Receiver Shaq Evans ended his UCLA career with a 59-yard touchdown catch, redeeming what had been a frustrating Sun Bowl outing for him.
The notebook that ran in today’s edition of the Daily News covers some of Cassius Marsh’s value as an NFL prospect, whether it be at defensive end, linebacker or even tight end. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay gave the UCLA senior a fourth- or fifth-round draft grade. Here’s what he said about some other Bruins:
Linebacker Anthony Barr
“He’s not as talented as (South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon) Clowney. He’s not as big, and he’s probably just a notch below in terms of the explosive athleticism. But I think Barr is still a very, very talented player who’s only played the defensive side for two years. Who continues to get better and better in terms of his play, how he’s using his hands, how he’s getting off blocks. I think when it’s all said and done, he’s going to wind up being a top-five pick. Continue reading
Shaq Evans is trying to become the first UCLA receiver drafted since 2010, when Washington took Terrence Austin in the seventh round. His biggest chance to boost his stock may be the Senior Bowl, held in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 25.
“That game is huge for me,” said Evans, who received his invitation last week. “I didn’t really have the numbers I expected to have this year. I feel like I still played well, but I know that I’m still under the radar a little bit.” Continue reading
Receiver Shaq Evans had the first multi-touchdown game of his career on Saturday, reeling in two against Arizona. His first, a 66-yard bomb from Brett Hundley, came on UCLA’s very first offensive play. Continue reading
In the mood for a round of meaningless-but-encouraging awards? Have some midseason All-Pac-12 team mentions, courtesy of college football guru Phil Steele.
Steele named eight UCLA players to his all-conference squads, with outside linebacker Anthony Barr and left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo leading the way on the first team. The pair also landed on Steele’s midseason All-American team, with Barr earning a first-team nod and Su’a-Filo a second.
Center Jake Brendel and linebacker Eric Kendricks both made the midseason second team. Receiver Shaq Evans and running back Steve Manfro joined the pair there, but earned their spots for contributions at kick and punt return.
Quarterback Brett Hundley ended up on the third team, behind Oregon’s Marcus Mariota and Oregon State’s Sean Mannion. Defensive end Cassius Marsh rounded out the UCLA names on the list.
Shaq Evans may have a short fuse at times, but away from football, he withdraws. My feature in yesterday’s Daily News focused on the difference between his personas, with Bruins receivers coach Eric Yarber describing him as “borderline shy” off the field.
Something that didn’t make it into the story was Evans’ early affinity for basketball, which he gave up once he got to Inglewood High. From a card he wrote when he was 7 years old: “I plan on going to UCLA, and I want to be a professional basketball player. I want to be drafted into the NBA when I’m in my sophomore year of college and I want to be one of the best basketball players ever.”
For anyone that missed it, I talked UCLA football with Craig Elsten tonight on The Mighty 1090 in San Diego. We covered a bit of the Bruins’ Nebraska win, Shaq Evans’ comments, and Brett Hundley’s NFL prospects. You can listen to the full 11 minutes here.
Once in a while, Jim Mora’s one-week-at-a-time philosophy shows its cracks.
In an interview with ESPN 710 on Wednesday, receiver Shaq Evans was asked how it felt to be a part of UCLA’s rise after watching USC dominate while growing up in Inglewood. “I’m loving it,” he said.
“Beating them last year, and knowing we’re going to beat them again this year,” he soon added. “Especially two years ago, when they beat us 50-0, we owe them a little bit. … This year, we’re going to try to embarrass them, honestly.
“It’s so much fun, just seeing them struggling. Like how we used to struggle, now they’re struggling. It’s awesome to see that. I hate them.”
Mora said he did not hear about the comments.
“We’re worried about New Mexico State University right now,” Mora said. “I don’t follow some of that stuff. I didn’t see that. I’m worried about New Mexico State University.”
– The first 30,000 fans at the Rose Bowl this Saturday will receive a blue towel with Nick Pasquale’s No. 36. Following a moment of silence before UCLA’s first home game since the receiver’s death, the team will cheer loudly to celebrate his memory. Mora asked fans to do the same, waving around those towels. Continue reading