Foster Farms Bowl roundup: Kene Orjioke decides to leave football

UCLA linebacker Kene Orjioke is set to make his final appearance as a Bruin, forgoing his final year of eligibility. (Katie Meyers/UCLA Athletics)

UCLA linebacker Kene Orjioke is set to make his final appearance as a Bruin, forgoing his final year of eligibility. (Katie Meyers/UCLA Athletics)

Merry Christmas, everyone! Here’s a roundup of some of our UCLA coverage this week.

» UCLA linebacker Kene Orjioke explains why he decided to leave football a year early.
» Defensive tackle Kenny Clark talks about the NFL players he watches most to improve his game.
» Center Jake Brendel reflects on the bonds he made as a four-year starter at UCLA.
» Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. could present trouble for UCLA’s run defense.
» Offensive lineman Alex Redmond left the Bruins to declare for the NFL draft.

VIDEO: UCLA DC Tom Bradley on preparing for Nebraska

UCLA defensive coordinator Tom Bradley talked about the Bruins’ preparation for the Foster Farms Bowl on Saturday, and how to account for Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. — who has rushed for 1,029 yards and 12 touchdowns since 2014.

Jim Mora: UCLA backup QB Jerry Neuheisel is ‘something special’

UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel (11) is heading into his final game as a Bruin, but could stay with the team in a different capacity. (John Valenzuela/Staff)

UCLA quarterback Jerry Neuheisel (11) is heading into his final game as a Bruin, but could stay with the team in a different capacity. (John Valenzuela/Staff)

The Foster Farms Bowl will be the last game for Jerry Neuheisel, ending a UCLA career that he punctuated with one of the most thrilling comebacks in recent Bruin history.

His next step after Saturday, however, remains uncertain. The backup quarterback has made clear his aspirations to become a coach. Head coach Jim Mora hinted last month that the redshirt junior could become a UCLA graduate assistant, but said this week that the two have only engaged in “preliminary discussions.”

He did take the opportunity to laud Neuheisel’s dedication to the Bruins, pointing out that he is closing his career the same way he began it in 2012: as UCLA’s scout team offensive player of the year.

“Jerry’s awesome,” Mora said. “Jerry is something special. He’s one of my favorite people in the world after only knowing him for four years. How can you not love the guy? Continue reading “Jim Mora: UCLA backup QB Jerry Neuheisel is ‘something special’” »