UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark declares for NFL draft

UCLA nose tackle Kenny Clark (97) has announced his intention to enter the 2016 NFL draft. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA nose tackle Kenny Clark (97) has announced his intention to enter the 2016 NFL draft. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA defensive tackle Kenny Clark has declared for the 2016 NFL draft, announcing his decision on Monday afternoon to forgo his final season of eligibility.

The junior was the Bruins’ only All-Pac-12 first-team selection this year, and finished his final season second on the team with 75 tackles and six sacks. He recorded a career-high 11 tackles against Nebraska in Saturday’s loss in the Foster Farms Bowl.

“The last three years have been the best of my life,” Clark wrote on Twitter. “I am ready to take the next step forward and (am) excited to pursue my dream toward being the best player I can be in the NFL.”

Clark said last week that he received a second-round grade on his draft evaluation.

NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks recently praised Clark’s upside, calling him an intriguing prospect who can supplement his run-stuffing skills with “sneaky pass-rush ability.”

To fill the void left by Clark, UCLA will likely lean on defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. The former five-star recruit was expected to partner with Clark to form one of of the top defensive line duos in the conference, but tore his ACL in September.

  • EncinitasBruin

    Good luck in the NFL Mr. Clark. Let’s get busy, coaches, and land some Bigs with the 5 weeks remaining before early signing day. We really need EV back healthy to anchor our DL next year. Getting Moreau’s medical redshirt approved will be huge–we should have one of the best defensive backfields in the nation. If we can just land Mique Juarez to beef up our LB crew…

    • Sam Bam

      Juarez will most likely be a Bruin. He’s supposed to make it official at the Army game. Plus his parents or dad are nudging him there with SC having no DC. I don’t blame them.

      • EncinitasBruin

        My sense is that Helton will pull the trigger on the DC hire before New Year’s day… What’s the talk in Trojan Land?

        • Sam Bam

          Dave Aranda from Wisconsin was the name most were hearing, that’s been quieter lately. Pendergast was never coming back despite what Wolf was reporting. After them it’s anybody’s guess. DeWayne Walker, Joe Barry, Tim McDonald and Mark Carrier are the only other names I’ve heard on a consistent basis. Who knows who’ll be hired. The three major SC sites (Scout,Rivals,247) all had Harbaugh tagged to be the next head coach and boom! Helton is hired. It’s definitely been a rough go.

          • EncinitasBruin

            Walker is a class act. Did very good things in his first tours at both SC and UCLA.

          • Laker Rod

            Not sure if you recall but DeWayne Walker was UCLA’s defensive coordinator from 2006 thru 2008. The 2008 squad went 4-8 and the Bruins were NOT very good on defense.

            In 2006 and 2007, Walker had a ton of upper classmen players. In fact in 2007, every single starter returned with the exception of Justin Hickman and UCLA even added Brian Price as a true frosh but yet some how and some way that 2007 defense under achieved. It some how inexplicably allowed Notre Dame to convert odd 3rd downs and some scores and that ND team was totally pathetic on offense.

            In 2008, there was a huge drop off in production on defense. Walker’s 4-3 defense also had trouble against spread offenses also. He never did do well either as a head coach.

          • EncinitasBruin

            I’m getting fuzzy in my ‘a bit older’ age it seems. The 13-9 win is what I always remember about Walker. I stand corrected regarding his overall resume at UCLA.

          • 88 Straight

            Walker is probably difficult to evaluate. He did well in 2006 when he had some talent on D, particularly against SC when he seemed to know what SC was going to run on every down. That’s primarily what I remember as well. It was our one bright spot in a dismal time!

            His head coaching gig was either New Mexico or New Mexico State. It sounds like SC may be interested in him now, but I would be surprised if they do.

          • Laker Rod

            If you remember what happened in 2006 against USC…Booty SC’s QB was playing on one leg. He had a severely sprained ankle I believe. He was a sitting duck and the UCLA defense just tee’d off on him. They pass rushed like crazy. Why not…he was not going to burn you taking off running.

            This is what happens when you don’t have a mobile QB who can burn you if you get too aggressive pass rushing. This is why UCLA struggles with running QB’s. They back off from being aggressive because they are afraid of the big run. The Bruin coaches are weak minded in this regard. We didn’t get any pass rush at all on Armstrong because UCLA didn’t even try. UCLA instead chose to lay back and tried to cover.

            Any QB often does better when he isn’t faced with pass rush. Armstrong made some nice throws and converted some 3rd and longs. Can’t stand the conservative play calling. All of UCLA’s defensive backs struggle since there is no pass rush.

            There was a poster on BruinGold who made a good point. Our defense doesn’t match our offense. If we are going to be a no huddle hurry up offense who is supposed to score a lot in little time then we need more of an attacking defense that gambles and takes chances. This is exactly what Oregon does.

            Oregon vs Stanford is the biggest contrast in styles. Oregon’s mindset is to score often and quickly and get a huge lead if possible. It wants to put the opposition where they are forced to pass. This is when you rack up sacks. When Oregon beats Stanford…they do so because they score fast and often and it takes Stanford out of their game. After Oregon gets the lead and a big one…then they start to run the ball but they will still pass on any down at any time and teams have to respect that.

            Oregon totally sells out on the run against Stanford. They are almost daring Stanford to pass and give up big plays.

            Arizona State’s defense runs a pretty good blitz scheme also. Their DC gets the most out their players. It doesn’t always work but I prefer this style vs getting steamrolled like UCLA does.

          • 88 Straight

            Actually I said something similar after the Colorado game. UCLA scores quickly and then the Buffs pounded it down our throats for long drives and wore down our defense.

            I don’t think it is necessary to have a dual threat QB in order to win. I do believe that there needs to be an overall philosophy or identity for the program. UCLA does not have one.

            I would prefer some I formation with Rosen under center and a more pro-style attack. There is no reason to run the read option if he is always going to hand the ball off. There comes a time when you need to run the ball with power. Oregon found that out again last year against the Buckeyes.

          • Laker Rod

            I don’t mind going more I formation also but please keep in mind that the UCLA O line isn’t exactly built for smash mouth football. We can’t run I formation all the time.

            Rosen needs to run the ball and run the zone read option. It’s what he did in high school. All Rosen needs to do is get himself physically ready where he can run some. Kevin Hogan did. So did the ASU QB.

            I think the worst that happened for UCLA was Rosen having his best game in the very first game. Everybody including himself and the coaches fell in love with his passing. Yeah it’s good…I like it too…but if you notice…the O line doesn’t seem try as hard in trying to dominate the line of scrimmage and establish any type of running game. It’s a mindset you have to have.

          • 88 Straight

            I am not advocating the I full time. It should be part of the offense. The linemen can block for the I if coached properly. Iese could be used as a FB in a standard I or an offset I. He can certainly catch the ball out of the backfield. What we haven’t been built for is double TE formations.

            UCLA fell in love with the passing game with Troy Aikman to the detriment of the run game and a balanced attack. I fully believe our linemen can be coached up in the run game. It would only benefit Rosen.

            I don’t think UCLA needs to run the read option. If they opt to run it, then Rosen needs to keep the ball enough times to keep the defense honest. That exposes him to more hits and we don’t have a quality backup. Even Hundley got knocked out of the Texas game running the ball and he is a big guy. I am sure Polamalu could help Mazzone with the power running game. That being said, there are rumblings about multiple staff changes as well as rumors of Mora to the Dolphins.

          • Laker Rod

            The Bruin actually had one snap under center. It was 3rd and 1 and Rosen play action faked and rolled out right and hit Duarte who almost scored.

            If we are not running I formation full time and you don’t want to run the Zone Read Option then what the heck kind of formation is UCLA supposed to be in.

            We have to run it. Only other option is t have Aaron Sharp move back to QB some where he’s the running QB.

            It will be interesting to see what happens related to the coaching changes.

          • 88 Straight

            Plenty of teams use the shotgun without the read option, in both college and the NFL. If the QB isn’t going to run the ball, it isn’t an option.

            All sorts of coaching tumors, including Mora leaving.

          • Laker Rod

            What you are describing is UCLA becoming an almost pure passing team. It isn’t going to work. Can’t you learn this from what happened with Troy Aikman.

            Can’t you learn that the best thing UCLA can do is stick with a concept of a mobile QB. How can you argue against the past results.

            Josh Rosen needs to run the ball period. He better toughen up and the coaches better have confidence he can come through. You play or coach scared…it clearly shows up on the field and doesn’t produce good results.

            Look what happened this year. Two things…one on offense in defense:

            1. Coaches lacked confidence in Rosen running the ball for fear he would get hurt.

            2. Bradley didn’t blitz because he lacked confidence in his players following their assignments properly.

          • 88 Straight

            You are not comprehending what I said. In fact, quite the opposite. I described UCLA being out of balance with Aikman and that being a problem. You don’t need a running QB to have a running game. I realize that is your preference but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

            Matt Leinart was not a running QB but SC had a good running game. In fact, Rosen runs better than Leinart ever did. I am saying you don’t have to run the read option and you definitely don’t run it if your QB will never pull it out and run. Rosen is not a read option QB. Rather than focus on something that isn’t his strength, run an offense around what are his strengths. Without a capable backup QB, having him take extra hits is unwise, even if he bulks up to 220. Let the running backs run. Let Josh throw the ball.

          • Laker Rod

            Your thoughts are just totally illogical. Quit comparing USC to UCLA. UCLA is NOT USC. Wake up. We went away from trying to copy USC after RN decided to go to the Pistol but yet he did so with nobody knowing how to fully run it.

            And now you say Rosen is not a read option QB. LOL!! Rosen ran the same offense in high school as what UCLA was running. This is what many UCLA fans were saying and then justifying how or why Rosen could excel as a true frosh….thinking UCLA could go 11-2. LOL!!!

            Go watch the HS tape. There were plenty of times Rosen was running. I even said…Rosen can do that in high school but he won’t be able to do it consistently at the college level. There were many others who agreed with this. You then tried to argue Rosen could do it here or there. LOL!! Obviously “here or there” doesn’t make a difference.

            Do you remember what happened to UCLA when they switched offenses? Rarely any good comes out by switching coordinators. The majority of the time the move backfires for UCLA.

            Mazzone is far from perfect but he’s got UCLA to a point where the UCLA offense is pretty exciting. I would prefer trying to work with him and be a bit more flexible. We have a better chance this way than switching OC’s and going back to a more pro WCO type set which takes at least over a year to get things going.

            Rosen simply needs to run also. We don’t have a choice. You can’t play scared. The QB has to be tough also..not a pretty boy. This all goes back to as to why I wanted Rosen to redshirt in the first place. It takes time…things don’t happen over night. You just don’t get it and have no patience and no long term vision. It’s proven. You don’t even get it with the running backs. You say let the running backs run but they can’t run if the OFFENSIVE LINE can’t open up holes for the backs. UCLA would need top linemen road graders to do this and if they don’t have them then they have to at least redshirt and then be ready by their redshirt sophomore or redshirt junior years. Come on man wake up.

          • 88 Straight

            The more you write the more your ignorance is on display. You think an extra 10 or even 20 pounds makes Rosen a runner? Rosen can run in a pinch, but not as a regular feature of the offense. To suggest otherwise is missing the obvious. You praise Mazzone as if you didn’t see the large number of 3 and outs and his overly predictable play calling of running Perkins up the middle on 1st down for little to no gain. Same on 3rd and short. I have seen his play calling for 4 years and it is not his strength.

            It will probably be moot as it looks like Mora may be leaving for the NFL. Perhaps you can send in your head coaching candidates to Dan Guerrero as you are the only smart Bruin fan that wants to turn the best pocket passer at UCLA since Aikman into something he isn’t, Brett Hundley.

          • Laker Rod

            Are you serious? I use Stanford in terms of “academic” comparisons. Isn’t it obvious? Are you truly this clueless?

            Michigan State is utilized more so from a level of recruiting perspective. They are not a traditional powerhouse and you know it.

            If you had half a brain related to college football…you wouldn’t need this stuff explained to you.

          • 88 Straight

            Nope. You are just clueless and live in your own world. If you want to get an idea of UCLA with Jerry as QB, look at Oregon with Jeff Lockie at QB.

            You use Stanford as an example of red shirting. Same with Michigan State. You only have one idea and you milk it over and over again. You can’t compare UCLA to USC as far as the offensive scheme? Why not? You can compare UCLA to any college team. Just really dumb on your part. Again.

            Two things are obvious. You have never competed at anything nor have you ever managed people.

          • Laker Rod

            LOL!! Dumb as usual. Oregon went with the graduate transfer from a Div 1AA school you dummy. Maybe Mora should have done the same. Alabama’s QB is a graduate transfer. They are not dumb enough to start a true frosh QB.

            UCLA simply could have gotten a graduate transfer also have Asianti Woulard and also Jerry N. You try to bad mouth Jerry as usual but when he was put in the spot light…he came through. Prior to even Hundley getting injured…UCLA was struggling in that game. Wake up

            And Stanford’s entrance requirements are tough but once you are in it’s different. How many Stanford players historically have you seen flunk out. Very few. They are a private institution with much smaller class sizes which you cannot even comprehend. There is more academic advisement provided and Stanford is recruiting the right type of players for them. What Mora and UCLA is trying to do is get the SC type player too much which doesn’t work. It didn’t work for Bob Toledo in his latter years also which Karl Dorrell had to clean up that mess. Do you even remember all the players getting suspended and flunking out.

            I’ve given you two programs where you argue one aspect but not the other. So Michigan State has an easier academic requirement but yet you cannot explain how UCLA has been able to out recruit BOTH Stanford and Michigan State in recent year and not so recent years. UCLA has not won a conference championship in well over 15 years dummy!

            YOU obviously have shown you don’t know what you’re talking about. And there you go again…trying to claim I never played the game. LOL!!! Stick with your virgin comments. That’s all you’re ever good for. You can’t stay on topic. It’s obvious.

          • 88 Straight

            First, the virgin comments are accurate. Second, you lack any type of logic.

            !. You can’t compare UCLA to USC? Hilarious. We play each other every year. We are in the same conference. We are in the same city. We go after the same recruits. It’s just stupid.

            2. The Jerry Neuheisel argument. It’s simple and you can’t comprehend. Jerry is a good kid that knows the offense and will be a fine coach. He simply isn’t a quality D1 QB. The same holds true for Jeff Lockie at Oregon. Look what happened at Oregon when Vernon Adams got injured. They went to an unqualified backup. It has nothing to do with Adams being a graduate transfer (Talk about being OFF TOPIC). It’s simple. Oregon has a weak backup as does UCLA. How many games did they win without Adams? And you laugh at my suggestion that UCLA would be 2-10 with Jerry starting. Well, laugh again. Oregon just showed what happens when you don’t have quality QB depth. Too difficult for your virgin ears to understand?

            3. UCLA’s academics have nothing to do with its success or lack of success on the field of play. It’s a straw man argument put forward by those that know nothing about it. Stanford uses their academics as a recruiting tool and not a hurdle. They SELL their academics in recruiting. UCLA has the 2nd highest graduation rate in the conference, behind Stanford, so they are doing something right. USC isn’t that far behind UCLA. It’s an old argument on your part and doesn’t pass muster. The worst? Cal. If having easy entrance standards was the key, ASU would be winning the PAC-12 because they can get kids in that can’t even get in to SC.

            4. If you are basing everything on recruiting rankings, then you could say UCLA out recruited Stanford and MSU. Stanford has out recruited everyone in the league in the trenches and does the best job of coaching them. The rankings of lineman is notoriously wrong and it is up to the staff to scout them properly and Stanford does a great job of that. How did Michigan State do against Alabama? Did they control the line of scrimmage? They were lucky to beat Michigan and they almost lost to Iowa who was just blown out by Stanford. And they lost to Nebraska. Let’s see how they do next year. Yes, Dantonio does a fine job with the talent he has and his talent is improving. However, when he came up against a more talented team, they got waxed. SHUT OUT!

            You want to keep Mazzone on board even though it has been proven that he cannot recruit the QB position. Yes, that is part of the OC job as well. You are the dummy that said all the OC does is call plays. Brilliant analysis as usual. We will find out tomorrow if Mazzone is staying. There are supposed to be some coaching announcements tomorrow. Mazzone may be headed to Texas A&M. Maybe you can apply for the job! The Virgin OC! LOL

          • 88 Straight

            That play was the best play that we ran in the 1st half outside of the bomb to Walker. It was a nice little play action to Duarte in the flat. And then, poof, we never saw Rosen under center again the rest of the game.

          • gotroy22

            Except for that drinking problem…

          • Ted

            Peter Sirmon just bought himself a condo on Figueroa and was spotted buying home goods at the local Ross Store.

          • Sam Bam

            Returning a crappie gift probably. He’s definitely not auditioning for the DC or even being considered.

          • gotroy22

            Did you expect Harbaugh too? I did.

          • Sam Bam

            He was my first choice and the week leading up the UCLA game he was rumored as the favorite

          • Sam Bam

            I was disappointed for sure

    • Just Owns

      As if that was the only UCLA FB problem.

      • Jethro G Sabbath

        Good point. The program’s in shambles, huh Squatty?

        • Just Owns

          Yawn.

        • gotroy22

          Jethrahrah is showing what a class guy he is when he wants to be.

          • Jethro G Sabbath

            Hello pot. I’m the kettle.

          • gotroy22

            How ery!

          • Just Owns

            Monkey see, Monkey do.

  • Sam Bam

    Kenny Clark’s been a really solid ball player. I’m glad he’s done well. I always like to see kids from the Inland Empire have success where ever they go. One thing I’ve always thought was Ed Orgeron made a huge mistake when he didn’t offer Clark, he wanted to be a Trojan and Orgeron looked elsewhere, and Clark’s had a good 3 years. Good luck to Kenny.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    The squads that were thinnest and got pushed around in our last two games are getting thinner. This better be one heck of a recruiting class.

    • gotroy22

      The ruins are going to have to score 40 points to win a game next year.

      • Just Owns

        Maybe, but I can’t wait to see Bozo U start a QB vs Alabama, that has at best .25 of 1 quarter of experience in the last three years.

        JuJu is going to have one unhappy 2016 FB season.

        • gotroy22

          It’s amazing how the #1 QB recruit would stay 3 years with almost no playing time. Most would transfer.

          • Just Owns

            Should have is more accurate.

            Unless Browne is so superior, I’d start Darnold and avoid new QB’s in consecutive years.

    • Jethro G Sabbath

      You got that right! You may have to change your screen name because it won’t make any sense at all.

      • gotroy22

        You are back at your hypocritical ways on the Grammar Patrol. Very ery.

        • Just Owns

          JG deserves a banana.

  • Just Owns

    Chip Kelly has been fired. Mr G do your duty and employ Coach Kelly with all possible haste.

    Keeping Mora means UCLA is satisfied with mediocre FB; If UCLA can employ Kelly, it’s a clear signal UCLA means to compete in big time NC type Football.

    Mr G, fish or cut bait. Kelly is a perfect fit for UCLA FB.