Recruiting reset with Brandon Huffman Pt. 1

Jon Gold: Last year, as the team collapsed to 4-8, all the momentum and all the excitement from early in the recruiting period dried up by October. This year, there’s almost no buzz. Is it even worth following UCLA recruiting now, given how much the in-season performance will mean for the overall class?
Brandon Huffman: Exactly. If you look at the spring going into what became Karl Dorrell’s final season, he had nine commits one day in march. Coming off a win over USC, not that uncertainty of 4-8, some were pegging it as a Top-25 team, and then the wheels fall off. Now you look at this season, and it’s kind of a make-or-break year for Neuheisel, and they still don’t have any guys commit. And it might take a while, too. Probably the earliest would be June when they have their camps. It’s kind of funny because if you look at the year coming off Neuheisel’s first season, their first commit was Julious Moore, he didnt stick, and Tevin McDonald and Wesley Flowers, and that was middle of June. And that was selling a 4-8 season, too.

JG: But isn’t it to be expected, given all the turmoil on the coaching staff and the lack of success…
“No, I don’t think this is what should’ve been expected, especially when you think they went 7-6 in Year Two, but I understand it. Going 4-8 in Year One isn’t tough. You’re just building a program. You go 7-6 and you tell the class, see we just won the bowl game. Now they were 4-8, worse than they were even in Neuheisel’s first season to me, and now what are you selling? You’re selling a true freshman quarterback – albeit with a lot of potential – a lot of turnover with positional coaches, especially at key parts, especially defensive line coach/LA recruiter in Todd Howard. Recruiting has changed so much – you have to get on these guys as sophomores and juniors. You lose that if you fire a coach in January or February of a kid’s junior year.

JG: It really just seems like we’re not going to know a thing about this class until late October…
“That’s being generous. They might start off strong, but they have the meat of theirPpac-12 schedule kicking in around then. Even with last year, they were 3-2, with a win over Texas and on the surface it’s, “Hey maybe you got some things going.” Then the wheels come off, and they end up with very mediocre class. October is fool’s gold. Yeah they’ll have played Texas and Stanford, but those last five games are the determining factor in the season and will play a big role in recruits they might get. ASU is starting to be aggressive in SoCal, and they come in during November, and many predict they’ll be the top team in the Pac-12 South, so we’ll know more then. I don’t think recruits are going to look at four or five games, but the season as a whole. There are still going to be a guy who makes early commit because he loves the school, but for the elite guys, who tend to wait til the end, they want to see games 1-12.

JG: So then what’s next for UCLA recruiting? When will they get a commit?
“I think a lot of it depends on the kind of guys they get into camp. Bigger deal is how aggressive the new assitants are. Mike Johnson is not only recruiting LA, but he’s the offensive coordinator. Is he a Norm Chow? Or is he a Dwayne Walker? Is Neuheisel going to be the face of UCLA recruiting, or is he going to let his coaches do ace recruiting? That’s the potential that Mike Johnson and Inoke Breckterfield have, guys who both know the west coast landscape. I don’t know how Tresey is going to do on the west coast – he seems more of a football guy than a recruiter. But you’ve got two guys who know the Pac-12 landscape – guys who played or coached in the Pac-10 – so they know what they have to sell. Now Breckterfield has to show he’s not just a position guy but is an ambitious young recruiter. Look at the best recruiter in the conference, away from Ed Orgeron, is Tosh Lupoi. He’s known as being an ace recruiter. He gets guys in, gets a couple drafted. Breckterfield is going to have that potential.”

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  • Anonymous

    Wut’s up, Jon? You have one of the more intriguing
    off season stories brewing right now as an aroused student body is taking on the mendacity of Mark Harlan
    and the Athletic Dept. on the foul relocating of the “New Pauly” student rooting section seating to the end zone SiberiaThousands of students

    “- over 9000 – voted last night in delivering this win stopping a Morgan Center effort to steal take away their sideline seats based on a cooked survey with just few hundred respondents. Only 8% of students supported Morgan Center’s land grab. 8 percent!— while 69% No vote (20% no preference) is pretty overwhelming of UCLA students voted to preserve our decade long tradition of sideline students. This is simply a smashing victory for students, alums and fans who have organized in last 5 weeks. On the flip side, this nothing short of humiliation and utter embarrassment for the likes of Dan Guerrero and Mark Harlan.” (bruinsnation.com)”

    So …hello…? Where are you, Jon?
    Did Dellins threaten to take away your rubber hot dogs at the Rose Bowl…or flat out access to your beat (?)….if you broke out of the one shallow and
    rather inaccurate crumb of a take you made in dismissing this issue weeks ago, BEFORE this historic vote, and really covered this? Did you care to ask current players Josh Smith and Anthony Stover, or Bruin legend Lynn Shackleford
    who have bought into the petition campaign (over 1100
    signatures on that one)
    You like to peruse and cut and paste….well how about taking a look at Bruinsnations.com on the airplane wifi on your “getaways” sojourn to NYC and see what you’re missing and how you’re being scooped in a great story by writers working for nothing but the team’s home court advantage and traditions vs. a clumsy and embarassing disinformation campaign of the AD ? If you don’t see the feature value in this story, you ought to re-dedicate your career to reviewing restaurants where there is always a free meal for ignoring the truth…=

  • Anonymous

    Dude shut up. Go start your own blog if you have better stories.

  • Bob

    Bruin Nation Sucks, it always has and always will. Enjoy your seats in the end zone unless you want to pony up the bunge it takes to re-build a new arena and make UCLA the money it thinks it can make on this deal. Bottom line is, at UCLA unless you compete for a National Championship you will never sell those seats for what DG wants to make on them. Give it a year and the den will be given back to it’s rightful owners.

    Did I mention Bruin Nation Really Really sucks.

  • BRUINBEATCH

    WOW. Hope you enjoy your time off Jon! Lol ^ someone’s been reading BruinsNation.I think anonymous might even work for BruinsNation. Maybe I should ask this guy to tell you why Dan G needs to go.lol

  • Anonymous

    i love bruinsnation they tell it how it is. i support the students all the way

  • Anonymous

    Bruinsnation is the Fox News of sports blogs.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing worse than Ruination is Chris Foster!

  • Anonymous

    That’s not fair to Fox News . . .

    . . . First poster couldn’t be Nestor; too many prepositions, conjunctions, and articles intact.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla/2011/05/recruiting-reset-with-brandon.html#more Whittier Bruin

    I’ve been a huge fan of BruinsNation until recently. I admire their crusade to support the Den and their seating situation. However, I have little patience for their constant barage of whinning which has come to represent and characterize the prose produced on their site. As soon as they find their “big boy” pants and put them on one leg at a time will I venture back to their site. Keep up the good work John and don’t forget take a regular spoon of some “man-up” juice or else I’ll have no other site to visit to get the latest news on my beloved Bruins.

  • Anonymous

    Bruinsnation is so embarrassing for the UCLA community. It’s one lonely dork blogging from his Mom’s basement, ten d-bags that suck up to him so they have a fleeting sense of their college years and an online sense self importance, and everyone else who tries to say something like *redacted by Bruinsnation.com.*

  • Mario DiLeo

    I wish bruinsnation.com WAS Fox News so then they would have the $$$ to make a difference…

  • Bruin4Eva

    Bruinsnation is so embarrassing for the UCLA community. It’s one lonely dork blogging from his Mom’s basement, ten d-bags that suck up to him so they have a fleeting sense of their college years and an online sense self importance, and everyone else who tries to say something like *redacted by Bruinsnation.com.*

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Try to express any opinion that has not first been “blessed” by the “up-tighty-doo-doo-dyes” and Nestor’s band of sycophants and you will be banned or shouted down – -I have never ever been scolded by a web site until that group of militants. Some nerve they have for sending private messages warning people that their opinion is “off” and if they don’t tow the party line they will be banned. What a joke that whole site is, and it’s too bad that what could be a great outlet and additional Bruin community has been hijacked by a bunch of so-called Bruins who show the darker side to large schools (i.e., there are always malcontents who represent an entity poorly).

  • bruincheerleader

    ahem…back to this blog…jon does ANYONE have any good news about UCLA SPORTS to tell us?…all seems lost right now at least in the so-called major sports…please give us some good news to hang our hopes on please?…

    thanks…GO BRUINS!

  • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Amillennialist

    “I have never ever been scolded by a web site until that group of militants.”

    I’ve been banned by:

    -jihadists and their Useful Idiot dhimmis at ABC,

    -socialist/communist tyrants,

    -Little Green Footballs (Charles Johnson is some sort of anarcho-Darwinist extremist), and . . .

    . . . Nestor.

  • Gibson Duntz Legal Eagle

    Sir Bruins,

    My understanding is that the Taliban allows for more freedom of speech and thought than the nihilists at Bruinsnation. For this reason, I do not read or post on the Bruinsnation blog, in a protest against nihilism.

    On second thought, the state of recruiting in the UCLA Football Programme is in deep despair. It is time for a call of duty to all legions of faithful fans to support the Programme.

    Warm Regards,

    Gibson Duntz
    LEGAL EAGLE

  • UCLAVES

    I respect Ryan Rosenblatt’s baseball coverage. Other than that Bruinnation is a JOKE!. They talk crap about anybody who says anything negative about UCLA only to be more negative than anything else out there. Nestor is your typical little boy who takes his bat and goes home when he doesn’t get his way. Don’t disagree with them or they will ban you, ooooh scary being banned. LOSERS!

  • Anonymous

    Umm guys Nestor stopped blogging at bruinsnation a few months ago… I agree that the other bloggers there can sometimes be a little unreasonable, but for the most part they do a good job. I don’t know any other place that delivers and links more UCLA content than bruinsnation. I may not agree with all the views and actions of the moderators, but it’s almost like a one-stop shop for UCLA news.

    Oh and don’t pretend like Rocky Seto was going to be a good DC. At this point, bruinsnation.com seems to have a slowly growing impact on UCLA Athletics. This is undeniable.

  • BruinFaithful

    Although I agree that BruinsNation is a bit out there and have gone off the grid, like an AWOL CIA covert, they do serve a purpose. They get in and do the dirty work. They kind of remind me of a Jack Nicholson speech in A Few Good Men. They are often repulsive, but I don’t think you could find anybody better or willing to do that dirty work.

    They have forged successful campaigns in the past, that were to the benefit of UCLA. Like promoting the firing of Karl Dorrell, and Neuheisel wasn’t their first choice either. I think he might have been 5th or lower. They also have uncovered several Admin mishaps and brought attention to them. Such as, Carnesale hiring Dorrell for stupid reasons, while Dan Guerrero wanted Mike Riley. I think anybody else could have seen that one. They have also brought awareness to all the transgressions in South Central. So, for a free publication, that doesn’t make it’s writers any money, I think they serve a purpose. Certainly reader beware, but I would also think most people reading here would be intelligent enough to disect what is written.

    I also think they did a GREAT job in raising awareness for the student seating issue at Pauley, to the benefit of the students. There are voices out there, that sometimes get drowned out or ignored by the powers that be or the traditional media. They give those voices a medium. In many ways, BruinsNation reminds me of some radical student group on campus, having a sit in. You may not agree with their methods, but you can’t argue with the cause.

    That being said, nobody has any right to come here and insult Jon Gold and demand that he do anything, regardless of the cause. That is just wrong and bad diplomacy. If you would ask Jon nicely to cover your story and involve him in the process, I guarantee you he would be glad to help and report it. Not bring his opinion to it, but report it. It is his job to report, as a reporter, not to opine or comment.

    BTW, why don’t you go chide the other local media for not reporting the story as well. Oh, that’s right, they don’t give a F, or have a blog you can go to and have your voice heard.

  • Anonymous

    Anyone who thinks Bruinsnation is responsible for accomplishing or influencing major decisions at UCLA is living in a privately defined universe devoid of reality. This reminds me of the scene in the Simpsons where Lisa offers to sell Homer a rock that keeps mountain lions away. He asks how it works and she says, “Well do you see any mountain lions?” He promptly hands her money convinced her and her “magical rock” must some how be responsible.

  • http://amillennialist.blogspot.com Amillennialist

    Obviously, since I used to post at BN and will visit when desperate even now (I stopped by once during the recent hiatus here), I appreciate the factual information posted there. That’s not the problem.

    At issue is their existential intolerance of anything outside Nestor-think. If you post anything Nestor wouldn’t like, you’re a Very Bad Man and wished away into the cornfield.

    Nestor and his progeny are Anthony Fremont with admin privileges.