When thinking of headlines for this story, only this one stuck. Why? Could there be anything more relevant?
The news of Stan Hasiak’s academic ineligibility and possible transfer, since confirmed by sources in the program, fits: A) This is getting just comical, B) honestly, who IS on the line? and C) now it sure seems like Rick Neuheisel and Bob Palcic are going to have to do some improvising.
Lets start with the first part: At this point, can you do more than shake your head at UCLA’s offensive line issues in the last few years? I started covering the team in August 2009; since then: Eddie Williams has broken his ankle, Xavier Su’a-Filo has left for a mission, Kai Maiava has been academically suspended and broken an ankle, Jeff Baca has been academically suspended and broken an ankle, Mike Harris has been suspended once, AND Nik Abele suffers a career-ending injury and Stan Hasiak has been academically suspended three times. That is just…you can’t overcome that. That list of guys right there, when healthy, would be one of the best lines in the Pac-12.
Now? Neuheisel and Co. have a mammoth undertaking on their hands, starting simply with musical chairs.
The pre-Spring depth chart was looking pretty solid, the line projected to be one of the best in the conference with solid depth to boot.
That’s a solid line, with good projections going forward, too.
Now Bradford’s development becomes crucial, as he could be the key to the line holding up in Baca’s absence, which will be at least the first month. So does Yandall’s, as he could be moved into the starting lineup, with Sheller bouncing back outside. The anticipated arrival of Albert Cid will be a boost, and any production from Brett Downey, Kody Innes and Casey Griffiths will be a bonus.
And don’t forget about the incoming freshmen – a couple of whom might be in for a rude awakening – in Torian White, Ben Wysocki and Jacob Brendel.