Did Jeremy Castro flip to UCLA?

It appears so…

Coveted defensive end/linebacker Jeremy Castro wrote on his Twitter feed that he flipped to UCLA from Oregon after his official visit this weekend, this as the Tampa Times is reporting that Oregon coach Chip Kelly is close to a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As if this offseason could get any crazier…

Now if the Castro conversion comes to fruition, the Bruins are going to get another solid prospect for what’s expected to be a shift to be a hybrid 4/3 – 3/4 defense. Castro is ranked as the No. 21 outside linebacker by Scout.com No. 17 by Rivals.com and No. 108 by ESPN.com – and he has offers from Oklahoma, Washington, Boise State, Clemson and several Pac-12 schools.

Castro is 6-3, 245 pounds and would help the Bruins at a position of need, with an influx of young talent needed on that edge rush. Here’s a video of his junior year highlights, and I’m sure a senior video will be up soon, as he had 106 tackles and 11 sacks:

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UCLA falls to Oregon after rough second half

EUGENE – The UCLA men’s basketball team has had more false starts this season than a football team starting five freshmen on the offensive line.
Case in point: the Bruins’ woeful opening in their three-point loss at Oregon State on Thursday, when the Beavers jumped to an 7-0 lead.
On Saturday, UCLA stormed out of the gate, leading Oregon by nine less than five minutes in the game before taking a 13-point into halftime.
The only problem?
In college basketball there are two starts, and the Bruins could not recharge.
The Ducks went on a 15-2 run to open the second half and pulled away from UCLA with some clutch free-throw shooting to ruin the Bruins’ trip to the Beaver State with a 75-68 win in front of 10,830 at Matthew Knight Arena.
“It’s pretty devastating right now to lose after you have a 13-point lead going into the second half,” senior guard Jerime Anderson said. “That’s where we need to become a better team and grow as a team and be able to come out on top and get this win. We were spotted 13 points in 20 minutes and we weren’t able to come out with it.”
Anderson’s foul of Oregon guard Garrett Sim during a 3-point attempt spurred the Ducks early in the half and had the crowd building on the frenzy caused during a halftime ceremony celebrating the school’s Rose Bowl-winning football team. Sim hit the free throw to make it a seven-point game, followed less than a minute later with another 3-pointer, and by the time UCLA stopped to breathe, the Ducks had tied the game at 39. Oregon took its first lead with 7 minutes, 47 seconds left in the game and led for the duration.
“When they had their roll going, the crowd definitely – I don’t know if it factored in for us, but for them their intensity level definitely went up,” said sophomore forward Travis Wear, who led the team with 17 points. We could sense it. Unfortunately we couldn’t stop it right away. They got a couple buckets and kept rolling.”
Exactly what UCLA did so right in the first half, it did wrong in the second.
After forcing the Ducks into 22.6 percent shooting for the first 20 minutes with improved energy and sound defensive rotations, the Bruins wilted in the second half under the face of Oregon’s pressure. The Ducks shot 50 percent in the second half, including 5-of-9 from 3-point range, as E.J. Singler took control.
Singler, who had a career-high 24 points in the teams’ previous matchup in last season’s Pac-10 Tournament – a 17-point Oregon win – topped his previous best with 26 points, capitalizing on frequent trips to the free-throw line.
Singler hit 16-of-17 free throws and the Ducks converted 28-of-32 as a team, while UCLA tightened up at the line, making just 10-of-21.
“They really got it to Singler in some of his sweet spots on the floor,” Anderson said. “He was able to work them very well. He shot 17 free throws today and we just didn’t have an answer for him in the second half.”
After the pivotal two-game trip left them at 3-4 in Pac-12 play, the Bruins continue to search for answers.
“Obviously this was a huge setback,” Anderson said. “We’re 3-4 now. I’ll let those numbers speak for themselves.”

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UCLA up on Oregon 37-24 at the half

UCLA fans must feel like they’re watching a different team today in Eugene.

Two days after letting Oregon State shoot the lights out on Thursday in an 87-84 loss to the Beavers, UCLA clamped down on Oregon while taking a 13-point halftime lead.

The Bruins, who got off to a 13-4 lead to start the game, held the Ducks to 7-of-31 shooting in the first half – including 2-of-11 3-point shooting – while maintaining a 26-16 advantage on the glass.

UCLA had little trouble finding the basket, going 17-for-33 from the field but just 1-for-8 from the free-throw line. The Bruins had a balanced attack with four players over six points, including David and Travis Wear who paced the effort with eight points each.

E.J. Singler (1-for-6) and Devoe Joseph (2-for-8) each led Oregon with six points.

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Just one question: What’s Adrian Klemm’s recruiting pitch?

Doing a monster story on the UCLA offensive line – centerpiecing Sunday’s Daily News sports section, so it’s worth the 25 cents or whatever – and I sat down for a while with Adrian Klemm. I asked him one specific question I wanted answered – give me your recruiting pitch – and here was his answer. And answer. And answer. And answer. And answer…

Adrian Klemm on…..
“From an academic standpoint, you’re talking about one of the finest institutions in the country. A very diverse campus, and you’re in the middle of one of the most famous, safest areas, where the people you’ll rub elbows with can be beneficial to you even in life after football. A lot of times I tell people, it’s not a four-year decision, it’s a 40-year decision. This is going to dictate how the rest of your life is, whether you have success on or off the field, while you’re playing or if you go into the business world. You’re going to meet a lot of people here who will be beneficial to you once you do something else.

“Like I tell a lot of guys – even if you make it into the NFL, at some point you’re going to have to work. Very few guys go in there and play 15 years and I don’t think kids realize that sometimes. The average player plays 2.5-3 years, and really if you’re only playing 2.5-3 years, you’re not making that much money. You’re not making millions like people think. Every year in the draft, people think everyone’s making $15, $20 million out of the gate. Maybe 15 or 20 guys get that. The rest are in the low-hundreds; a lot of money, but when you take training into account, living in different places, paying agents, new money to family members – that can go pretty fast. You want something to fall back on. But then if you’re a guy who makes a ton of money and you don’t have to work but you want to invest, you want to have that network you can reach out to, also.

“You don’t want to go to some place just because of the uniform or just because of the stadium or just because of an individual coach. You want to go to a place that sets you up to have the best success, whether that’s on the field or off the field. You’d like to have the combination of both, and here at UCLA, obviously you get a great education, but from a football standpoint, too, you have a number of guys with a tremendous amount of experience, whether that’s coaching or playing. A lot of us have NFL experience – obviously Coach Mora has more than anybody else – and he’s a guy that, if you’re trying to get to that level, who better to get you to that level than a guy who has evaluated people up there and knows exactly what they’re looking for? If you want to be the best at your position, there’s a number of guys on this staff that can tell you how – not because they were the best at the position but because they’ve done it, they’ve made mistakes, they know what works and what doesn’t work and they can tell you exactly what it takes. At this level of football – Pac-12, SEC, Big-12 – everybody is a good coach. There’s not a lot that separates guys. But from the standpoint of the little things, the intangibles, there are some things that maybe guys like myself, Jeff, Coach Mora can add to the table. Not much more but a little more.

“I just try to sell that. It’s all about relationships when it comes down to it. It’s about who can set you up for the best future and it’s about relationships. Who is going to take care of you when you get there? Who is going to look out for you? Who is going to make sure you graduate? Who is going to keep your parents involved? Kids are leaving home and a lot of times now you’re seeing kids branch out across the country. It’s not just kids staying local. When they go out there, if a kid leaves California and goes to a Texas or a Florida halfway across the country, who is going to look out for them? More than likely it’s the guy who has established a relationship with the kid and his family. I just try to build trust, try to always be honest and I think everyone on the staff tries to do the same thing. You just hope that in the end, the kids appreciate that and they realize what’s best for them, and their parents are a stable support system, and they’re guided in the right direction.”

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More Howland tidbits

On aggression:
“The first play of the game, they had the ball and they got a second shot. We just were not agressive enough, the way we need to be. They got a second shot off a missed shot because we did a bad job closing the back side, and then they scored.”

On Oregon’s 17-point win over UCLA in the 2011 Pac-10 tournament:
“We played them three times and the last time they really handled us. I haven’t watched that game yet, but what i remember is we came off a long road trip and we played like we were tired in that game. We just didn’t play well.”

On Joshua Smith coming off the bench:
“I can’t speak for the rest of the season, but right now, yeah. Josh has to help us more than he’s helped us defensively. He has zero blocked shots in conference so far. He has to be more of a presence for us on the defensive end of the floor. We need him to step up and play better defense.”

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