UCLA has fourth-best odds to win Pac-12 championship

Coming off its worst year in the Jim Mora era, UCLA has the fourth-best odds to win the Pac-12 championship game, according to online oddsmaker Bovada

USC is the favorite, with 10/11 odds, followed by last year’s conference champion Washington, at 9/5. Stanford is third with 8/1 odds, followed by UCLA’s 9/1 chances.

Earlier this summer, Bovada set UCLA’s over-under at 6.5 wins. The Bruins have a tough conference schedule that includes back-to-back road games against Washington and Utah, with the game in Salt Lake City coming on a Friday, and road games against Stanford and USC.

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Jaleel Wadood included on Jim Thorpe Award Watch List

Safety Jaleel Wadood was included on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award. (MICAH ESCAMILLA — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

UCLA safety Jaleel Wadood earned a spot on the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List for the second straight year Friday as the senior was included in the preliminary 45-man group vying for the title as the nation’s top defensive back.

The St. John Bosco alum led the UCLA secondary in tackles last year with 77, which ranked third on the team, and was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 by the conference’s coaches. The Bruins gave up only 12 touchdown passes last season, the fewest in the Pac-12. Wadood is one of two returning starters in the secondary for UCLA, along with cornerback Nate Meadors.

A list of the Bruins included on watch lists so far:

  • Josh Rosen (Maxwell — best college player)
  • Kenny Young (Bednarik — best defensive player)
  • Scott Quessenberry (Rimington — best center; Outland — best interior lineman)
  • Austin Roberts (Mackey — best tight end)
  • Jaleel Wadood (Thorpe — best defensive back)
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St. John Bosco WR Devon Cooley commits to UCLA

The pipeline from St. John Bosco to UCLA will continue as the Bruins picked up a verbal pledge from Bosco receiver Devon Cooley on Thursday.

Cooley, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver/defensive back, announced his commitment to UCLA on Twitter. He transferred from Buena Park High to Bosco last month and will play with fellow UCLA commit defensive back Stephan Blaylock this year.

Cooley is a four-star recruit, according to Scout.com, and a three-star by Rivals.com’s rankings. He also had Pac-12 offers from Oregon, Washington State, Arizona and Arizona State.

UCLA has 16 commits for the 2018 class. Cooley joins Kyle Phillips as the team’s only receivers at this point.

Here are Cooley’s junior season highlights: Continue reading “St. John Bosco WR Devon Cooley commits to UCLA” »

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Scott Quessenberry on Outland Trophy Watch List

UCLA center Scott Quessenberry (52) is on the watch list for the Outland Trophy. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

Already on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy, UCLA center Scott Quessenberry added another preseason watch list nomination Thursday as the redshirt senior was included on the 81-man Outland Trophy Watch List.

The Outland Trophy goes to the nation’s best interior lineman. Former UCLA offensive tackles Jonathan Ogden and Kris Farris won the award in 1995 and 1998, respectively.

One year after redshirting due to double shoulder surgeries, Quessenberry was named All-Pac-12 first team last season, as selected by the league’s head coaches. He started all 12 games at center.

A list of the Bruins included on watch lists so far:

  • Josh Rosen (Maxwell — best college player)
  • Kenny Young (Bednarik — best defensive player)
  • Scott Quessenberry (Rimington — best center; Outland — best interior lineman)
  • Austin Roberts (Mackey — best tight end)
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Kenny Easley prepares to enter Pro Football Hall of Fame

Former UCLA safety Kenny Easley (5) will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. (Photo by Peter Read Miller /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

Kenny Easley woke up in a sweat. It was 4:30 a.m. in a Houston hotel room on Selection Saturday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The former UCLA safety already knew.

He was in.

Easley, UCLA’s legendary safety who still holds the school’s all-time interceptions record, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio. It’s been 30 years since Easley’s NFL career ended prematurely due to a kidney ailment, and after he was never considered for the Hall as a Modern Era player, the hard-hitting safety from Virginia finally made the cut as a Senior Member this year.

After the long wait, the dream Easley had in that Houston hotel room put him at ease.  Continue reading “Kenny Easley prepares to enter Pro Football Hall of Fame” »

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