VIDEO: Assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu talks about UCLA tailbacks


Asked if he had a prospective starting tailback yet, assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu went with the stock answer: They’re all No. 1, and they’ll all contribute.

Linebacker Myles Jack, who rushed for seven touchdowns in four games last year, won’t be among the group for the foreseeable future. Though it wouldn’t be surprising for the two-way Pac-12 Freshman of the Year to get some offensive reps once the season starts, he hasn’t practiced there at all this spring.

“I’ve been told, ‘Stay away,’” Polamalu said.

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Spring notes: UCLA offensive line working through numerous injuries


UCLA’s offensive line continues to get dinged up.

Graduate transfer Malcolm Bunche left Wednesday’s morning practice early with an undisclosed injury, giving most of the first-team reps at right tackle to redshirt freshman Kenny Lacy. Starting right guard Alex Redmond has seen increasingly fewer contact reps with his left hand still wrapped in a cast; early enrollee NaJee Toran looks like the clear No. 2 behind him.

Guard John Lopez was also absent from practice, forcing even more juggling through the unit.

“It’s hard, and they’re going to make mistakes,” offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said. “But in the long run, it makes them understand how all five fit together.”

– Mazzone talked a bit about the development of redshirt freshman Asiantii Woulard, who will most likely claim the backup quarterback spot over Jerry Neuheisel by the start of the season. Neuheisel actually looks much more composed and mistake-free than he did even nine months ago, but Woulard’s upside is so much higher. Continue reading

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Bellevue standout Budda Baker decommits from Oregon

Four-star safety Budda Baker has decommitted from Oregon, opening up the possibility that UCLA adds another defensive back to its 2014 class.

Baker had Washington and the Bruins as his two other finalists before announcing for the Ducks last month. He played with UCLA linebacker Myles Jack at Bellevue High, and actually helped Jack with his pass coverage last summer. Continue reading

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Three Bruins named Freshman All-Americans

Three first-year UCLA players have been named to the Freshman All-America team by the Football Writers Association of America, more than any other team in the country.

Linebacker Myles Jack, defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes and right guard Alex Redmond each received the honor — a fact made more remarkable by their status as true freshmen.

Center Jake Brendel received an FWAA selection last season as a redshirt freshman.

This year’s full All-American roster is listed after the jump. Continue reading

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Four Bruins honored by Sporting News

Senior Anthony Barr picked up his second major All-American mention on Friday, becoming a Sporting News‘ selection a day after also making the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s first team. The linebacker is on track to become UCLA’s first consensus All-American since kicker Kai Forbath in 2009.

Barr was a finalist for four major national awards this season. He won the Lott IMPACT Trophy, but missed out on the Bednarik (best defensive player), Butkus (best linebacker) and Lombardi (best lineman/linebacker) awards.

Linebacker Myles Jack, defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes and right guard Alex Redmond all made the Sporting News’ Freshman All-American team.

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Myles Jack misses out on Paul Hornung Award

Myles Jack is not the most versatile player in college football. At least, not according the Paul Hornung Award selection committee.

LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took the honor Friday morning, his 2,222 all-purpose yards pushing him past the UCLA linebacker/running back. He was the only semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s best receiver, who also ranked top-15 nationally in kick returns (26.87 per, for a total of 806). The junior also played the role of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel leading up to the Tigers’ 34-10 win over the Aggies.

Jack was the the first player to ever win both Pac-12 Freshman Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year. Continue reading

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Myles Jack doubles up on Pac-12 freshman of the year awards

Talk about versatility. Today, UCLA’s Myles Jack was named both Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman Player of the Year — becoming the first to take both since the awards were introduced in 2008.

The linebacker/running back earned a starting spot on defense by the Bruins’ second game, and finished the season tied for fourth on the team with 70 tackles. His 10 pass breakups ranked second in the Pac-12, and first nationally among linebackers. Continue reading

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At a glance: No. 22 UCLA at No. 23 USC

No. 22 UCLA (8-3, 5-3) at No. 23 USC (9-3, 6-2)
Location:
Coliseum, Nov. 30, 5 p.m.
TV: ABC (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Shannon Spake)
Radio: AM 570 (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)
Prediction below

Last meeting: UCLA beat USC, 38-28, just the Bruins’ second rivalry win in 14 years. Anthony Barr ends Matt Barkley’s college career.

Key storylines: With conference implications out of the picture, USC and UCLA will be playing almost purely for pride. For coaches on both sides, however, the game will reshape the narrative of their respective seasons. Continue reading

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