Jim Mora’s awkward ESPN exchange

UCLA head coach Jim Mora had an awkward exchange on TV this morning when he was asked to talk about his recruiting class. Before Mora’s ESPN 2 interview started, an analyst spoke about UCLA’s season, noting that quarterback Josh Rosen “needs to play better” after having “ups and downs” last year. Mora was then asked to “size up the class,” and Mora responded: “We’re excited about the class. Josh Rosen played five games.”

Just to note, Rosen in fact played in six games. He got hurt in the sixth game, against Arizona State.

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UCLA signs four-star OL Stephan Zabie

UCLA started National Signing Day with a big victory, reeling in four-star offensive lineman Stephan Zabie. The 6-foot-6, 290-pound lineman picked the Bruins on ESPNU over Texas and Ole Miss.

He only played one season at Westlake (Texas) High due to transfer ineligbility. He didn’t play his senior year and kind of fell off the radar in recruiting. UCLA came in late in the process and pulled him away from the hometown Longhorns.

He is one of two four-star offensive line recruits for the Bruins in this class, along with U.S. Army All-American Kanan Ray. UCLA also have Zachary Sweeney, whose NLI was the first to come in Wednesday, Jax Wacaser and Sean Seawards.

UCLA assistant Scott White named Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year

UCLA’s Scott White was named Scout.com’s Pac-12 Recruiter of the Year today, joining two other Bruin assistant coaches who have earned that same honor.

Landing five-star recruit Mique Juarez helped push the linebacker coach and special teams coordinator ahead of competitors such as USC’s Tee Martin, Stanford’s Mike Bloomgren, and Washington’s Jimmy Lake — each of whom were honorable mentions. Juarez was the last of four highly touted linebackers to sign with UCLA, with the team having already announced the arrivals of four-star prospects Breland Brandt, Krys Barnes and Lokeni Toailoa.

White first served as a UCLA graduate assistant in 2011 under Rick Neuheisel, and remained on the staff in various capacities after the Bruins hired Jim Mora as they entered the 2012 season. Mora promoted him from defensive quality control to linebackers coach last February.

“We’ve been able to provide some stability here with the staff,” Mora said Wednesday, when speaking generally about his assistants. “When you promote from within, I think that helps you create that feeling of stability. … Quality promotions from within really help us.”

New UCLA quarterbacks coach Marques Tuiasosopo was named the conference’s top recruiter a year ago, when he was at USC, while offensive line coach Adrian Klemm earned the nod in 2013.