UCLA football post-spring: Offense

Quarterback

Be happy that you have one of the best quarterbacks in the conference. Brett Hundley isn’t flawless, but not many players in the country have the same level of tantalizing potential. (I don’t think he’ll leave, but if Hundley declares for the 2014 draft, SI already has him as the No. 8 pick.)

A superlative freshman campaign — 3,745 yards, 29 touchdowns against 11 picks — proved that the 6-foot-3 dual threat is the quarterback the Bruins have long sought. Perhaps the biggest knock on him was his decision-making, whether that meant not throwing the ball away when he needed to or not sliding at the right time. In spring, he looked like he corrected some of that, drawing cheers from his teammates once when he slid on a scramble.

He also took 52 sacks last season — second-most in college football, and something that did start to affect him later in the fall. Continue reading

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Adrian Klemm expects at least two freshman starters on offensive line

Adrian Klemm didn’t mince words. What took place Thursday morning was the worst offensive line practice the position coach has seen at UCLA.

Done without pads due to the Bruins’ increasing injury count, the sloppy session neared closing time with a brutal sequence of penalties, dropped balls and even a safety.

Klemm has established himself as one of the nation’s elite recruiters, but reinforcements won’t arrive until fall. Right now, an offensive line that allowed 52 sacks last season still doesn’t have any stable anchors besides center Jake Brendel and All-American Xavier Su’a-Filo. Continue reading

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Devin Lucien’s talk and other football practice notes

After missing most of last season with a broken collarbone, wide receiver Devin Lucien is excited to be back on the field. On Thursday, he made sure to inform anyone within earshot — making for one of the day’s more amusing moments.

“Tell them I’m coming for that starting spot!” he yelled to reporters after making a catch over cornerback Fabian Moreau in one-on-one drills.

“I’m telling y’all right now,” he said after another catch. “Y’all better tell somebody!” Continue reading

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Abbott finalist for Burlsworth Trophy

A low-profile, but interesting award given to the nation’s best player who started his career as a walk-on. You can also vote for Andrew Abbott, which counts for five percent during each round. Finalists will be announced on Nov. 27, and the winner on Dec. 3.

Pac-12 All-Academic teams were also released yesterday. Jeff Locke (3.70, Economics) made first team for the third time, and was joined by freshman center Jake Brendel (3.60, Math/Applied Sciences). Steve Manfro (3.20, undeclared) was the Bruins’ lone representative on the second team. As announced in June, UCLA ranked third in academic progress rate among conference members.

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