Defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes breaks foot, will miss UCLA’s spring practices

For at least the next few months, UCLA will be without a key part of its defensive line: rising star Eddie Vanderdoes.

Head coach Jim Mora said on a Bruin Report Online podcast that Vanderdoes broke a bone in his foot and will be out for spring. The Bruins start practicing on April 1 and will hold their “Spring Showcase” on April 26. Continue reading

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Mike Tuiasosopo to coach outside linebackers, special teams

New assistant coach Mike Tuiasosopo will coach outside linebackers and special teams, UCLA officially announced today.

He fills the role vacated by Jeff Ulbrich, who was promoted to defensive coordinator after Lou Spanos left for the Tennessee Titans last month. Tuiasosopo had spent the bulk of his career as a defensive line coach, most recently at Colorado (2011-12) and Arizona (2004-10). Continue reading

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Nick Pasquale’s brother, A.J., to become football intern

A.J. Pasquale, brother of deceased UCLA receiver Nick Pasquale, will join the Bruins as a full-time intern. Nick died in September when he was struck by a car in San Clemente.

Since Nick’s death, head coach Jim Mora has reiterated that he would continue to support the Pasquale family and to keep them close to the program.

A.J. tweeted Tuesday night that he accepted the internship offer.

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Reviewing UCLA’s 2014 recruiting class

The requisite caveat first: recruiting rankings are imperfect, and neither guarantee a program’s success nor ensure its failure. That said, recruiting rankings are still correlated with success, and since we can’t fast forward to see how the players develop, there isn’t a whole lot else to work with.

And without further ado, let’s take another look at the 2014 UCLA class (which you can look over in full here).

– It’s good, not great. I covered the five-star swing-and-misses generally in today’s Daily News story, but here’s the class in more detail. Continue reading

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VIDEO: Jim Mora recaps UCLA’s 2014 recruiting class

National Signing Day saw UCLA whiff on big-name, five-star recruits — especially out-of-state prospects such as linebacker Rashaan Evans (Alabama) and receiver Malachi Dupre (LSU). Bruins head coach Jim Mora acknowledged as much Wednesday evening.

“We were the bridesmaids,” he said. “Heck, we might”ve even been the ring girl on a couple of guys today. But we were in the wedding. We were in the church. That’s our goal.”

He emphasized, however, that the he wouldn’t shy away from going after “big fish” in the future: “We’re never going to go, ‘Hey, you know what, this is an SEC guy. We don’t have a shot.’ If there’s a crack in the door, we’re going to try to bust it down.”

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Reports: Texas interested in UCLA head coach Jim Mora

As expected:

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Jim Mora (and UCLA fans) might as well get used to this. As long as the Bruins keep winning, their head coach’s name will come up every time a major job is open.

The latest suitor is Texas, which pushed Mack Brown into retirement. ESPN reports that the school is looking at Mora as a potential replacement, though sources dispute whether or not there has been contact.

Orangebloods.com reports that Mora — who just guided UCLA to its first 10-win season since 2005 — will interview with the Longhorns after Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin. Continue reading

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UCLA hits 10-win mark with Sun Bowl romp over Hokies

In Wednesday’s edition of the Daily News:
– My story on UCLA’s 42-12 win over Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl, and where the Bruins sit heading into 2014. (Mainly, awaiting Brett Hundley’s NFL draft decision.)
– Jill Painter’s column on why quarterback Hundley should go pro after his standout showing in El Paso.
– A notebook on linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, who closed his UCLA career with co-MVP honors in the Sun Bowl.

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Jim Mora ‘hopeful’ Brett Hundley will stay at UCLA

After UCLA’s win over USC on Nov. 30, head coach Jim Mora seized the moment. During a live postgame interview, he attempted to rope star quarterback Brett Hundley into committing to another year in college.

It didn’t work — Hundley demurred on his NFL draft decision — but a month later, Mora remained optimistic heading into a Sun Bowl matchup against Virginia Tech.

Asked today if he’s thought about the redshirt sophomore potentially playing his final game as a Bruin, the coach said: “I don’t think it will be. I’m very hopeful it won’t be.”

Earlier this week, Hundley said he had not yet received feedback from the NFL draft advisory board, and remains uncertain about his future. Continue reading

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