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Pac-12 coaches polled by ESPN didn't know what to make of the state of UCLA's program.

Asked about defensive losses and what may worry him about the program this season, a Pac-12 defensive coach responded: "Their unpredictability. That could be a 10- or 11-win team, or they could be a six-win team. You never have a sense of what you're going to get out of them until kickoff." A Pac-12 offensive coach was asked about the process of replacing Noel Mazzone at offensive coordinator with Kennedy Polamalu. "To be honest, I'm still getting used to seeing [longtime USC assistant] Kennedy Polamalu wearing blue instead of red," he said. "I think of him and I think USC. I think what they run now fits the quarterback. Swing pass, run. Swing pass, run. Run, deep ball. I don't think it's going to be radically different."
Source: ESPN
Jun 22 - 4:43 PM

Last year, UCLA sophomore QB Josh Rosen went 63-for-102 for 1,115 yards and an 8/1 TD/INT rate on passes 10 to 19 yards downfield.

As a true frosh, Rosen showed great feel in the intermediate game. "Rosen did a great job of avoiding sacks, with the second-lowest sack rate at 8 percent, but saw a huge drop-off in performance when he faced pressure, with his QB rating falling by 60 points versus when he was given a clean pocket," Pro Football Focus' Jeff Dooley wrote.
Jun 18 - 1:33 PM

UCLA signed HC Jim Mora to a two-year contract extension.

With the extension, Mora's contract will now run through 2021. While UCLA has sometimes struggled to handle the weight of expectation during his four-year stint as head coach, the team holds a 37-16 record in that space. That mark ties the school record for victories in a four-year stretch. The Bruins went a relatively uninspiring 8-5 last season, but enter 2016 with early inklings of hype. Sophomore QB Josh Rosen is already drawing early sleeper Heisman talk.
Source: FOX Sports
Jun 7 - 1:37 PM

Rivals upgraded UCLA 2017 DE Jaelan Phillips from a four-star recruit to a five-star recruit.

"[Phillips] has the power and the toughness to line up at defensive end and get to the edge or make a move inside to harass the quarterback," Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Gorney wrote. "He also has the speed and athleticism to drop back in coverage to make plays." The analyst believes that the Redlands, California, native has the potential to be an immediate impact player as a freshman. "Hybrid players are all the rage in college football and Phillips fits the mold," outlet recruiting director Mike Farrell wrote of the 6-foot-5, 230-pounder. "He’s the guy on film who’s too big to be playing off the ball or standing up but yet the one making all the plays." The newly-minted five-star defensive end ranks as Rivals' No. 23 overall player for 2017. He had previously been ranked at No. 200, a sign of just how fluid rankings are at this stage in the recruiting process.
Source: Rivals
Jun 6 - 3:46 PM

Following a reported 15-year, $280 million contract agreement between UCLA and Under Armour, sophomore QB Josh Rosen posted on Instagram "we're still amateurs though."

Rosen included a graph of the largest college football contracts from outside companies such as Under Armour and then captioned it with his comment on amateurism. He also wrote, "Gotta love non-profits #NCAA." The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder has proven to be an interesting cat since joining the Bruins. In addition to these comments on NCAA hypocrisy, Rosen made waves in April by wearing a "F*** Trump" hat on one of Donald Trump's golf courses. It was enough that HC Jim Mora addressed the hat publicly, cautioning that the gesture was more in the line of Johnny Manziel than Tom Brady. Comparing Rosen's relatively docile political statement (of sorts) to Manziel's flawed cauldron of traits is a bridge too far, but Mora has been pushing for Rosen to start thinking like an NFL quarterback and little etiquette lessons are part of that game.
May 24 - 1:54 PM

ESPN's Darren Rovell reports that UCLA and Under Armour have reached agreement on a 15-year, $280 million contract.

If Rovell's numbers are accurate here, it would mark the largest such contract in college football history. Ohio State previously held that distinction, having signed a 15-year, $252 million deal with Nike in January. Adidas has backed UCLA since 1999. Jim Mora and Josh Rosen won't be thinking about the university's mega-deal with Under Armour when the Bruins kick off against Texas A&M on September 3, but it is an additional spotlight on a team that figures to draw its share of preseason hype.
Source: ESPN.com
May 24 - 12:27 PM

UCLA HC Jim Mora said on the Rich Eisen Show that if sophomore QB Josh Rosen had been part of the 2016 draft pool, he would have been the first player taken.

"In my opinion he (would have been) the best quarterback in the draft and he would've gone first," Mora told Eisen. This is all crazy conjecture, but Mora has been consistent in talking up Rosen this offseason. He told Sports Illustrated that he wants the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder to "[think] next level" earlier this month. Back to the Rich Eisen Show, Mora did caution that this is all meaningless projection if Rosen doesn't put in the necessary work. "Unless he continues to work hard," Mora said, "unless he makes good decisions, unless he dedicates himself the way guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and Peyton Manning have, then it's a pipe dream."
Source: NFL.com
May 21 - 2:22 PM

UCLA sophomore RB Soso Jamabo is the favorite to replace Paul Perkins, according to the Orange County Register.

Jamabo averaged six yards per carry and accrued 461 yards and four touchdowns last year in a part-time role behind star RB Paul Perkins. He's now the featured back in in new OC Kennedy Polamalu's downhill power running scheme. "Jamabo, who never used a fullback in his spread-based high school system, has been especially impressive, despite not being known for his work between the tackles," Ryan Kartje of the Orange County Register wrote. The Bruins will spell Jamabo with Nate Starks and Bolu Olorunfunmi.
May 18 - 4:23 PM

ESPN's Ted Miller wrote that with significant improvement, UCLA sophomore QB Josh Rosen "could challenge Clemson's Deshaun Watson as the best quarterback in the country, which would make him a default Heisman candidate."

Expect to hear plenty of these kinds of proclamations throughout the preseason as the hype dragon clears its throat for the 2016 campaign. "The biggest question for Rosen, in fact, isn't himself, or even the new, pro-style offense that has been installed to take advantage of his skills," Miller wrote. "It's the Bruins void at receiver, as they lose most of their top performers from 2015." Should Rosen be able to make up for the skill-position deficits around him, though, he could not only be contending for a Heisman over the next two years, but also readying himself for a top-5 selection in the draft. He won't be draft eligible until after the 2017 season, though, so that talk should probably be placed on the back-burner while we give ourselves over to rampant Heisman speculation.
Source: ESPN.com
May 18 - 4:00 PM

UCLA four-star 2017 DE commitment Hunter Echols will visit Alabama.

Road trip! Echols hails from Los Angeles, but will make the trek down to Tuscaloosa this summer after receiving the indication that they would be making him an official offer. "They put a lot of people in the league and that’s my goal, to go to the NFL," Echols said, "so that’s definitely a great experience to get an Alabama offer. Growing up I watched Alabama win national championships so that’s the kind of offer you want to get." The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder ranks as Rivals' No. 17 defensive end prospect in the country.
Source: Rivals
May 17 - 8:34 PM

ESPN's Kyle Bonagura sees UCLA senior WR/CB Ishmael Adams as the team's most versatile player.

Adams began his Bruin career as a cornerback and served admirably in that capacity for three years, including a stellar 2014 season in which he earned first-team All-Pac 12 honors. He has transitioned over to offense this spring. "The coaching staff looked at his quickness and proven ability with the ball in his hands," Bonagura wrote, "as a possible solution for the team's lack of experience at receiver." Infamously, the 5-foot-8, 180-pounder was charged with misdemeanor battery after allegedly attempting to steal a cell phone from an Uber driver over the summer. He pleaded no contest to that charge at the beginning of May.
Source: ESPN.com
May 17 - 2:59 PM

UCLA HC Jim Mora indicated that he has pushed sophomore QB Josh Rosen to think of himself as an NFL talent.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Mora said, "I want [Rosen] thinking next level." The coach was very open in discussing how he has handled the 6-foot-4, 210-pound gunslinger's progression. For example, he was quick to point to Rosen's overall level of intelligence and spoke to the idea of letting the star-in-the-making control the offense prior to the snap. "With a quarterback like Josh who has a great understanding of defensive concepts," Mora said, "it only makes sense to give him an opportunity to dissect a defense before the ball snaps so he can make the best decision." The Bruins finished 2015 with a relatively limp 8-5 record. Chalk that up to a building year. If they finish 8-5 in 2016, Mora's coaching seat will, at the very least, be warm bordering on uncomfortable.
Source: Campus Rush
May 14 - 3:46 PM

Bengals signed UCLA G Alex Redmond.

Redmond (6’5, 294) probably could have used another year of seasoning with the Bruins, but jumped for the draft after being declared academically ineligible. While he has demonstrated the ability to perform in space, there is a concern that he might not have the playing strength at guard to hold up against larger defenders. Pro Football Focus has called him "undersized and totally unrefined." The practice squad is probably the best he can hope for in terms of immediate NFL gratification.
May 12 - 4:16 PM

Pro Football Focus' Zoltan Buday notes that UCLA senior edge rusher Deon Hollins regressed significantly last season.

Hollins was a second-team All-Pac-12 Conference selection last season, but the league's coaches were probably giving him extra credit for what he did in 2014, when he posted nine sacks, 10 hits, 39 hurries and a +21.2 PFF grade. In 2015, those numbers fell to two, 11 and 27 respectively. The drop-off in his pass rushing contributions can be seen in surface numbers, but PFF further notes that Hollins regressed in run stops, tackling efficiency and run defense overall as well.
May 11 - 2:27 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter wrote that UCLA sophomore QB Josh Rosen's "intelligence, accuracy and ability to move within the pocket make him one of the top passers in the country."

Reuter ranks three quarterbacks -- Joshua Dobbs, Brad Kaaya and Deshaun Watson -- ahead of Rosen for his 2016 CFB player rankings, but that isn't to say he is down on the Bruin hot tub owner. The analyst called the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder the "best freshman quarterback I've seen since Andrew Luck." And perhaps betraying his rankings, when he broke the quarterback class into tiers, only Watson and Rosen occupied his "Elite" tier. Last season, Rosen threw for 3,670 yards with a 23/11 TD/INT ratio. Whether he can handle the ever-building hype in 2016 is one of the key stories to watch as summer crests over the collegiate landscape.
Source: NFL.com
May 10 - 9:12 PM


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