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 →
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 →
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.”