As part of my UCLA spring ball preview, we break down the position groupings. With a new coaching staff, the competition should be fierce in the spring, as few players did much too cement starting roles going into spring ball. The Bruins are going to more of a base spread offense and a base 3-4 defense – though they will mix packages and personnel frequently – so take into account the changes. This is only a spring preview, so only freshmen who are participating – T.J. Millweard and Marcus Rios – will be listed.
2011 Starts: Jeff Baca (13), Greg Capella (14), Alberto Cid (6), Wade Yandall (3 – no contact for spring), Chris Ward (4 – out for spring), Brett Downey (1)
Projected Depth Chart
LT: Xavier Su’a Filo, Brett Downey, Connor Bradford, Michael Padovese
LG: Greg Capella, Ben Wysocki
C: Jacob Brendel, Kody Innes
RG: Alberto Cid, Casey Griffiths, Sam Saultz
RT: Jeff Baca, Alexandru Ceachir, Torian White, Will Oliver
Coming In / Heading Out
In: FR Lacy Westbrook, FR Simon Goines, FR Colby Cyburt, FR Carl Hulick
Out: SR Mike Harris (graduation), SR Kai Maiava (graduation), SR Sean Sheller (graduation)
UCLA is once again in a precarious spot up front, only an injury or two away from real concern. Xavier Su’a-Filo goes a long way toward easing those concerns, but not all the way, as the Bruins lose two full-time starters plus Sean Sheller.
With Jeff Baca back to provide some veteran leadership and Greg Capella and Alberto Cid returning with some experience – Chris Ward is out for spring and Wade Yandall (head) is still not 100 percent – UCLA should have a pretty solid unit for spring. The performance of Jacob Brendel and Alexandru Ceachir will go a long way to determining where Jeff Baca ends up, and Baca back at guard could push Capella back to center, so there is definitely plenty to watch over the next few weeks.