Maurice Jones-Drew retires after nine-year NFL career

Maurice Jones-Drew announced his retirement from the NFL today, because nine years’ worth of hits will weigh even on a 29-year-old, and because nothing gold can stay.

Known just as Maurice Drew when he was at UCLA, the 5-foot-7 back led the Bruins in rushing for three years, collecting 3,322 scrimmage yards and setting an NCAA single-season record with a 28.5 yards per punt return average in 2005. He was named a unanimous All-American before becoming a three-time Pro Bowler with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

He remains the last UCLA player to return a punt for a touchdown, doing so on an 81-yarder against Cal in 2005.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Rick Neuheisel leaves Pac-12 Networks for CBS Sports

Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel has left Pac-12 Networks for CBS Sports, the latter announced today.

Neuheisel compiled a lackluster 21-29 record with the Bruins from 2008-11, but soon took a job as a broadcaster with the conference’s then-fledgling record. The 54-year-old was a natural on television, and was also fun to watch when he interviewed his son/doppelganger, backup UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel.

The elder Neuheisel will be an analyst on CBS Sports’ “College Football Today” pregame show, as well as a regular part of the weekly show “Inside College Football.” He will start his new position in September.

“Rick’s enthusiasm, football acumen and experience on the field and the sidelines make him a natural on television,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “His addition strengthens our college football announce team and we look forward to showcasing his sharp insight and analysis across CBS Sports and CBS Sports Network.”

Here he is singing “Born in the SEC”:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA spring football starts on March 31

Brett Hundley (17) leads UCLA in a spring practice on April 3, 2014. With the quarterback now off the the NFL, the Bruins will spend this spring trying to find his successor. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff)

Brett Hundley leads UCLA in a spring practice on April 3, 2014. With the quarterback now off the the NFL, the Bruins will spend this spring trying to find his successor. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff)

The search for UCLA’s new starting quarterback will begin in a little over a month.

The Bruins announced their spring practice schedule today, with 14 practices that will start on March 31. The main event, of course, will be the competition to replace three-year starter Brett Hundley behind center. Five-star recruit Josh Rosen is the presumptive favorite after enrolling in January, but backup Jerry Neuheisel and redshirt sophomore Asiantii Woulard will make their bids as well.

Every session will begin in the morning, except for three Monday practices that start at 4:30 p.m. (April 6, 13 and 20). Since seats at Spaulding Field were removed last year, the observation areas will be standing-room only.

The spring game will be held at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, April 25 at 10 a.m.

Here’s the full schedule: Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA announces Tom Bradley as new defensive coordinator

UCLA has announced the hiring of former Penn State assistant Tom Bradley as the Bruins’ new defensive coordinator, officially ending a search the began almost three weeks ago.

“To bring a coach of Tom Bradley’s caliber to UCLA is very exciting,” head coach Jim Mora said in a statement. “His knowledge of the game, extensive experience, level of intensity and attention to detail all make him one of the best defensive teachers in college football.

“Combine that with the fact that he has strong national recruiting ties and is one of the most well respected coaches in the game — it all adds up to Tom being a tremendous addition to our staff.” Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA hires former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley

UCLA’s search for a defensive coordinator is over.

Former longtime Penn State assistant Tom Bradley will fill that position for the Bruins, ESPN confirmed this afternoon. The program has not yet made an official announcement.

Bradley’s status as the leading candidate for the UCLA opening surfaced last week. He is the Bruins’ third defensive coordinator in as many years, following Jeff Ulbrich — who became the Atlanta Falcons linebackers coach earlier this month — and Lou Spanos.

Bradley worked as West Virginia’s associated head coach last year, and also worked in broadcasting following his decades-long stint in State College. He led several top-10 defenses at Penn State as a coordinator from 2000 to 2011, and served as the team’s interim head coach after the dismissal of Joe Paterno.

Here is last week’s look at the longtime PSU assistant, including former West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck’s strong endorsement of him regarding the Sandusky scandal.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email