Neuheisel on the depleted WR corps

Despite a wide receiver corps depleted by suspension, UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said he was unsure if he would use freshman Devin Lucien against Cal at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Rose Bowl.

With senior Taylor Embree, junior Randall Carroll and sophomores Ricky Marvray and Shaq Evans suspended for their roles in starting and escalating a mid-field brawl at the end of the first half in the Bruins’ 48-12 loss at Arizona on Thursday, the Bruins are down to just seniors Nelson Rosario and Josh Smith, junior Jerry Rice Jr. and Lucien, who has maintained his redshirt.

Neuheisel added that junior wide receiver Jerry Johnson could be available after returning from a fractured ankle suffered last year and that F-back Jordon James can play oustside, as well.

“It’s a precarious situation, that’s true,” Neuheisel said, “but we feel like with our athletes and some of the stuff we can do in the running game we can neutralize the effect of it.”
Neuheisel said that the decision to use Lucien, who starred at Crespi and looked ready for the game during fall camp, will be a group discussion.

“No, he’s not off the table, but it’s important that that be a family decision,” Neuheisel said. “Devin has sat for the entire year, we thought for a redshirt. These guys are going to be back after one game so I want to make sure we are doing something prudent for Devin. And making sure that he understands what the situation exactly is. We’ll certainly talk about that and talk about it with Devin.”

Neuheisel also said he was “not going to second-guess” the league on the suspensions, which also included a two-game suspension for sophomore defensive tackle Cassius Marsh and a half-game penalty for sophomore offensive guard Alberto Cid. Four Arizona players were suspended for their roles in the brawl as well, which broke out after a streak disrupted the game with four seconds left in the first half and the Bruins trailing 42-7.

“I’m disappointed it took place,” Neuheisel said. “Circumstances were nothing short of bizarre.”

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  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Prudent for Devin?
    What, all Lucien has to do is drop two passes next week and then he’s guaranteed to start the rest of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta give Coach Neuheisel credit for one thing – he really does seem to be looking after the players best interests in terms of redshirts this year. He could easily have played Hundley as a kind of last ditch effort on Thursday and didn’t. And, he does seem to really have Devin Lucien’s best interests in mind as well. Even though I have lost faith that he can steer our football program in the right direction, I can see why the players have had faith in his decisions for them. He wants what’s best for the players, but just doesn’t know how to do it…

  • Amillennialist

    The frustration of knowing that you’ve committed to a coach and program which is not only *not* preparing you for the next level but isn’t preparing you for collegiate football may have led to the players’ unsportsmanlike conduct Thursday.

  • Reformed Droog

    @Amillennialist

    #happygilmorespeech

  • Reformed Droog

    Oops, make that #billymadisonspeech.

    *Sigh* Lack of sleep is killing my jokes…

  • rejn

    Sounds like Neuheisel is thinking through the Lucien situation like you’d hope he would. However, the better answer would have been this – We decided to redshirt Lucien when the season started, and that is not going to change becuase of something dumb that happened during the Arizona game. It happened, Lucien is going to be a great player for our program and school, we decided to redshirt him for a reason, and that’s the way it is. This is not a season changing situation (regarding the suspended players), but if those guys were done for the season, then that’s a different ballgame. We’ll just have to take our lumps, I take responsibility for what happened, and we’ll do the best with what we have at the moment.

  • ucla-of-the-rockies

    Droog: Now I see why so many of your posts are not just solid, but funny too.

    As for old-school Sandler, my kids got such a kick out of an SNL skit I pulled up the other day when they were talking about the food served at school.

    It’s called “Lunch Lady Land” and features Sandler and the late Chris Farley. You’ll laugh your ass off, even if you watch it during a 42-7 Bruins halftime deficit against the likes of a double-directional, St. Mary’s of the Woods or Arizona.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/ucla/2011/10/neuheisel-on-the-depleted-wr-c.html#comments Glowbruins

    I don’t think it’s worth getting overly dramatic about these suspensions. We were outscored 45 to 7 in a single half of football with the suspended players.
    Let’s see what our non-suspended players can do.
    And don’t let one bad decision beget another by blowing kids’ redshirt eligibility.

  • Anonymous

    “*Sigh* Lack of sleep is killing my jokes…”

    Looks more like a lack of wit.

  • Reformed Droog

    @ucla-of-the-rockies

    Sadly, Adam Sandler has gone the way of Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock and is rarely funny these days. There’s something to be said for being young, dumb, and willing to say what’s on your mind if it’ll get a laugh…

    @anonymous 11:35am

    Well, yeah, but wit takes effort and I take my cues from the Coach!

  • kelphus

    Coach isn’t going to “second guess”??? that’s all he had to say?

    This isn’t the coach UCLA deserves. He should have stood up and taken a stand about certain of his players completely losing control.

    Completely wrong response.

    It’s over. Get him outa here

  • sureshot

    I think ucla should extend Neuheisel. His passion bucket is clearly full.

  • Anon

    does it really matter if you have receivers in this offense? Prince can’t get them the ball, and we run up the middle 80% of the time.