Whose Line is it Anyway?

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.

Baca/Sheller/Maiava/Ward/Harris
Bradford/Hasiak/Capella/Yandall/Downey

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.

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  • Anonymous

    Jon, Bradford just weighed in at 250lbs. He has been with the program 3 years and instead of increasing his size he has gotten smaller. Maybe when the coaching staff moved him to TE he figured his OL days were over. Now the coaches expect him to be at 285 by fall, not going to happen! The development days have passed, part of the development is to gain weight and strentgh to play your position at this level.

  • Tustin Dave

    Bradford is about 285 lbs not the 250 listed above. He does need to add weight to be able to play as a backup OT. If he starts, we are in trouble.

    OT is an issue and Griffiths might help there in the fall after missing last year due to injury. Downey doesn’t look like he can play LT so we need someone to step up. I doubt White can play this year as he really needs to redshirt as does Brendel. More than likely, if more injuries hit, Ward might move out to LT. Yandell probably will move into the lineup for Hasiak.

  • Anonymous

    Tustin Dave, the mear fact that you think there is a left tackle and right tackle and so on, just shows that you havent been paying attention at all. Our new system has a strong and weak tackle not right or left. Also if you had payed attention during the spring you would have seen that Bret Downey had surpassed Mike Harris for the starting job. That might not be the way it will be in fall, but it shows that Downey can play

  • UW Fan

    “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.”

    Projected by whom? This is the first I’ve heard anyone say anything like that.

    Who are the knowledgable media pundits out there projecting this is one of the top 3-4 OL’s in the PAC-12?

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla Jon Gold

    If totally healthy, this is one of the top lines in the conference. Returning two-year starter in Harris, returning two-year starter in Maiava, returning two-year starter in Baca, returning one-year starter in Sheller, and introduction of the No. 8 guard in the 2010 class. With the amount of attrition on several Pac-10 lines this year, that’s one of the best.

  • UW Fan

    Jon,
    Thanks for the explanation. Certainly you know UCLA football better than myself or any other reporter out there…but are you in the minority in this view?

    I get your explanation that if healthy, there’s some experience there. But are the epxerienced players any good? My sense is XSF is pretty good, but I didn’t get that about these other guys.

    I recall people saying the UW OL was going to be very good going into 2008, because among the 5 projected starters, they had about 85 career starts between them going into that season. That team proceeded to go 0-12 and be pretty much the worst rushing team UW had ever seen. So i get a little cynical that two years of starting experience on a poor rushing team makes someone one of the better OL in the conference…

  • http://www.limohiredirectory.co.uk/ limos

    Whose line was it anyways??