Center Jake Brendel questionable for UCLA’s season opener

A UCLA offensive line that was projected to have experience and depth could be missing a crucial piece this weekend at Virginia.

Center Jake Brendel, a third-year starter, has been limited in practice since injuring his MCL two weeks ago during training camp at Cal State San Bernardino. The junior is a team co-captain who was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention last season.

Asked Tuesday about Brendel’s status for the Bruins’ 9 a.m. PT Saturday kickoff at Virginia, head coach Jim Mora said, “We’ll see.”

It’s a dramatic downgrade from the original diagnosis. Right after Brendel was carted off the field, Mora had expressed hope that the former Freshman All-American would only miss “a day or two.” Even last week, he sounded confident that Brendel would play.

If Brendel is unavailable, UCLA could move starting guard Alex Redmond to replace him. A Freshman All-American last year, Redmond has practiced a bit at center since Brendel’s injury. Backup center Scott Quessenberry could be an option if he recovers fully from a concussion suffered in training camp.

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  • VB

    I’m sort of worried about the Quessenberry injury. He has been out a long time with a single concussion. Usually when this is the case, the player ends up retiring a few months later due to head trauma. He must have had a major concussion if he still isn’t ready to go.

    Hope and Brendel both fully recover!

  • VB

    He seems rather pissy today. Wonder if it’s because it’s game week or if he just had a bad day.

    • Rick W

      Naa, Coach Mora is just being what he needs to be a few days before his biggest season yet starts. He is determined, unrevealing, and confident in his players. He couldn’t do it any other way. I can tell that he knows that the interviewers expect those sorts of responses, hence the smirks and chuckles. Nice job, Coach!