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.

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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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