UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr won the Lott IMPACT Trophy today, his first major national honor this season. The award identifies the best defensive player in college football, but also weighs personal character. The other finalists were USC’s Devon Kennard, Wisconsin’s Chris Borland and Iowa’s James Morris.
Barr is also a finalist for the Lombardi and Bednarik Awards — given to the top lineman on either side of the ball and the top defensive player, respectively. The senior lost the Butkus Award for best linebacker to Alabama’s C.J. Mosley.
UCLA landed four-star defensive tackle Ainuu Taua, according to Rivals.com’s Edward Lewis, adding more depth to a line that loses three seniors. The 6-foot-1, 270-pound Lompoc native visited Westwood this weekend, and gives the Bruins their 13th verbal commitment of the 2014 class.
Taua is rated the 10th-best prospect in California, but UCLA is set at nose tackle with a budding star in freshman Kenny Clark. Continue reading →
UPDATE: The UCLA women’s soccer team wins its first-ever national championship, giving the school 110 NCAA titles. The No. 2 Bruins defeated top-seeded Florida State, 1-0, on a golden goal by sophomore forward Kodi Lavrusky.
The No. 2-seeded UCLA women’s soccer team plays top-seeded Florida State for the national title at 12 p.m. PT in Cary, N.C. It would be the Bruins’ first-ever championship, and the 110th overall across UCLA athletics.
The game will be broadcast on ESPNU, as well as online.
Former USC fullback and longtime assistant Kennedy Polamalu found himself in rival colors Saturday. Hired as UCLA’s new running backs coach, he returned to the place where he got his start as a graduate assistant in 1992.
“Believe me, I was as shocked when I got the phone call as everyone else,” he said. “I’m still kind of in shock.”
Though he spent seven seasons across two stints on the Trojans’ staff, his wife and in-laws are Bruin alums. He got plenty of teasing about seeing “the light.” As for all the USC players he had coached? “They said, ‘Coach, you’re not the enemy; you’re an opponent now.’ I appreciate that.” Continue reading →
Missouri handed No. 18 UCLA its first loss of the season on Saturday, defeating the Bruins 80-71 and extending its home winning streak to 24 games. Jabari Brown scored a game-high 22 points, and was one of three Tigers with at least 20 points.
UCLA’s season-low in scoring came on just 37.7 percent shooting, going 8-of-31 in the second. Sophomore guard Jordan Adams had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine each had 13 points.
Travis and David Wear combined for four points in 43 minutes.
UCLA’s Saturday morning practice at Spaulding Field will be open to the public. It starts at 10 a.m., and should last roughly two hours. All other bowl practices are currently scheduled as closed sessions.