Cameron Judge starts CFL career tonight

UCLA linebacker Cameron Judge (right) was the second overall pick in the CFL Draft this year. (The Associated Press)

Only a week ago, Cameron Judge graduated from UCLA. On Thursday, the former UCLA linebacker will start his professional career.

Judge’s Saskatchewan Roughriders start the CFL season against the Montreal Alouettes at 4:30 p.m. PT on Thursday. Judge, who was born in Montreal to an American father and Canadian mother, tested the NFL waters at a rookie mini camp with the Houston Texans, but ultimately landed with the Roughriders, who picked the Oaks Christian High graduate with the No. 2 overall selection in the CFL Draft.

Defensive tackle Eli Ankou was also drafted by a CFL team, but was able to sign a deal as an undrafted free agent with the Texans.

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UCLA links: Football gets two offensive line commits

Hello, friends! Long time, no blog. You may have noticed I was gone; I went on vacation. But I’ve returned, so here’s a roundup of what went down around UCLA athletics while I was out:

Football recruiting: The Bruins picked up two offensive line commits for the 2018 class: junior college transfer Jason Dickson and three-star prospect Chris Bleich.

  • Dickson, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound tackle from Diablo Valley College, announced his commitment on June 16. He had offers from Colorado, Arizona State and TCU, among others.
  • Bleich is a one-time Penn State commit, but pulled the pledge to his home-state team in April, and committed to the Bruins on June 19. The 6-foot-6, 313-pound lineman is 241st in ESPN’s 300 national recruiting rankings. Scout.com and Rivals.com tab Bleich as a three-star prospect.
  • The Bruins have 11 total commits for the 2018 class, including three offensive linemen now.

Continue reading “UCLA links: Football gets two offensive line commits” »

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Grad transfer Sunny Odogwu officially signs with UCLA football

Four days after Miami grad transfer Sunny Odogwu announced on Twitter that he was coming to UCLA, the school made it official.

UCLA announced the signing of the 6-foot-8, 317-pound tackle Tuesday, adding Odogwu to an offensive line in need of immediate help. Schools must wait until all admission and compliance standards are met and verified before publicly announcing player signings.

Odogwu was a starter at Miami, but suffered season-ending injuries in back-to-back years. He missed the end of the 2015 season after knee surgery then suffered a broken leg during 2016. He started 14 games for the Hurricanes.

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Grad transfer OL Sunny Odogwu chooses UCLA

Jim Mora’s search for grad transfer talent came up big Friday as the Bruins landed the commitment of former Miami right tackle Sunny Odogwu.

Odogwu chose UCLA over Michigan and can add immediate help to an much-maligned offensive line. While earning his bachelor’s degree at Miami, he started 14 games but dealt with major injuries late in his career.

The 6-foot-8, 325-pound right tackle missed the final game of the 2015 season due to knee surgery and only lasted five games of the 2016 year after he broke his lower leg in a game against Florida State.

A native of Nigeria, Odogwu came to the United States when he was 16 after his father died. He originally came to pursue a basketball career, but found football as a senior in high school. He’s known to be personable and warm, just as his name would suggest.

“That’s who I am, that’s who God made me and I appreciate that,” he told the Miami Herald in 2015. “But as a player I just put my head down and go to work every day knowing that the coaches have my best interest and the team’s best interest at heart.”

UCLA’s offensive line struggled last year, but returned every starter except for left tackle Conor McDermott. If Odogwu sticks at right tackle, he’ll displace Kenny Lacy, who took over the spot during spring practice. Lacy did not particularly shine during spring camp as he repeatedly lost one-on-one reps against UCLA’s fast edge rushers. UCLA’s starting offensive line, from left to right, during spring practice was Kolton Miller, Andre James, Scott Quessenberry, Najee Toran and Lacy.

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UCLA loses commitment from safety Jhevon Hill

UCLA lost its longest-committed player for the 2018 recruiting class Wednesday as Jhevon Hill backed out of his verbal pledge to the Bruins.

When the three-star safety from Cajon High in San Bernardino committed to UCLA on March 8, he wrote on Twitter that UCLA was his “childhood ream school.” However, he has since pulled in offers from Arizona and Arizona State. He also has Pac-12 offers from Utah, Cal and Washington State.

The Bruins have two safeties for their 2018 class and both are four-star prospects: Stephan Blaylock (St. John Bosco) and Cam’ron Jones (Mansfield High in Texas). UCLA didn’t sign any safeties in its deep 2017 defensive back group.

UCLA’s nine remaining commits:

  • ATH Isaiah Johnson
  • DL Aaron Maldonado
  • OL Blake McDonald
  • S Cam’ron Jones
  • WR Kyle Phillips
  • RB AJ Carter
  • QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
  • S Stephan Blaylock
  • DL Niti Liu
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