Jim Mora on Everett Golson’s transfer: ‘I don’t want mercenaries’

The biggest transfer news of this college football offseason came earlier this week, when former Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson transferred to Florida State.

The talented albeit turnover-prone passer will play immediately at FSU, after having submitting a list of 10 schools to the Fighting Irish’s compliance department as his potential destinations. That list, according to ESPN, also included Alabama, South Carolina and UCLA.

But the Bruins weren’t interested in the prospect of landing Golson as a graduate transfer, despite the fact that they are without a game-proven option to replace former three-year starter Brett Hundley.

“We never even talked about it,” head coach Jim Mora said today on the Rich Eisen Show. “I don’t want mercenaries on my team. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Linebackers

UCLA linebackers watch during the Bruins' "Spring Showcase" at the Rose Bowl on April 24, 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA linebackers watch during the Bruins’ “Spring Showcase” at the Rose Bowl on April 24, 2015. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

A program vying for the title of “Linebacker U” is about to enter what could be a very interesting season.

Anthony Barr needed just one offseason to turn himself into a dynamic pass rusher, and helped anchor the defense in Jim Mora’s first two seasons. Eric Kendricks was quietly consistent throughout his career, but peaked last fall on his way to a Butkus Award and UCLA’s all-time tackles record. Can Myles Jack seize that leadership role as well as his two predecessors?

All signs point to yes. Jack has impressed from almost the first practice snaps he took as a Bruin, and has proven himself to be one of the best cover linebackers in college football. While his sophomore season didn’t fulfill the all-world expectations set by his incredible two-way debut in 2013, he still finished with 87 tackles and seven pass breakups. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Defensive line

Enjoy watching Kenny Clark and Eddie Vanderdoes while you can. Both could be signing NFL contracts by this time next year.

UCLA will enter this fall with arguably the best defensive line duo in the conference, a pair that last season combined for 108 tackles, including 11 for loss. All-Pac-12 nods aren’t the most accurate measures of talent and/or performance, but of the eight defensive linemen that made first or second team last fall, Clark is one of two that return. (The other is Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, who like Clark is making NFL mock drafts as a potential first-round pick.) Vanderdoes followed right behind as an honorable mention.

Clark in particular was vital to the Bruins’ run defense, and is about as stout a nose tackle as you can find in college football. Looking back at his impact the last two seasons, it’s incredible that UCLA was considering redshirting him back in August 2013, during his first camp in San Bernardino. There were several times last fall when opposing offenses noticeably directed the ball away from the middle, where he and Vanderdoes stood as imposing obstacles. Continue reading

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UCLA spring camp position review: Quarterbacks

UCLA quarterbacks work on drill during spring football practice at Spaulding Field on April 23, 2015. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

UCLA quarterbacks work on drill during spring football practice at Spaulding Field on April 23, 2015. (Andy Holzman/Staff)

Much has already been made of UCLA’s quarterback situation over the past several weeks. Through 15 practices, the consensus among observers was this: Josh Rosen looks like the Bruins’ best starting option this season.

Jim Mora and the rest of the coaching staff has declined to officially name a starter, which is unsurprising for a two main reasons: it’s not a good look to have a true freshman, however talented, zoom to the top of the depth chart; it might persuade those who lose the competition to think longer and harder before potentially deciding to transfer out.

For those still skeptical, here’s the quick argument for UCLA to start a first-year player at a position where first-year players have historically struggled. Continue reading

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Jim Mora Family Foundation set to hold ninth annual golf fundraiser

For the ninth year, UCLA coach Jim Mora is set to host his annual celebrity golf classic — the biggest fundraiser for the children’s charity helmed by his wife, Shannon.

The Jim Mora Count on Me Family Foundation, which benefits at-risk children, is holding the event for the third time since arriving in Los Angeles. It will take place Monday morning at The Riviera Country Club, less than five miles west of the Bruins’ campus.

After a Sunday evening cocktail reception at the W Hotel, the golf fundraiser will host such names as Troy Aikman, Marcus Allen, Dick Butkus, and LaDainian Tomlinson.

You can donate to the foundation at the official site.

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