Safety Tevin McDonald’s dismissal for a violation of team policy, announced last week, has left the secondary without any returning starters. Junior Dietrich Riley, a fellow member of UCLA’s 2010 recruiting class, now takes the mantle as the group’s most experienced player despite missing all of last season recovering from his neck injury.
“We’re disappointed, but you can’t change what happened in the past,” Riley said. “You just gotta accept it and move forward.
“I wish him the best of luck. I love that dude. We were really close. We made great plays on the field together. I know he’s gonna learn from this, and he’s definitely gonna have a great comeback.”
McDonald, who was the team’s third-leading tackler last year, was suspended for last December’s Holiday Bowl after reportedly failing a drug test. UCLA policy dictates that a fourth positive test can result in a loss of scholarship.
Riley has not yet spoken with McDonald since the dismissal.
“I know a lot of people are in his ear right now, trying to talk to him, trying to reach out to him,” he said. “We just have to let it wear off a bit. Give him time to digest it a little bit.”