UCLA adds new speaker system; drones to follow?

Drones?!

Should you spy a strange contraption hovering over Spaulding Field in the future, don’t panic — it may be the latest in UCLA’s embrace of technology.

The Bruins rolled out a new sound system on Wednesday, but head coach Jim Mora said that won’t be the team’s last high-tech addition.

“The next step — and we will get to it, it’s just going to take us a while — is they’ve got these drones now that can hover over your practice field with a video camera,” Mora said. “What we eventually want to do is get a drone because that’s another perspective.”

Tennessee tried a similar idea last week, using what looked like an eight-pronged helicopter at its spring practice. An upgrade on the cable-suspended Skycam used in television prospects, the “drones” also require that UCLA amp up its fundraising efforts. A Cinestar Octocopter, used in the film industry, can cost around $10,000. Continue reading

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Jim Mora: UCLA’s Devin Fuller in ‘mold of Percy Harvin’

At what point does hope trend into fantasy? Praise into hyperbole? On the topic of rising sophomore Devin Fuller, Jim Mora ventured this week into that hazy, indeterminate zone.

“I think I’ve said this before and it’s not fair to either guy, but I think he’s in the mold of a Percy Harvin,” the UCLA head coach said. “A guy that can play running back if you need him to, can play slot, can go outside.”

Fuller still has a ways to go before he reaches the same tier as Harvin — an eventual Pro Bowler who had over 3,500 all-purpose yards in three years at Florida — but the suggestion isn’t outlandish, ceiling-wise. Since arriving at UCLA as a quarterback who then turned into a 145-yard receiver, he has proved himself to be one of the most impressive Bruins in spring camp (This becomes especially true if you’re looking for someone that’s not an established star.) Continue reading

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Four-star Allerick Freeman decommits from UCLA

More than three weeks after the hiring of new head coach Steve Alford, four-star shooting guard Allerik Freeman has decided to re-open recruiting.

Freeman signed a letter of intent during the early recruiting period, but will be granted a release since UCLA went through a coaching change. ESPN’s Dave Telep first reported the news.

The 6-foot-4 Findlay Prep product is rated as Scout.com’s 15th-best shooting guard, but may have seen minutes at the one spot after the departure of senior Larry Drew II. The Bruins’ remaining guard rotation now consists of returners Jordan Adams and Norman Powell, as well as incoming freshmen Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford — none of whom are true point guards. Point forward Kyle Anderson might slide in as well.

Freeman, ranked 62nd in the country by Scout.com and 81st by Rivals.com, is now the country’s top uncommitted recruit after No. 1 Andrew Wiggins. UCLA will likely look to the junior colleges or other transfers for potential replacements.

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Wake Forest QB Brendan Cross transferring to UCLA

Per CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman, Wake Forest quarterback Brendan Cross will graduate in May and enroll in graduate school at UCLA. He will be eligible to play immediately.

The son of former UCLA great and College Football Hall of Famer Randy Cross, Brendan completed five of his 14 passes over three seasons with the Demon Deacons. A former three-star recruit on Rivals.com, Cross will enter a still-open competition for backup quarterback.

Through spring, Jerry Neuheisel and T.J. Millweard have more or less taken turns in having better practices. Walk-on Mike Fafaul is also in the mix, and four-star freshman Asiantii Woulard will arrive in the fall.

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