Head coach Jim Mora talked after UCLA’s first formal practice after the regular season, touching on the Bruins’ loss to Stanford, the team’s bowl practice schedule, and what it meant for linebacker Eric Kendricks to win the Butkus Award.
Two days after winning the Butkus Award, UCLA’s Eric Kendricks has also become an All-American.
The senior linebacker made the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s second team on Thursday. Despite already winning the preeminent honor at his position, he fell behind three others that made the first team — two of whom he has seen on the opposite sideline: Washington’s Hau’oli Kikaha, Arizona’s Scooby Wright, and TCU’s Paul Dawson.
The Walter Camp team is one of five used to determine consensus and unanimous All-American status, although those do require a first-team mention. The other teams are selected by the AFCA, FWAA, Associated Press and Sporting News.
Anthony Barr was a consensus All-American last season, missing out only on the FWAA first team. UCLA’s last unanimous All-American was Maurice Jones-Drew, who earned his nod as an all-purpose player/kick returner.
Eric Kendricks can now officially call himself the best linebacker in college football, even if Pac-12 coaches don’t think so.
After being left off the All-Pac-12 first team last week, UCLA’s all-time leading tackler received the Butkus Award on Tuesday morning — becoming the first Bruin to ever win in the trophy’s 30-year history.
Even former teammate Anthony Barr, a consensus All-American and ninth overall NFL draft pick, settled for a finalist spot behind Alabama’s C.J. Mosley.
In a statement, the Butkus Award selection committee called this year’s race “as close as any (in) the past decade,” and said it included eight write-in candidates. Continue reading
UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks had to settle for All-Pac-12 second team last night, but today he became a finalist for a second major national award.
The Bruins’ all-time leading tackler is one of four candidates left for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, given each year to a top defensive player for both his on- and off-field contributions. He is joined by Washington linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, Duke linebacker David Helton and Alabama safety Landon Collins.
Former UCLA All-American linebacker Anthony Barr won the Lott IMPACT Trophy last season, which netted a $25,000 donation to the school’s general scholarship fund. Founded in 2004, the award has yet to be granted to multiple players from the same program.
Kendricks is also one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, given to college football’s best linebacker.
Another round of All-Pac-12 awards, another chorus of approval from across the conference.
Just kidding. As always, postseason honors generate a good amount of chatter, as fans of every team ask why their favorite players were snubbed. But even considering that type of bias, UCLA’s placements on the all-conference teams on Tuesday night were … particularly eye-raising. (You can see the full results, as voted on by Pac-12 head coaches, at the bottom of this post.)
The biggest surprise was Ishmael Adams’ status as the Bruins’ lone first-team pick. Five defensive backs were featured instead of the usual four due to ties, but the scrappy 5-foot-8 cornerback might not even be the best on his own team. The problem is consistency. He made his share of big plays — he returned two interceptions for touchdowns this season — but also saw moments where he gave up key catch or committed a costly penalty.
His presence on the All-Pac-12 first team was even more striking considering the absence of linebacker Eric Kendricks, who recently broke the Bruins’ all-time tackles record. The senior settled for a second-team spot, behind Arizona’s Scooby Wright — the league’s defensive MVP — and Washington’s Hau’oli Kikaha and Shaq Thompson. Continue reading
UCLA center Jake Brendel was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic first team this morning, marking his third straight appearance on the list.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman has a 3.39 GPA in economics and has started 38 of 39 possible games in his career, sitting out the Bruins’ season opener at Virginia with a knee injury. Without him, UCLA’s offensive line allowed five sacks and committed five false starts in a performance lambasted by position coach Adrian Klemm.
Eric Kendricks’ stellar season is garnering more and more recognition. UCLA’s senior linebacker became a Butkus Award finalist on Monday, and also picked up his second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor.
Kendricks is the second Bruin in as many years to be named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given each year to college football’s top linebacker. No UCLA player has ever won the Butkus; All-American linebacker Anthony Barr lost out to Alabama’s C.J. Mosley last season.
This year, Kendricks’ stiffest competition is likely Washington linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, who has 23.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. Kendricks has the edge in tackles (128 to 63) and interceptions (three to zero), but has just seven tackles for loss and two sacks. Continue reading
UCLA’s Eric Kendricks and Myles Jack were both named among 15 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given each year to the best linebacker in the country.
Kendricks leads the Pac-12 with 93 tackles this season, and is just 43 tackles away from tying Jerry Robinson’s all-time school record of 468. The senior is coming off one of the best games of his career: a 16-tackle performance in the Bruins’ 40-37 win at Colorado that included an interception, as well as three third-down stops to force a punt or a field goal. All but one of his tackles were unassisted.
Head coach Jim Mora called it Kendricks’ best game of the season, adding that the tackle total wasn’t inflated by plays farther down the field. Continue reading
UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks has been named a quarterfinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which former teammate Anthony Barr won a year ago.
The senior is one of 20 players still short-listed for the award, given each season to a top defensive player. The award purports to “give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance.”
Seven quarterfinalists hail from the Pac-12, more than any other conference. With 77 tackles this season, Kendricks is on pace to lead the league in the stat for the second time in three years.
Barr — who became a consensus All-American and the No. 9 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft — displayed the award in a ceremony at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 4, during the Bruins’ 30-28 loss to Utah. UCLA received a $25,000 check toward its general scholarship fund.