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April 30, 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.

Carlos: So what's the deal? Is Brett Hundley the starting quarterback now?

I think some of us in the media may have gotten just a little bit carried away on Saturday afternoon with the Brett Hundley reports. While he did look good - certainly better than the rest - he still has to get more consistent throwing the football. For example, he was off to a brilliant start to Saturday's scrimmage, rushing for big gains, throwing darts and marching the offense. Then, out of nowhere, he overthrows a receiver down the seam by about eight yards, leading to an Anthony Thompson interception.

But at this point in the quarterback race, it's kind of hard to see how the coaching staff can pick anybody else. Richard Brehaut has been solid, but he's seemingly already at his ceiling. Kevin Prince tossed another few bewildering interceptions on Saturday, and had some media members asking head coach Jim Mora if the big senior's arm was hurt. And the rest of the UCLA quarterbacks are nowhere near the level of those three. So given their on-field performances and their realistic potential, it's hard to see how Hundley isn't the leader right now.

But there's still a week left, and I still think it might be foolish to name a starter by the end of the week. Too much time left and still plenty of evaluating left to do.


Juan: If you just had to guess, who will UCLA's next commit be?

Really, really difficult to say at this point in the process. UCLA is going after such high-major prospects, and because of those players' prowess and potential, they're nabbing offers from every big conference in the country. Which usually means, "I'm waiting 'till signing day to decide."

But, gun to my head, I'd guess Nico Falah might be a Bruin here within the next few months. He's visited UCLA around four or five times this month, has Adrian Klemm (who's quickly becoming the Mariano Rivera of recruiters) recruiting him, and has tweeted things like "UCLA's campus is niiiice" a lot. I really think UCLA might be the leader in the clubhouse for him.

Some other guys to keep a commitment eye on would be Lavon Coleman and John Ross. They both appear to be very high on UCLA.

Again, it's really early in this process, and these guys can change their mind every day. But UCLA appears to be in good shape with a lot of its top targets right now.


Illegalpat: Since Spring Practice is effectively over, are they going to immediately start replacing the two field surfaces to be ready by fall practice or is this going to drag on until after the 2012 season? I remember in 2006 when the fields were redone, the team practiced at Drake part time. In addition to replacing the field, what other cosmetic improvements are planned for Spaulding that would make it more fan friendly?

It appears likely that red tape will delay this whole project until immediately after the 2012 season. It just seems too hard at this point to get a $1 million budget passed and ready to go by next week. So if I were to place a bet, it'd be that this all happens in November or December. Just my guess, though.

As for extra improvements, there were two things I was told about the cosmetics of the field. One was UCLA will use "Rose Bowl" turf for the grass portion of Spaulding Field. Sounded pretty significant, seeing as it would give UCLA a feel for how its home grass plays. The other was the Bruins will take down that big, ugly, rusted kicking fence by the turf field / main entrance. That thing is an eye sore, so that will look nice aesthetically.

I'd imagine there would be more in addition to all that. But just getting that turf field evened out and squared away should be enough for these players and their knees.


Ervwald: Ed, I don't see Malcolm Jones ever being the feature back in this offense, and we know his feelings about moving to FB. What are the chances he's still with the team when fall camp opens?

You're right, he almost certainly will never be a feature back in this offense, and he'll admit that to your face. In fact, just last week he told me, "I'm not the speedy back for this offense." But I would put the odds of him transferring, or even legitimately being asked to change positions, at about four percent. He doesn't have the tenacity or the aggressiveness to play linebacker, and he really doesn't seem to have his heart set on blowing up linebackers at the fullback spot, so he's going to likely stay at running back.

Plus, if he did end up deciding to transfer, he'd have to go through the recruiting process all over again, sit out an entire year, and potentially end up in a similar situation as he is now with UCLA anyway. I say he should just work on getting better this summer and proving to his coaches he deserves 10-15 carries per game next fall.


Clayton: Is Savon Goodman coming to UCLA next?

Well, we know Kyle Anderson certainly wants this to happen. But from what we're hearing, he's going to need some help academically to get in - even if he chose UCLA. We've heard the grade situation is pretty rough.

But, at this point, nothing would surprise me. We should be able to find out more as spring football ends and AAU ball really picks up.



Check out more answers to your UCLA questions on Bruin Tracks!




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