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April 16, 2012

Monday's Mail

Editor's note: Every Monday BSR Publisher Edward Lewis will answer some questions from fans about the Bruins in this weekly mailbag. Send questions to edwardflewis@yahoo.com, @EdwardLewisBSR on Twitter, post questions on the message board or put questions on BSR's Facebook page.

Steve: You've been out there. What's your take on the quarterback situation? Be honest.

From the sidelines, through my eyes, I'd put the quarterbacks in this order so far: Richard Brehaut, Brett Hundley, Kevin Prince, Jerry Neuheisel, Mike Fafaul then T.J. Millweard. Keep in mind, it's only been two weeks, so all of this could change. But Brehaut has been the most consistent one, and I don't think he's had a relatively "bad" practice yet. With Hundley, I like what he brings via his legs, especially because he, Brehaut and Prince all have just about the same arm. And with Prince, you like his game experience, but I'm just not seeing a whole lot of "it" out of him in spring ball yet.

In my opinion, it looks like the coaching staff would like the starter to be Hundley. He's huge, he has probably the strongest arm of the top three quarterbacks and he runs the best out of all six. Although right now, he's just too inconsistent to give the job to. So if we're going strictly off the first six practices, my starter would be Brehaut. Still a lot of spring and summer left, though.



Joey: Saw that you were out at that 7-on-7 camp over the weekend. Who'd you like? Who should we want to get as UCLA fans?

There was surprisingly a lot of talent out there, with about 10-15 Rivals150 recruits in attendance. The standouts to me, regardless of class, were Su'a Cravens, Troy Williams, X'avier Shepherd, Francis Owusu, Iman Marshall, Jalen Brown, Tahaan Goodman, Adoree Jackson, and Dwight Williams.

If we're talking who the Bruins should really want out of the players there, obviously the list starts with Goodman and Cravens. Both have "future NFL player" written all over them. I think UCLA would also love to nab Owusu, who is a big, powerful wideout with strong hands and big leaping ability. I know fans really want Troy Williams, but I'd like to see him more in pads and with live pass rushers. I know he throws a tight football and can fit it into small windows, but I want to see more of the decision-making process from him.

Of course, don't think UCLA can go wrong with any of those top 150 recruits.


SouthOCPsyD: Do you see any potential All Pac-12 level players on UCLA thus far? What would your starting offense and defense look like - considering what you have seen at practice at this point?

The first part of this question is a tough one, because you're asking me to compare UCLA's best players to Pac-12 players I haven't seen yet. But going on pure talent right now, I'd say guys with that all-conference-type skillset would be: Xavier Su'a-Filo, Devin Lucien, Joseph Fauria and Jeff Locke. Some "honorable mention" guys, or guys who I could see getting a few votes, for me would be Johnathan Franklin, Eric Kendricks, Shaq Evans and Sheldon Price.

As for starting lineups, well, here's what my 22-man squad would look like (not taking into account current injuries):

QB - Brehaut
RB - Franklin
WR - Lucien
WR - Evans
WR - Jordon James
Y - Fauria
LT - Su'a-Filo
LG - Jeff Baca
C - Greg Capella
RG - Wade Yandall
RT - Torian White

CB - Price
CB - Aaron Hester
S - Andrew Abbott
S - Tevin McDonald
OLB - Damien Holmes
ILB - Patrick Larimore
ILB - Kendricks
OLB - Jordan Zumwalt
DE - Owamagbe Odighizuwa
DT - Brandon Willis (Or Ellis McCarthy, as soon as I see him in UCLA blue and gold)
DE - Datone Jones

Thebruin4life: Getting many reports that the O-line is struggling badly, what do you think is the main reason for this, the troubles at center? It seems to me with Baca and Xavier we should be starting to see some development here. Do you think that it is realistic to move Baca to center? We will only go as far as the O-line will take us.

There are so many factors for as to why this O-line isn't playing well. I think the biggest one is obviously injuries. Guys who had been penciled in as starters, such as Yandall and Capella, have been out of the lineup with injuries. Then, you have a group of players who are learning an entirely new offense for the first time. Then, you have Jim Mora's propensity to pump in crowd noise, which really affects the communication between the five. Then, finally, you have guys who are playing different positions just about every day, or guys who are just getting back in football shape (such as Su'a-Filo and Yandall).

I think ultimately, if White progresses the way I think he will and he gets inserted to that right tackle spot, and they finally settle on guys' positions (such as keeping Baca at left guard), the line will be OK. But until they get the offense down and settle into specific positions, I think this line is going to look fairly chaotic for the next few weeks.


Bobby: What are you hearing on your end from the Tony Parker camp?

I'm hearing what everyone else is hearing: nothing of substance. From what I've been able to gather from articles, respected reporters and coaches throughout the AAU and high school basketball game, it looks like his parents want him to stay at home and go to Georgia, he wants to go to Ohio State to become the next Jared Sullinger, and just about everyone close to him (friends, teammates, etc.) wants him at UCLA.

My gut tells me it'll be the Bruins, but I can see how Georgia lands him. He's supposed to announce a week from today, so we'll all know soon.


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