Scout.com’s No. 1 inside linebacker in the country committed to Texas A&M on Friday, choosing the Aggies over UCLA.
Anthony Hines III was also deciding between Florida State, TCU, UCLA, Ohio State and Penn State.
UCLA coaches visited the 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker from Plano East (Texas) High this week in a late recruiting push. Linebackers coach Scott White, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and head coach Jim Mora went on the in-home visit.
The Bruins have 10 commits for the class of 2017, lead by five-star defensive end Jaelan Phillips and four-star defensive lineman Greg Rogers.
UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (3) tries to throw the ball out of bounds as he is sacked by Texas A&M defensive lineman Kingsley Keke (88) during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in College Station, Texas. Sam Craft AP Photo
UCLA already started its bounce back campaign as the Bruins parted ways with offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu one day after the team lost to Cal last Saturday. With the season officially over, here are some links to wrap up the year:
UCLA linebacker Jayon Brown, seen tackling Utah tailback Joe Williams last season, leads the Pac-12 with 97 tackles. (George Frey/Getty Images)
Despite only winning four games this year, UCLA landed six total players on All-Pac-12 teams on Tuesday, led by three on the all-conference first team and two offensive lineman who blocked for the second-worst rushing offense in the country.
Offensive lineman Scott Quessenberry was UCLA’s only offensive first-team member while defensive end Takkarist McKinley and linebacker Jayon Brown led the Bruins on defense.
Quessenberry returned this season after two shoulder surgeries to start every game at center. McKinley led the Bruins with 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in his senior season. Brown led the conference in tackling (119) and became the first Bruin since Erik Kendricks in 2014 to reach the 100-tackle mark.
Left tackle Conor McDermott and tight end Nate Iese were named to All-Pac-12 second team offense and linebacker Kenny Young made the second team cut on defense.
Receiver Darren Andrews, safeties Randall Goforth and Jaleel Wadood, cornerback Fabian Moreau and defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes earned honorable mention honors.
The all-conference teams were selected by the Pac-12 head football coaches. Continue reading
Redshirt junior Eddie Vanderdoes officially traded his final year of eligibility at UCLA for a chance at the NFL on Monday, announcing on social media that he would be entering the NFL Draft this spring.
Vanderdoes was honored as a senior prior to UCLA’s last home game of the season this year and was carried off the field after his final practice, as is the UCLA tradition for seniors.
In replacing Kenny Clark, who declared for the NFL Draft early last year, Vanderdoes had 29 tackles this season with 1.5 sacks while starting all 12 games for the Bruins. His 29 tackles were a career-low for him in a season, except for 2014 when he played only one game before tearing his ACL. Continue reading
Wooden Legacy tournament MVP Lonzo Ball helped UCLA climb three more spots in the AP poll.
UCLA has climbed three spots in the AP poll each of the last two weeks, landing at No. 11 this week. The Bruins proved their freshmen can deliver in close games, but I’m most interested in the way they’ve won against opponents with contrasting strengths. For example, UCLA didn’t have a player who could matchup with Texas A&M preseason All-SEC center Tyler Davis. But the Bruins found ways not to get dominated in the paint or on the boards by a physically superior Aggies team.
UCLA still has plenty to prove, which is why I don’t have them ranked as high on my ballot, but it deserves credit for finding ways to beat every team on the schedule seven games into the season.
How I voted:
6. North Carolina
I was a late arrival to the Baylor party because I wasn’t convinced by the win over Oregon sans Dillon Brooks. But two more wins over ranked teams this week, including Louisville, and maybe Kansas better start watching its back in the Big 12.
9. St. Mary’s
The Bruins achieved their first two wins over power 5 opponents this week. While Texas A&M and Nebraska aren’t world beaters, UCLA handled its business and proved its freshmen can deliver in close games. Continue reading