UCLA notes: Starting center Jake Brendel’s knee injury likely not serious

» UCLA lost a number of players to injury on Monday night, but none more important than center Jake Brendel. The third-year starter hurt his left knee/leg late in the two-hour practice, and was examined on a table before being carted to the locker room.

Brendel wasn’t limping heavily when he was helped off the field, and the preliminary examination indicated that the injury wasn’t serious.

“Hopefully, he doesn’t need anything more than a day or two, but we’ll see,” said head coach Jim Mora.

Backup center/guard Scott Quessenberry also left practice with what may have been heat exhaustion or dehydration. Safety Randall Goforth aggravated a left shoulder injury, but that also isn’t expected to be serious. Cornerback Marcus Rios was sidelined with a headache, but wasn’t hit in the head.

Freshman linebacker Zach Whitley — who performed well in spring camp — has a concussion and wore a neck brace last week; his return date is uncertain.

» Mora wasn’t happy with how the Bruins began the second part of their two-a-day, and made them restart the Monday night practice roughly 15 minutes in. Later, he sent running back Craig Lee to the locker room. Continue reading

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UCLA notes: Quarterback Brett Hundley comments on O’Bannon ruling

» UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley talked about the offense’s progress so far into training camp. Active in the National College Players Association, the junior also commented on the recent ruling in O’Bannon v. NCAA — one that could dramatically change college athletics (2:30 mark in the video above).

Although the NCAA intends to appeal, judge Claudia Wilken ruled that student-athletes could be paid up to $5,000 per year.

“It’s nice to have the athletes coming after me to be able to live a little more comfortably than we all did,” Hundley said.

» Crossing the halfway point of training camp in San Bernardino, tensions between the Bruins rose a bit on Monday morning. Continue reading

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UCLA lineman Scott Quessenberry’s brother David diagnosed with lymphoma

Houston Texans right tackle David Quessenberry was diagnosed with lymphoma on Tuesday at age 23, a week after entering the hospital with coughing and fatigue.

The former sixth-round pick is the eldest brother of Scott Quessenberry, who started six games at left guard for UCLA as a true freshman last season. Another brother, Paul, is a defensive end at Navy.

From the Houston Chronicle:

“My fight has just begun,” Quessenberry tweeted Tuesday. “As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will fight this disease and I will win.”

Two oncology experts said Quessenberry faces a high-grade, life-threatening form of cancer that requires immediate treatment. He’s expected to face months of chemotherapy during a process that could last years. The many forms of lymphoma and multiple recovery scenarios make Quessenberry’s future health status difficult to predict. But his high “performance data,” including youth and excellent physical shape, should work in his favor if treatment goes well

“It’s a rapidly growing lymphoma. … But the tumors that grow most rapidly are usually the ones most sensitive to chemotherapy,” said Dr. Martha Mims, chief of hematology and oncology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Best wishes go out to the Quessenberry family.

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UCLA post-spring position outlook: Offensive line

Spring football is done, and over three months still stand between us and the start of UCLA’s third season under Jim Mora — one that comes with national title aspirations and accompanying media glare. Over the next week, this blog will cover each of the Bruins’ position groups. Next up …

Offensive line

UCLA is facing life without left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo, set to become the school’s highest-drafted offensive lineman since Kris Farris went to the Pittsburgh Steelers as a third-round pick in 1999. And yet, the Bruins aren’t in bad shape without the man they voted their offensive MVP, one who earned the conference’s Morris Trophy as well as All-American nods.

No returning lineman is as versatile or mobile as Su’a-Filo, and not having a dynamic pulling guard will likely impact the Bruins’ running game. What should balance out his absence is a unit that is deeper and more experienced that it was a year ago — a continuing reclamation project sparked by 2013’s stud signing class. Continue reading

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Offensive lineman Xavier Su’a-Filo declares for NFL draft

UCLA’s most talented offensive lineman is heading to the pros.

In a decision that even he acknowledged was widely “suspected,” junior Xavier Su’a-Filo announced on Twitter that he will declare for the 2014 NFL draft. Already 23 years old, his eligibility was pushed back by a two-year Mormon mission.

Winner of the Morris Trophy for Pac-12’s top offensive lineman, the 6-foot-3, 304 pound Utah native manned both left guard and left tackle for the Bruins this season. He will play the former as a pro, but moved to the outside halfway through the season due to numerous injuries. Continue reading

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