP Yards and 40+ TDs. If you were too lazy to look, here’s some of his stats pulled by Scout.

    #1 All-Purpose RB in the State of California (3,788 yds.)
    #1 RB in Rushing in the Southern Section, establishing a new Foothill rushing record, (previously held by Manuel White, Valencia H.S./UCLA/NFL)
    #1 RB in Receiving Southern Section
    #2 Senior RB Total Scoring – State of California (41 TDs), and established a new Foothill League single game rushing record – 420 yds. on 15 carries (previously held by Shane Vereen, Valencia HS/Cal/NFL -Draft 2011)

  • MichaelRyerson

    oh yeah, 4-stars. I guess my point, if I have one, is nobody knows. These are unproven kids who’ve dominated smaller, slower kids in high school and they’re going to now have to compete with people just as fast and as big or bigger and it’s a crap-shoot. The story of the five star or four star who never quite worked out is so common as to be a cliche (don’t make me post a couple of dozen names). Everybody needs to relax and cut these guys some slack.

  • cv

    MR is right, i think the biggest thing is that the vast majority of kids never get rated or ranked so it is a crap shoot.

  • Ocean Blue

    What seems to get lost very often is that the star ranking (while imperfect) is merely a predictor of potential. I don’t buy in to all the hype, but it’s pretty hard to argue that the 5-star kids have more talent and potential than the 3-star ones.

    That being said, potential is just that. It requires solid teaching and development on the part of coaches and dedication and work on the part of the kids before they can actually reach (or exceed) their potential.

    Manfro may very well turn out to be a stud. But if so, it won’t be because he’s simpley that good. It will be because he and the coaches put in the time and effort.

    Now, given the development of players for the Bruins over the past few years – particularly those who came in with more potential than talent – one has to wonder whether things will work out.

  • Anonymous

    Hey jon what’s going on with a defensive coordinator? It seems we are losing out on recruits because of this. I know we want to hire the right guy but my goodness does it take this long, please answer if you can thanks

  • Anonymous

    To Ocean Blue

    You make good points about the “development” part from the coaches. This is something the UCLA coaches have NOT done… is “develop” players.

    Once thing to keep in mind also is that the offensive line and QB are key pieces to making a running back successful.

    It’s some what disappointing on how most of the posters here are trying to justify Manfro or not. I think it’s irrelevant until UCLA fixes the O line problem. UCLA has gotten many top running backs recently and they all don’t seem to pan out very well. RN’s pattern is to continually shuffle the running backs and not really addressing the true issue which is the O line and the offensive system he’s trying to run.