Jim Mora: Jeff Ulbrich still ‘contemplating’ Falcons’ job offer

The Atlanta Falcons have offered UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich a position as the linebackers coach, interrupting what was looking like a very successful National Signing Day.

However, the 37-year-old has yet to decide whether to accept the job opening.

“Jeff has assured me he has not come to a conclusion yet,” said UCLA head coach Jim Mora. “He is contemplating whether or not he wants to do that. I’m going to fight tooth and nail to keep him here because I think he’s an outstanding coach. …

“I’m going to fight like crazy to keep that sucker, and it’s going to be a battle, because Dan Quinn, he’s a fighter.”

Mora said that newly hired Falcons head coach Dan Quinn first reached out to him as a courtesy on Tuesday night, asking if he could contact Ulbrich. Mora said no — smiling, as he recalled the moment — but in the NFL, permission isn’t needed. Mora and Quinn’s relationship stretches back to their time on the San Francisco 49ers staff. The former became the defensive coordinator in 1999, and hired the latter as a defensive quality control coach two years later. Quinn was soon promoted to defensive line coach.

That same connection also ties the men to Ulbrich, who spent his entire 10-year NFL career in San Francisco before retiring from playing in 2009. Continue reading

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With Ulbrich in limbo, linebacker Roquan Smith reopens recruitment

Roquan Smith’s recruitment won’t be ending today.

The four-star linebacker from Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County had announced his decision to attend UCLA over Georgia this morning on ESPN, but the news was soon followed by a stunner. FOX Sports reported that the Bruins’ defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich would take a job as the Atlanta Falcons’ linebackers coach.

A source indicated that Ulbrich and the Falcons were not a done deal, but the damage was done. Smith not only did not send in his letter of intent, but has now reopened his recruitment.

“He’s going to open things up with his recruiting,” Macon County coach Larry Harold told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s pretty much UGA, Michigan, and Texas A&M – and UCLA is still in it. Coach Ulbrich told him that he hasn’t signed anything yet (with the Falcons), and that he hasn’t made a decision. So I think they are still in it as well. We’re going to sit back for a couple of days and see how this thing plays out.”

UCLA head coach Jim Mora is slated to talk to the media at 4:30 p.m. today.

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Three-star safety Nathan Meadors commits to UCLA

UCLA has picked up its last commitment of the 2015 class*, as three-star safety Nathan Meadors announced he would become a Bruin.

Meadors played mostly quarterback for San Bernardino San Gorgonio as a senior, but projects as a defensive back at the next level. He added during his announcement on Fox Sports Prime Ticket that he could see playing time on offense as well.

He picked the Bruins over Notre Dame, although Cal and Boise State were also among the finalists.

*Pending what happens with Jeff Ulbrich and four-star linebacker Roquan Smith.

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Four-star defensive tackle Joseph Wicker commits to Arizona State

UCLA started National Signing Day with a bang, but it wasn’t able to pull a clean sweep on ESPNU’s loaded slate of announcements.

Four-star defensive tackle Joseph Wicker committed to Arizona State over the Bruins and Texas Tech. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman is a top-100 national recruit who is ranked No. 12 at his position by Rivals.com. He was UCLA’s only chance to add an interior defensive lineman in the 2015 recruiting class.

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No. 1 cornerback Iman Marshall commits to USC via music video

Almost everyone in the college football world expected Iman Marshall to commit to USC. But how many expected him to do it like this?

The top-ranked cornerback prospect announced he would become a Trojan through a music video released on Bleacher Report — a 2:54 oddity in an increasingly extravagant world of recruiting ceremonies. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound defensive back is ranked the No. 3 recruit in the country at any position by Rivals.com.

The Long Beach Poly product had LSU, UCLA, Notre Dame, Michigan and Florida State as his other finalists.

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