UCLA links: UCLA commit Bryan Addison returns to his roots

Serra’s Bryan Addison (3) intercepts a Centennial pass in the first half of the Division 1 first-round playoff game Friday in Corona, CA. November 10, 2017.
(TERRY PIERSON,THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE/SCNG)

Bryan Addison chose to stay close to home when he committed to UCLA out of Serra High. His family will be able to watch him play in the Rose Bowl, but this weekend is about his extended family watching him one last time before he heads to college.

The four-star receiver who signed with the Bruins last month is playing in the Polynesian Bowl on Saturday in front of his mother Faye’s family in their native Hawaii.

Addison’s father, also named Bryan, was an All-WAC safety at Hawaii and his mother was of Hawaiian descent. Faye passed away in 2002 at age 32 when Addison was 3 years old, but he is relishing the opportunity to play in the home stadium of his father’s alma mater and practice at his mother’s old high school.

“I know she’s watching from above, so just having a guardian angel watching me practice where she’s been, I feel kind of closer as well,” Addison told Hawaiian TV station KHON2. “I’m really playing for my momma.”

Addison is one of four UCLA commits playing in the all-star game. The Bruin contingent also includes quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, offensive lineman Chris Murray and safety Stephan Blaylock.

More on Addison as he prepares to play in the Polynesian Bowl on Saturday.

Other links:

  • Offensive lineman Baraka Beckett talks to the SoCal Recruiting Stories Podcast about his visit to Westwood, his community service in Kenya and how he fits in Chip Kelly‘s offense.
    • Beckett, a two-star prospect who played defensive line at Palisades as a senior, said he and his sister worked together to build a school in Kenya, where his mother is from.
  • From ESPN: UCLA’s quarterback competition is one to watch this spring
  • From the San Jose Mercury Pac-12 hotline: Jon Wilner projects the Bruins to finish fourth in the Pac-12 South in the first year of the Kelly era
  • UCLA has representatives in both NFL showcase events on Saturday
    • Jaleel Wadood and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Rose Bowl. They’re teammates on the American Team. The game starts at 1 p.m. PT and will be televised on FS1.
    • Kenny Young will represent the West in the Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. The game starts at 12 p.m. PT and will be televised on NFL Networks.
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UCLA links: Nate Meadors to return for senior year

UCLA lost four juniors on offense to the NFL draft, but its defense will remain mostly intact for a much-needed bounce-back season.

Junior Nate Meadors announced he will be returning next season on Monday, giving the Bruins three-fourths of their starting secondary back. UCLA won’t lose any defensive juniors to the draft, letting go of only four senior starters.

More on Meadors’ decision

Other links:

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UCLA in the NFL: Jaguars, Vikings into championship rounds

Former UCLA linebackers Myles Jack and Anthony Barr each had interceptions in their respective teams’ divisional playoff victories on Sunday, helping the Jaguars and Vikings to the AFC and NFC championship games, respectively.

Barr had four tackles and one tackle for loss in Minnesota’s thrilling 29-24 win over the Saints while fellow former Bruin Eric Kendricks led the Vikings with 10 tackles.

Former UCLA kicker Kai Forbath made 3 of 4 field goals for the Vikings, including a 53-yarder that but Minnesota up by two with 1:29 to go. Drew Brees led the Saints on a field-goal drive to regain the lead, but Case Keenum‘s 61-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs as time expired pushed the Vikings into next Sunday’s NFC championship game at Philadelphia (3:40 p.m. PT).

Jack had six tackles in Jacksonville’s 45-42 win over Pittsburgh and picked off Ben Roethlisberger in the first quarter after breaking up the pass and securing the catch while tapping his feet in bounds before falling out. The Jaguars face New England in the AFC championship on Jan. 21 at 12:05 p.m PT.

Other former Bruins in action:

  • Jayon Brown had one tackle in Tennessee’s 35-14 loss to the Patriots on Saturday.
  • Takkarist McKinley had two tackles, including one sack, in the Falcons’ 15-10 loss to the Eagles on Saturday.

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DL Baraka Beckett commits to UCLA

Pacific Palisades defensive lineman Baraka Beckett committed to UCLA on Sunday, pushing Chip Kelly’s 2018 recruiting class to 12 total prospects with three weeks left until National Signing Day.

Beckett is a lightly recruited defensive tackle who was previously committed to Hawaii. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound prospect is a two-star recruit, according to 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, and had other offers from Army, Columbia, Cornell, Idaho, UC Davis and UNLV.

Although UCLA has only one defensive lineman in this recruiting class, Beckett told 247 Sports Kelly offered him as an offensive lineman, an even more urgent position of need for the Bruins who are losing three starters this season.

Etiwanda High offensive tackle Alec Anderson signed his National Letter of Intent during December’s early signing period and Mater Dei four-star offensive lineman Chris Murray is on board with a verbal commitment he announced during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl earlier this month.

Here are Baraka’s senior season highlights:

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Kanan Ray transfers to Colorado

Offensive lineman Kanan Ray has transferred to Colorado after the former UCLA signee grayshirted last year.

The Sierra Canyon High grad did not practice or workout with the team last year while rehabbing a shoulder injury. He was granted a release from his NLI amid the coaching change that brought Chip Kelly to Westwood.

Ray was one of five offensive linemen who signed their NLIs with the 2017 recruiting class. The remaining four, Jax Wacaser, Zach Sweeney, Sean Seawards and Stephan Zabie, all redshirted last year.

More on Ray’s transfer and what it means for UCLA’s offensive line situation.

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