Jefferson gone for season

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel confirmed that redshirt freshman cornerback Anthony Jefferson would probably miss the season after impending back surgery to fix a bulging disc.

Jefferson, who missed nine games last season after a promising freshman year was cut short by a broken foot, would’ve provided much-needed depth behind Aaron Hester and Sheldon Price. Particularly with the loss of Courtney Viney to New Mexico State, the loss of Jefferson is a big one.

The Bruins will be looking at veteran Andrew Abbott, incoming Vanderbilt fifth-year transfer Jamie Graham, Brandon Sermons and Anthony Thompson as backups, with Tony Dye able to slide over on occasion if needed.

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Yount signed by Buccaneers

Quick note: Former UCLA longsnapper Christian Yount has been signed to a free-agent contract by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yount went undrafted in April’s NFL Draft, but he’ll have a shot of sticking with the Buccaneers as one of the top long-snappers in the country.

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Prince to get first-team reps to start camp

UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said that junior quarterback Kevin Prince would get the first-team reps at the onset of fall camp as he was the team’s starter before being injured last season.

Prince was restricted in spring ball after recovering from in-season knee surgery with most of the first-team reps going to Richard Brehaut, but Prince’s knee is 100-percent healed and he has had full range of motion for quite some time.

Neither quarterback performed well last season as the Bruins tumbled down the national passing ratings. Brehaut was marginally better in his nine appearances (seven starts), completed 119-of-212 passes for 1,296 yards, with six touchdowns and seven interceptions. In five starts, Prince was 42-of-94 for 384 yards and three touchdowns and five interceptions before being lost for the season after a 35-7 loss to Cal.

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Hundley to have knee surgery, out most of fall camp

UCLA freshman quarterback Brett Hundley, the No. 2 quarterback prospect in the country, suffered a torn meniscus playing basketball and will have surgery Wednesday, head coach Rick Neuheisel said at Pac-12 media day.

Neuheisel said Hundley will miss roughly half of fall camp, a crushing blow to the Chandler, Ariz., product, who left high school early to enroll at UCLA and participated in spring ball with mixed results.

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Pac-12 preseason media poll ranks UCLA fifth South Division

UCLA was picked to finish fifth in the south division in the inaugural Pac-12 preseason media poll, behind USC, Arizona State, Utah and Arizona, and a spot ahead of Colorado. The Bruins, who return 17 starters, were picked 8th in the 2010 Pac-10 preseason media poll last season (with one first-place vote), before the split to two divisions.

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Ruffman Recruiting Report – Folasa Commits

Campus Correspondent Jacob Ruffman has a recap here on UCLA’s latest football verbal commit, Isaiah Folasa

By this time last summer, UCLA had only four commitments. This year, the Bruins already have ten, with the most recent coming from Santiago High School’s Isaiah Folasa.

Folasa plays left tackle for the Sharks but will most likely come into UCLA as a guard because of his 6-foot-3, 325-pound frame. The Bruins were the first team to extend an offer to Folasa following their camp in late June and it didn’t take long for him to accept the offer.

“His first offer came from his favorite school,” Sharks head coach Jeff Steinberg said. “His family has always loved UCLA and he’s a UCLA fan so when he got an offer we had a little talk and he told me UCLA was at the top; I said it was kind of a no-brainer. Why toy around trying to get other offers when you already have your school?”

Folasa has the right mentality for a lineman; he plays until the whistle and he uses his size very well, driving defenders backwards until they hit the ground. For the Bruins, however, especially in the zone-read blocking system and the Pistol offense, he’ll have to learn to maintain contact to the second level and not leave defenders still in the running lanes.

“He finishes his blocks really well and gets off the line of scrimmage really well,” Steinberg said. “He’s a little out of position for where he’ll play in college but in our offense we want our bigger guys on the edge. At the next level he’ll do very well moving inside.”

Folasa is the Bruins’ second offensive line commitment in a class that will likely end up with between 4-6 linemen. One of those commits may actually end up being Folasa’s cousin, Hiva Lutui, a four-star guard out of Texas who was originally from Southern California.

Ruffman had a brief chat with Folasa, after the jump…

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Weekly Q&A

Fire away with questions for this week’s Q&A. Please don’t post new questions on the answers section, because I don’t always check the comments. Save them for next week.

Thanks
Jon

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What does Artis commitment mean?

Dominic Artis’ reported verbal commitment to UCLA tonight affects the Bruins in many ways…

* Point Guard Lockdown?
With the point guard spot looking precarious for UCLA as recently as a year ago – the Bruins were spurned by the cream of the 2010 and 2011 crops – many fans were wondering who was going to carry the team, and the ball, in the near future. Now, UCLA seems to be in pretty good hands for the foreseeable future. Between the senior duo of Lazeric Jones and Jerime Anderson in 2011-12, a senior Larry Drew and a freshman Artis for 2012-13, and the projected four-year career for Artis, the Bruins are regaining some of the stability that lifted them to great heights in the mid-2000s.

* A Perfect Fit?
Artis’ game seems to lend itself very well to Ben Howland’s style, and Artis should give the Bruins the high-impact half-court creator that they’ll need going forward. Artis has some stop-and-pop in him, but he thrives with the ball in his hands – great handles – and he’s able to create as the clock winds down. In the Howland offense, that’s crucial, as it encourages teammates to stay active for 35 seconds.

* Puzzle Pieces?
First Jordan Adams, now Artis. Who’s next? While many are predicting a dream class for UCLA – and in my opinion, a more thoroughly put-together dream class than the ill-fated ’08 group – and Adams and Artis are a great start, they are the lesser-coveted of the projected future Bruins. UCLA is still working hard on Shabazz Muhammad, Brandon Ashley, Kyle Anderson, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Shaq Goodwin, L.J. Rose, Arnaud Moto, Zena Edosomwan and Robert Upshaw. With as few as three scholarships and as many as five to give for the ’12 class, any combination of as many as three of those would be a major coup for Howland.

* Opening Channels?
Everyone knows that in college basketball recruiting, you don’t just have to recruit the player, but in most cases, the coach, and sometimes the school, too. So the commitments of Findlay Prep and Oak Hill Academy products cannot be understated (overstated, I mean overstated, as in…overstated), and now, along with the Mater Dei pipeline flowing freely – the Bruins have inroads at some major basketball schools that produce top talent on a yearly basis. If Muhammad comes aboard, that opens up Bishop Gorman, one of the dominant high school programs in Nevada.

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