Eric Kendricks’ stellar season is garnering more and more recognition. UCLA’s senior linebacker became a Butkus Award finalist on Monday, and also picked up his second Pac-12 Player of the Week honor.
Kendricks is the second Bruin in as many years to be named a finalist for the Butkus Award, given each year to college football’s top linebacker. No UCLA player has ever won the Butkus; All-American linebacker Anthony Barr lost out to Alabama’s C.J. Mosley last season.
This year, Kendricks’ stiffest competition is likely Washington linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, who has 23.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. Kendricks has the edge in tackles (128 to 63) and interceptions (three to zero), but has just seven tackles for loss and two sacks. Continue reading →
UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week after making three field goals in the Bruins’ 44-30 win at Washington.
The total tied a career high for the junior, who has been nearly automatic inside of 35 yards but spotty from outside 40. Against the Huskies, however, he nailed a 46-yarder with 8:30 left in the game to give UCLA a three-score lead. His teammates gave him a resounding vote of confidence during the timeout before the attempt.
Fairbairn is the Bruin to earn a Pac-12 Player of the Week honor since Sept. 29, when quarterback Brett Hundley and defensive back/kick returner Ishmael Adams were picked on offense and special teams.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and defensive back Ishmael Adams both earned Pac-12 Player of the Week nods on Monday, marking the second time this season that two Bruins have won on the same day.
Hundley was named the conference’s top offensive player following his big performance in UCLA’s 62-27 win over Arizona State. The redshirt junior threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns on just 23 pass attempts, and finished the game with just five incompletions — none of which came in the second half.
He also rushed for 72 yards and another score, all while wearing a protective brace over his injured left elbow.
“It’s a little concern — not too much,” Hundley said of the brace on Monday. “Obviously, the more I practice with it the more comfortable I feel. Obviously, it adds a bigger piece of weight to your arm. It distributes weight a little different. But at the same time, you practice with it and it’ll be fine.” Continue reading →
Jerry Neuheisel earned something that’s eluded even Brett Hundley this season: Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.
UCLA’s backup quarterback was voted the conference’s top performer after lifting the Bruins past Texas with his unlikely heroics, throwing a 33-yard touchdown to Jordan Payton with three minutes left. Neuheisel finished the 20-17 win with 178 yards and two scores on 23-of-30 passing.
Cornerback Ishmael Adams, who set up Neuheisel’s touchdown pass with a 45-yard punt return, was voted Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. He totaled 62 yards on three punt returns and also returned a kickoff for 14 yards.
Washington linebacker Shaq Thompson won defensive player of the week after returning an interception and a fumble for touchdowns in the Huskies’ 44-19 win over Illinois.
After a star performance in UCLA’s 28-20 win over Virginia, linebacker Eric Kendricks was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
The senior recorded a game-high 16 tackles against the Cavaliers, but also made two more highlight plays: forcing a fumble that turned into a 75-yard touchdown return for safety Randall Goforth, and taking back a pick-six of his own a few minutes later.
Despite all that, he didn’t seem satisfied.
“I left a lot of stuff on the field,” Kendricks said Monday. “I can improve every week. I made a lot of little rookie mistakes. … If you watch the film, you’d see that I made some key mistakes in the pass game as far as drops and stuff like that, so I’m gonna get back to it.” Continue reading →
Ishmael Adams’ career debut as a returner last Saturday didn’t go unnoticed. The 5-foot-8 cornerback’s 234 all-purpose yards against Arizona State earned him a mention as Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. Continue reading →
Jayon Brown’s big fumble recovery this past weekend has landed him Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
In the second quarter of 45-23 win against Colorado on Saturday, UCLA’s true freshman jumped on top of a loose ball dislodged by fellow first-year Cameron Judge. The recovery gave the Bruins the ball on the Buffs’ 14-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Brett Hundley found Devin Fuller in the end zone, bumping UCLA’s lead 21-10. Continue reading →
After a career-high 11 tackles in a 41-21 win at Nebraska, Anthony Barr was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. In addition to logging two of those tackles for loss, the All-American was credited with three forced fumbles.
Oddly, Barr still has not recorded a sack after finishing the 2012 season second in the country with 13.5. Continue reading →
After helping UCLA to a weekend sweep over ASU and Arizona, Kyle Anderson was rewarded with his first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor.
The freshman point forward scored a career-high 21 against the Sun Devils, grabbing 15 boards for his eighth double-double of the season. He’s in the midst of his most productive offensive stretch yet, averaging 16.5 points and 11 rebounds over his last four games. Anderson has also totaled 14 assists, six blocks and six steals in those outings.
Freshman swingman Shabazz Muhammad was also named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Dec. 31, the only other Bruin to do so this season.