Safety Ron Robinson commits to UCLA

UCLA picked up its first defensive recruit of 2014 in Ron Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound safety out of Corona’s Santiago High.

Robinson is rated three stars by Scout.com and 247Sports.com, but unrated by Rivals.com.

He told Edward Lewis of Rivals.com that UCLA may use him at mini-linebacker. He also does not plan to take any more visits, turning down Northwestern, New Mexico, Cal Poly Pomona San Luis Obispo and UC Davis.

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Pac-12 links: Oregon’s new football facility is as shiny as you’d expect



» On one hand, it’s not surprising that Oregon’s new football facility is nicer than that of most NFL teams. On the other, a barbershop!

» Oregon State’s already mediocre basketball program suspended forwards Eric Moreland and Devon Collier indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules. The pair averaged a combined 22 points per game last season.

» Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo and Leonardo Bonucci “tried out” for the Stanford football team. Continue reading

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Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play for 2013 season

Five-star defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes has been cleared to play immediately for UCLA after an appeal with the National Letter of Intent committee, officially ending his dramatic exit from Notre Dame.

The touted recruit initially committed to the Irish on National Signing Day in February, but asked out of his national letter of intent due to an illness in the family. The Placer High grad decided on UCLA to be closer to his home in the Sacramento area.

Rick Kimbrel of recruiting website BruinBru.com first reported Vanderdoes’ immediate eligibility, a boon for a UCLA defensive line struggling with health. Had Vanderdoes not been released to play, he would have had to sit out the upcoming fall as well as lose a year of eligibility — leaving him with only three seasons of college football. Continue reading

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(Bi-)Weekly Q&A — 7/29/13 Answers

Q: Do you think Brett Hundley can win the Heisman in his time at UCLA? Obviously Clowney is a great player, but I think Barr is just as good if not better. Your thoughts? Can Mora turn UCLA into the Bama of the west?

I think Hundley can develop into a Heisman-level player, but so much of the politics surrounding that depend on how UCLA does as a team in addition to his own performance. Barr has a legitimate chance to make himself the top defensive player in the country; by the end of the season, it could be a toss-up as to who is better. As for UCLA becoming Alabama West, I doubt it; three national titles in four years puts the Crimson Tide on a plateau of its own. Just reaching a BCS bowl or making the new College Football Playoff regularly will be very impressive for Jim Mora and company.

Q: If Brett Hundley kills it this season, does he consider leaving early in the 2014 NFL Draft? Or does that depend if there are enough pieces to make a run at least a Pac-12 title in 2014 if not more?

I think he’ll likely return to UCLA. Even elite quarterbacks rarely leave after just two seasons (e.g. Andrew Luck), and Hundley won’t have much to lose with another year of seasoning. Sam Bradford had a legitimate chance to be the No. 1 pick in 2009 as a redshirt sophomore. He returned to Oklahoma, lost most of the season to injuries, and still went first overall. Continue reading

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UCLA begins fall camp on Aug. 7

Here is the full schedule of UCLA’s training camp at Cal State San Bernardino. All are open to the public on the fields on the east side of campus. There is a $5 parking fee.

Wednesday, August 7 – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 8 – 4:00 p.m.
Friday, August 9 – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 10 – 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Monday, August 12 – 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 13 – 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 14 – 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 15 – 10:45 a.m.
Friday, August 16 – 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 17 – 10:45 a.m.

Updated Aug. 11.

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Fall camp preview: Running backs

After watching Johnathan Franklin smash multiple school records last season, UCLA will need multiple bodies to fill the void at running back. No single set of feet can hope to match what Franklin did as an All-American and Doak Walker runner-up, rushing for 1,734 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The Bruins’ coaching staff has long said that the team will rely on a committee approach; if Franklin was “The Mayor,” then 2013 will be led by a city council. The test in San Bernardino will be to see if anyone has the potential to eventually emerge as a true No. 1 back.

Key returners: As a backup last season, Jordon James carried the ball 61 times for 215 yards — good for a pedestrian average of 3.5 yards per carry. Contrast that with Franklin’s 6.1 ypc, and his chances of becoming a star seem unlikely. The 5-foot-9, 193-pound junior flashes impressive runs in practice, but still hasn’t found a way to translate that into games. Continue reading

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Bruins lose out on four-star OL Demetrius Knox

UCLA can take some solace in Signing Day being months away, in the fact that there is still time to mend and build. For now, the Bruins’ recruiting class has little momentum.

On Sunday, four-star offensive lineman Demetrius Knox committed to Ohio State just weeks after naming UCLA his leader. Ranked the No. 1 guard in the country by Rivals.com, the 6-foot-4, 287-pound Knox would have been a coup for a program that already landed seven lineman in 2013.

The Bruins recently lost verbal commitments in Jermaine Eluemunor and Dominick Jackson, both highly regarded JUCO linemen. The former also committed to Arkansas, and the latter to Alabama.

Continue reading

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UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr ready to embrace hype

CULVER CITY – If Anthony Barr’s growing hype can be distilled into a single sequence, it would be one on Nov. 17, 2012. That day, the UCLA linebacker blew through USC’s line untouched, crushing quarterback Matt Barkley on second-and-seventh.

Less than three minutes later, UCLA beat USC 38-28, winning the rivalry for the first time since 2006. Shoulder separated, Barkley never played another collegiate down.

Asked about the moment at Friday’s Pac-12 Media Day, Barr laughed.

“I want to know why the tackle just let me go, for whatever reason,” Barr said. “He should be standing up here and talking to you guys, because he’s the reason why I was able to make that play.” Continue reading

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