Brief thoughts on Presley/Viney transfer

The problem with college football is that sometimes talented players get lost in the shuffle, and no matter how much promise they show or how much they may tantalize with size or speed, it just doesn’t come to fruition.

In Morrell Presley’s brief time at UCLA, all that was coupled with myriad off-the-field issues and lapses in judgment. Then pretty soon after Anthony Barr got on campus, it was clear that he would push for time in the lineup. Then after the two went relatively back-and-forth last year, Barr’s productivity took a massive leap this spring and Presley somewhat disappeared.

The top-ranked tight end in the country out of high school appeared was back at that spot for much of spring ball, but still, Cory Harkey and Joseph Fauria were roadblocks for the rising junior.

So his decision to move on is understandable. New coach, but same system, same tweener body and same hole to dig out of when trying to prove maturity and good behavior. I expect him to go to a good school, and who knows, maybe he could develop into a major player. But I don’t think it would’ve happened at UCLA.

Then there’s Viney, who I thought should have played more all along and was stuck behind Rick Neuheisel’s infatuation with bigger players. I think his decision to leave is more perplexing – despite the fact that he’ll graduate from UCLA and still be able to transfer to a FBS school. If it were me, I’d probably stay and close out my career. But I understand the desire to play, and all the power to him.

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  • ESbruin

    Well said. I would have loved to have seen Pressley develop but I think it speaks to the level of talent UCLA has when two talented guys are transferring because they are buried in the depth chart. But if history serves as an indicator, they would have been starting in October because of injuries.

  • Anonymous

    Completely agree with Gold on Neu and Viney. Viney should have seen the field especially 2 years ago. Sheldon Price was absolutely atrocious and should have never seen the field as a freshman. But he started because of Neu’s obsession with size over talent.

  • ucla steve

    I wish I could be as indifferent as the coach.
    I might be concerned with the seventeen year old perception of my arguably highest ranked, most talented recruit in four years, from Carson, in the epicenter of my recruiting base, leaving
    dissatisfied and unutilized without a perceived commitment to developing his widely perceived talent.
    As in the case with Drew Gordon, I would have liked to have seen
    a proactive coaching staff use better judgement, anticipation, and manipulation of the situation, at least resolving
    this earlier in the relationship. Preferably prior to Austin Sefarian-Jenkins committing to Washington.

  • Texas Bruin

    I guess we have to trust the coaching staff… but boy I wonder come November if we have a record that would reflect more talented players playing ahead of these guys. Harkey can’t catch a pass to save his life, I suppose he’s a better blocker than Presley based on his size and I hope Faurina is improved as has been reported. Viney is a talent and not sure why he wasn’t on the field more – at least getting enough PT to keep him satisfied. Time will tell…

  • Gibson Duntz Legal Eagle

    The DOWNFALL of UCLA Football has reached a new nadir. Sir Marell Presley was a bona fidey 5***** star talent. How the coaches at UCLA managed to screw this one up just illustrates how low the program has sunk.

    This coaching staff, led by the always sharp-tongued salesman Sir Rick Nohustle, is grossly incompetent. It is the coaches job to motivate, prepare, and develop talent like these 2 gentlemen and scholars. With Sirs Pressley and Viney, the staff has shown true gross incompetence, and it has also infected last year’s recruiting class.

    I bet Sir Presley rues the day that he signed his UCLA LOI two years ago. Hope Sir Brett Michaels Hundley does not meet the same fate. Good luck Sir Presley wherever you end up. And please lay off the Ganja.

    Gibson Duntz

  • ucla-of-the rockies

    Sir Eagle Whatever: Sometimes, new systems don’t fit existing players, especially small ones or, worse, tweeners. I don’t pretend to know futbol, rugby or cricket, or wherever you are from, but this is not uncommon in the sport of real football at any level.

  • Ley

    Wow!!! it’s funny how short peoples memories are (eagle). He (Presley) has had nothing but the drops every time they threw him the ball (Texas game ?) and has shown nothing of the 5 star you claim. He also was too small to put in the tight end line up and was thus beat out by some one who obviously wanted it more….we wish him luck but reality sucks….deal with it!!!

  • Free_Thinker

    Could it be your program just sucks and Neuheisel does not know how to develop or mentor talent?

  • DoubleBruin

    Ley, didn’t we open last season with the first two passes to Presley (wide open) and he dropped them both against KSU?

  • BruinFaithful

    I really don’t get it. I thought the kid had a solid spring, put weight on and was in the thick at TE. I really regret that we were not able to develop him. However, I do believe we wanted to and gave the kid every shot possible. I too remember him dropping way too many passes that hit him in the hands.

    We can say what we will about the coaching staff not developing him. But is it the staff’s fault that the kid couldn’t stop smoking weed, paying attention in class, and stealing property?

  • bibs

    Players are sometimes encouraged to leave and the coaches allow them to do so without making negative comments.Players who are suspended from games are usually dealing with problems. This coaching staff will reach a new level with this years team. Notice how many players from other schools are being suspended for violation of team rules?

  • Anonymous

    ucla steve –

    drew gordon was shown the door. nothing similar about these situations.

  • fly on the wall

    My two cents as a fly on the wall…As I see it, Coaches &Staff are responsible to RECRUIT w/integrity, develop the young talent & their program on and off the field. Players are responsible to produce on and off the field. That said, rankings for players in recruiting come from many credible sources prior to the recruit of a kid stemming as far back as HS. In fact, the rating system is extremely competitive from what I hear. Bottom line is this, we can all play sideline quarterback on the amount of highly rated transfers out of the program but we as spectators can only do that-speculate. Each kid is different and has different reasons for doing what they have done (to include transferring to another school). Isn’t that their right though as free Americans? They are not getting paid to play football and if they have choices, then really- can’t they do as they please until they figure it out(they are all about 18-19 when making this commitment-lol)? Regarding some of the behaviors of the players, that’s as much the programs fault as it is the players because they ALL know that the potential for those problems may exist when recruiting “inner city” kids. That said the next logical extension of that is that there are inherent challenges that come with taking a kid from their environment and expecting new behavior and life choices. Well, that’s a whole lot easier said than done. As a staff, I’d expect that there are processes in place in the recruiting process that filter out the kids with issues or at a minimum expect to deal with some cultural differences once they have on-boarded them in to a new way of life. The kids & families are committing to a staff and program when being recruited. In many cases, this is the way out of a horrible life with bad influences. I’ll be encouraged when we start to see some ownership of good and bad situations. That’s the only way to progress. To hide, disguise, or mask issues only prolongs the inevitable….losing record and losing of recruits. Good luck to everyone involved. I pray that we’ll all do our part to encourage and motivate the team and its players.