Four-star DE Hunter Echols decommits from UCLA

UCLA lost another early commit Friday as four-star weakside defensive end Hunter Echols withdrew his pledge to the Bruins.

The Cathedral High product is the latest early commit of the class of 2017 to decommit from UCLA as safety Rhedi Short and athlete Rahyme Johnson also turned back on their commitments in May.

Echols recently received an offer from LSU. He was a finalist at The Opening, where he told reporters that he was actively recruiting other players to join him in Westwood.

The Bruins still have four commits in the 2016 class: DE Jaelan Phillips, OG Kanan Ray, DB/WR Jeffrey Manning Jr., and JUCO OT Ronald Rudd III.

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UCLA 2016 schedule preview: Arizona

UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) stiff-arms Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) stiff-arms Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Continuing the look at UCLA’s 2016 schedule, here is a breakdown of the Bruins’ fourth opponent, Arizona.

UCLA vs. Arizona
Saturday, Oct. 1 | Rose Bowl

2015 in review

In one year, Arizona (7-6 overall, 3-6 Pac-12 in 2015) went from Pac-12 South champions to a lowly fifth place, only above Colorado. The Bruins gave up a season-high 353 rushing yards to Arizona last year, but still came away with the win on Sept. 26 because Arizona’s defense was even worse than UCLA’s. The Wildcats gave up six (!) rushing touchdowns during that game and two more through the air while the Bruins ran away with a comfortable 56-30 win. Arizona was 10th in the conference in yardage and points allowed last year and revamped the entire defensive coaching staff. Continue reading

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UCLA 2016 schedule preview: Stanford

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (5) runs past UCLA defensive back Ishmael Adams (1) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Continuing the look at UCLA’s 2016 schedule, here is a breakdown of the Bruins’ conference opener: Stanford.

UCLA vs. Stanford

Saturday, Sept. 24 | Rose Bowl

2015 in review

Stanford capped off the 2015 season with another Pac-12 championship and a Rose-Bowl rout demolition of Iowa. Business as usual for the Cardinal in recent years. Stanford ran all over UCLA on Oct. 15 in a 56-35 victory at Stanford Stadium that still stings for UCLA players. Christian McCaffrey rushed for 243 yards as UCLA gained only 181 total yards on the ground as a team. Josh Rosen was sacked three times and threw two interceptions as Stanford led 56-20 after the third quarter. Continue reading

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UCLA links: Bruin commit Jaelan Phillips’ star on the rise

Redlands East Valley's Jaelin Phillips. (Terry Pierson/staff)

Redlands East Valley’s Jaelan Phillips. (Terry Pierson/staff)

UCLA commit Jaelan Phillips shined at The Opening earlier this month, earning recognition as one of the top five defensive linemen at the elite recruiting camp. Phillips, a weakside defensive end from Redlands East Valley, talked with our friends at the Press-Enterprise about his rise to recruiting stardom, choosing UCLA and his lofty college goals.

“It’s home to me; my dad went to UCLA, so I’m a legacy and I’ve been a huge Bruin fan all my life,” Phillips said. “Getting to know the coaches and the players, I just really felt like part of the family.

Other links:

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Rick Neuheisel suggests UCLA a good fit for Big 12 expansion

Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel wasn't happy with Jim Mora calling his old Bruin teams "soft." (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said UCLA should be interested in the Big 12. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Former UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel said in an interview on Sirius XM College Sports Nation that UCLA might be a good fit for the Big 12, which is looking to expand.

“Just as Texas A&M wanted to branch away from Texas, I wouldn’t be surprised to see UCLA say, ‘You know what? We don’t want to deal with this USC thing. We’re going to be our own guy,'” the former coach said Wednesday. “It wouldn’t shock me at all.” Continue reading

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