Cornerback Jalen Ortiz decides to transfer out of UCLA

Washington Huskies defensive back Tre Watson (32) knocks away pass intended for wide receiver Jalen Ortiz (8) during the the Bruins' 41-31 win at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 15, 2013. Ortiz switched to cornerback the following season. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Washington Huskies defensive back Tre Watson (32) knocks away pass intended for wide receiver Jalen Ortiz (8) during the the Bruins’ 41-31 win at the Rose Bowl on Nov. 15, 2013. Ortiz switched to cornerback the following season. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Cornerback Jalen Ortiz has decided to transfer out of UCLA, ending his Bruin career after limited action through two seasons.

The 5-foot-9, 182-pound Phoenix-area native arrived in Los Angeles as a receiver, but switched to the defensive backfield as a sophomore. A former three-star recruit, Ortiz announced his decision Tuesday on Twitter.

“After long consideration and many talks with my family I have decided to transfer from UCLA,” he wrote. “These past two years here have been two of the best of my life, and I have so many people for that including Coach (Jim) Mora and his staff for giving me the opportunity to play at such a prestigious university.”

He appeared in 26 games, mostly on special teams. He had four catches for 27 yards in 2013, and made five tackles last fall playing mostly on special teams.

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Jim Mora on Everett Golson’s transfer: ‘I don’t want mercenaries’

The biggest transfer news of this college football offseason came earlier this week, when former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson transferred to Florida State.

The talented albeit turnover-prone passer will play immediately at FSU, after having submitting a list of 10 schools to the Fighting Irish’s compliance department as his potential destinations. That list, according to ESPN, also included Alabama, South Carolina and UCLA.

But the Bruins weren’t interested in the prospect of landing Golson as a graduate transfer, despite the fact that they are without a game-proven option to replace former three-year starter Brett Hundley.

“We never even talked about it,” head coach Jim Mora said today on the Rich Eisen Show. “I don’t want mercenaries on my team. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Do Pac-12 revenues stack up vs. other conferences?

» The Pac-12’s latest tax filings are out, and the Bay Area News Group’s Jon Wilner breaks down all the numbers. The conference distributed around $21 million to most members in the last fiscal year. But can the league keep pace with the SEC and Big Ten in the coming years?

» Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis discusses his decision to resign, announced earlier this month. Oregonian columnist John Canzano shares a story about one of De Carolis’ less-recognized accomplishments.

» Washington graduate assistant Gerald Alexander delivered his own son in a bathtub. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Linebackers

UCLA linebackers watch during the Bruins' "Spring Showcase" at the Rose Bowl on April 24, 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA linebackers watch during the Bruins’ “Spring Showcase” at the Rose Bowl on April 24, 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

A program vying for the title of “Linebacker U” is about to enter what could be a very interesting season.

Anthony Barr needed just one offseason to turn himself into a dynamic pass rusher, and helped anchor the defense in Jim Mora’s first two seasons. Eric Kendricks was quietly consistent throughout his career, but peaked last fall on his way to a Butkus Award and UCLA’s all-time tackles record. Can Myles Jack seize that leadership role as well as his two predecessors?

All signs point to yes. Jack has impressed from almost the first practice snaps he took as a Bruin, and has proven himself to be one of the best cover linebackers in college football. While his sophomore season didn’t fulfill the all-world expectations set by his incredible two-way debut in 2013, he still finished with 87 tackles and seven pass breakups. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Defensive line

Enjoy watching Kenny Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes while you can. Both could be signing NFL contracts by this time next year.

UCLA will enter this fall with arguably the best defensive line duo in the conference, a pair that last season combined for 108 tackles, including 11 for loss. All-Pac-12 nods aren’t the most accurate measures of talent and/or performance, but of the eight defensive linemen that made first or second team last fall, Clark is one of two that return. (The other is Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, who like Clark is making NFL mock drafts as a potential first-round pick.) Vanderdoes followed right behind as an honorable mention.

Clark in particular was vital to the Bruins’ run defense, and is about as stout a nose tackle as you can find in college football. Looking back at his impact the last two seasons, it’s incredible that UCLA was considering redshirting him back in August 2013, during his first camp in San Bernardino. There were several times last fall when opposing offenses noticeably directed the ball away from the middle, where he and Vanderdoes stood as imposing obstacles. Continue reading

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