Myles Jack doubles up on Pac-12 freshman of the year awards

Talk about versatility. Today, UCLA’s Myles Jack was named both Pac-12 Defensive and Offensive Freshman Player of the Year — becoming the first to take both since the awards were introduced in 2008.

The linebacker/running back earned a starting spot on defense by the Bruins’ second game, and finished the season tied for fourth on the team with 70 tackles. His 10 pass breakups ranked second in the Pac-12, and first nationally among linebackers. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Who was the last to play both ways the way Myles Jack did?

My story in today’s Los Angeles Daily News tries to figure out comparisons for the two-way eruption UCLA linebacker Myles Jack had this past weekend. You probably won’t guess at least one of the names mentioned.

Not in the article was how well Jack has handled the attention so far. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Bruins could stick with three true freshmen on offensive line

Those three true freshmen on UCLA’s offensive line might stay there all season.

Assistant coach Adrian Klemm said Wednesday that if his current front five continues to perform, he could consider sticking with what is now his third starting lineup. Injuries have forced the fluidity: starting left tackle Simon Goines, who has a history of knee problems, is still limping with an injured right MCL; backup Conor McDermott (shoulder) is also sidelined.

“I want to have continuity, but at the same time, I don’t think a guy loses his position to injury,” Klemm said. “If we’re rolling and things are good, we have cohesiveness and we’re playing well, I don’t see any reason to shake it up. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA offensive line likely to start three true freshmen


With three days left until a visit from UCLA, No. 2 Oregon’s defense may already be salivating.

Two weeks ago, the No. 12 Bruins started two true freshmen on the offensive line for the first time in school history. This Wednesday, Bruins offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone said true freshman Scott Quessenberry will likely join the mix at left guard.

Primarily a center, Quessenberry played some guard in fall camp, but was redshirting this season until the line’s recent rash of injuries. He has practiced there this week after the loss of left tackle Simon Goines, who injured his MCL in a 24-10 loss at Stanford. Protecting quarterback Brett Hundley’s blind side now falls to All-American Xavier Su’a-Filo, who shifts over from left guard. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Phil Steele names eight Bruins midseason All-Pac-12

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.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Xavier Su’a-Filo talks about state of UCLA offensive line


The UCLA offensive line’s promising season is about to hit some road bumps. Left tackle Torian White is out for the season after breaking his ankle at Utah last Thursday, upsetting the chemistry the unit had built since fall camp. With two freshmen likely to start on the right side now, the Bruins need to rediscover their rhythm quickly.

“We don’t really have time to get there,” left guard Xavier Su’a-Filo said. “We need it. We need to get a solid group. It needs to happen in practice this week. We’re coming up on a big stretch of great opponents right in conference. It needs to happen this week.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Torian White’s injury unsettles UCLA offensive line

Through its first three games, UCLA’s offensive line had looked every part a resurgent unit — plowing lanes for an effective ground attack and keeping quarterback Brett Hundley on his feet. For the first time in a decade, the Bruins had both NFL-caliber talent and quality depth.

Also crucial was the chemistry, something both coaches and players said had improved vastly since an injury-plagued 2012 campaign. Early on this fall, the Bruins staff had emphasized building a consistent starting five.

Thursday night complicated those plans. In the second quarter of a 34-27 win at Utah, left tackle Torian White broke his right ankle. (UPDATE: White is officially out for the season with a break and slight ligament tear.) Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Xavier Su’a-Filo (sort of) explains choosing UCLA

In today’s football notebook, Utah native Xavier Su’a-Filo talked about what it means to finally play in his home state as a collegiate athlete. A former state champion, his return will happen in the same place where he helped Timpview High to its third straight state title.

He also touched on his decision to leave the Beehive State for Los Angeles four years ago:

“I feel like the morning of signing day, UCLA felt like the right place for me. I couldn’t exactly explain to you why I felt that way. Even when my freshman year came, I was still a little curious why. I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”

He didn’t waver after his mission ended. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

UCLA offensive line earns promising reviews

As the first round of camera flashes dimmed Saturday, Brett Hundley pointed up and closed with these words: “Shoutout to the O-line.”

A year ago, a young patchworked UCLA line did little to keep Hundley from getting sacked 52 times — the highest total of any Pac-12 quarterback. The Bruins’ showing in a 58-20 home win over Nevada was close to a complete 180.

The star quarterback was one of many pleased parties. Almost every tailback credited the line for paving gaping holes. Head coach Jim Mora praised the unit for its pass protection. Even offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, who said he was a bit nervous heading into the game, knew his unit would be fine after two or three series. Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email