Defensive line coach Angus McClure likes multi-sport athletes

Nose tackle Kenny Clark is one true freshman who could see an uptick in reps at Stanford. Given the Cardinals’ use of jumbo offensive line sets, UCLA will likely want to plug the middle of its defense with a 6-foot-2, 305-pound former wrestler.

My story this week detailed how the former CIF champion has transferred his wrestling background into football. It certainly didn’t hurt his recruitment, drawing the attention of Bruins defensive line coach Angus McClure:

“The techniques I teach, especially with nose guards having their weight on their in-step, being flat-footed, playing with great leverage — he learned a lot of that in wrestling. Continue reading

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Defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy down to 325 pounds

Former five-star recruit Ellis McCarthy has had surgeries on both knees since arriving at UCLA — prompting him to lose over 20 pounds to alleviate the pain. Defensive line coach Angus McClure said that McCarthy, now a 325-pound nose tackle, looks like he’s in his best of his college career. The junior sophomore had a nice interception on the first day of camp in San Bernardino, tipping a pass before diving to secure the interception.

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UCLA football post-spring: Defense and special teams

Defensive line

Can UCLA’s defensive front survive the loss of a first-round pick — the team’s first since 2006? Cassius Marsh, pegged as a third-round talent in some early projections, now succeeds new Green Bay Packer Datone Jones as the Bruins’ best defensive end. By most observations, he’s matured since 2011, a year that saw him storm out of spring practice and later suspended two games for an October brawl at Arizona.

“Sometimes, he may stop on that line, but not over it,” said defensive line coach Angus McClure. “I call it a ‘controlled insanity.’ You want to go to that line but you don’t want to go over it. Certainly, he’s learned to manage it.”

The rest of the line, however, is a muddled with injuries. Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Ellis McCarthy both sat out spring while rehabbing from their respective hip and knee surgeries, while nose tackle Brandon Tualiaupupu tore his ACL in mid-April. Continue reading

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