Scuffle ends UCLA evening practice early

SAN BERNARDINO – UCLA’s Monday evening practice ended early when a fight broke out between a few players.

The trouble began near the end of the session at Cal State San Bernardino when defensive end Cassius Marsh began scuffling with an offensive player. Tensions rose between offense and defense, escalating when receiver Shaq Evans ran in from the sideline and began jawing loudly with defensive back Anthony Jefferson.

Head coach Jim Mora halted practice half an hour early and made the entire team run widths of the field for roughly 10 minutes. Continue reading

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How much NFL talent does UCLA have?

NFL teams drafted four Bruins in April, the highest number for UCLA since 2005. Could the school best that mark next spring?

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ranked the 25 college programs with the most talent for the 2014 draft. The Bruins made the cut, along with four other Pac-12 teams:

No. 22: UCLA — 7 prospects (among draft-eligible players)
No. 21: Washington — 7 Continue reading

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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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Early look at Bruins in the 2014 NFL draft

The 2014 NFL draft is less than a year away! Depending on who does or doesn’t declare, the Bruins could have two first-round picks for the first time since 1981.

Here’s a roundup of some too-early mock drafts/prospect rankings.

Sports Illustrated:
Brett Hundley — No. 8
Anthony Barr — No. 20

Chris Burke is higher on Hundley than anyone else listed here, and is also lower on Barr — whom he calls a potential “Von Miller-type” should he be drafted by a 4-3 team. The analyst does hedge a bit on the No. 20: “Odds are, in the long run, that Barr might be off the board well before this next April.” Continue reading

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Catching up with Cassius Marsh, Oaks Christian DT

How’s the recruiting game going?
“Good man, I just got my officials planned – Cal, LSU, Arizona State, Oklahoma. We’ll see at the end of October.”

What about UCLA and USC?
“They’re kind of in the mix, I just kinda – with UCLA, I’d like to see them play the pac-10 first.”

Does a win like UCLA’s over Tennessee make them more attractive?
“Not really. I mean, if I was considering a team that lost to a really good team, then it probably wouldn’t bother me. If Florida or LSU lost to Texas, it wouldn’t bother me. If they lose to small teams and have a bad season, it would affect my decision.”

What can coaches lower on your list do at this point?
“There’s nothing really they can do. After I take my officials, it’s basically it. That’s what I’m going to base my decision off mostly. Whenever I feel the decision is right, that I’m ready to make it – if I take two officials and I feel ready to commit, I’ll pick them.”

What is your ultimate goal?
“I feel like all the schools I’m considering will give me the opportunity to go to the NFL as long as I work hard and do well. The only thing I’m really considering about is if I go to a big-time program, I’ll be seen a lot more. The coaching at each school is really great. All the D-line coaches are really good coaches.”

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