Chow Roundup: 'A Great Day For UCLA'

The Chow story has been reverberating up and down the West Coast (and certainly all around college football). Let’s get to more reactions from yesterday’s blockbuster news. We will start with Kevin Pearson from the Press Enterprise who gives credit to CRN:

Give new head coach Rick Neuheisel some credit. Not only has he shored up some recruiting since being hired, but he has also managed to score his two biggest recruits in defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker and offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

To land both of his top two targets -- and both of whom interveiwed for the head coaching position -- says a lot about Neuheisel's ability to get things done.
Phill Wallace from the LA Observed called it a ‘great day for UCLA’:
It's interesting to see how Neuheisel has evolved has a coach. At Washington and Colorado, he effectively ran the offense and called the plays, but it's unlikely that Chow would have come to UCLA unless he was the play-caller and granted near total control over the offense. DeWayne Walker presumably has complete control over the defense as well. With two great coordinators to delegate to, Neuheisel can spend more time recruiting and building up the infrastructure of his program. This is a great day for UCLA.
A great day? Try 'a momentous month' according to Matt Hayes from Sporting News:
It's official now, everyone. UCLA is serious about football.

It started with the daring -- yet deserving -- hire of Rick Neuheisel as coach. Neuheisel then found a way to keep elite defensive coordinator/recruiting guru Dwayne Walker -- the other finalist for the head-coaching job -- on staff, and just today he put the finishing touches on what can only be described as a stunning month in Westwood.

The hiring of Norm Chow as offensive coordinator goes way beyond simple Xs and Os. Anyone can walk into a job and say they're going to compete with the nation's best program. It's another thing to show it.
While even John Berkowitz from Washington Husky Sports blog acknowledges that CRN is ‘off to a good start’:
Norm Chow has accepted a position on Rick Neuheisel's staff to become offensive coordinator. Norm isn't the easiest guy for head coaches to get along with, but Rick won't have that problem. Rick is a great guy to work for according to anyone who has ever been on his staff. Keith Gilbertson described him as a dream to work with, and Keith is as grumpy as they come.

Rick's first goal is to make life miserable for Pete Carroll in LA, and he is off to a good start. Revenge over the school who dismissed him a couple of years ago is also on the menu, but USC is his first priority.
Speaking of Pom Pom, Dilbeck from the Daily News on the impact on Heritage Hall:
If Carroll really loves competition as much as believed, he must be in competitive heaven right now. Because UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel just threw the gauntlet down so hard it shook the walls of Heritage Hall.

UCLA now has as impressive a trio of top coaches as any program in the country - Neuheisel, Chow and defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker.

"I'm always a person that believes you try for the best," Neuheisel said. "If they say no, then they say no, but I've always believed you try. You try to sell a vision and the concept of partnership.

"I've just been very fortunate that I had (two) great guys who also believe in those concepts. They're family guys. They believe in kids. It's going to be a special deal."

The hiring of Chow comes via a humongous dose of luck and Neuheisel chutzpah.
Luck, chutzpah whatever it was in less than a month CRN has made life less than comfortable for TrOJies and we are not the only ones noticing what is happening in LA. From Dawgman.com:
The announcement of Norm Chow brought a collective gasp to the Trojan Family. While Chow did not leave USC of his own choice or on the best of terms, Trojan faithful do recognize his contributions to the current reign of the football program.

One thing that comes to mind is a radio interview he did a couple of years ago. To paraphrase, Chow said, "They should have four championships there now." And that’s the truth.

The coaching staff has had significant changes since the days of Norm Chow, and one would ponder, ‘Only if…what would have happened if Chow stayed.’ Of course, there’s every possibility that the Trojan would have suffered the same fate, with or without Chow.
Enough about the TrOJies. We will deal with them when time comes. For now let’s get back to what yesterday’s news mean for our program. Marcia Smith from the OC Register has an article with some telling reaction from Nick Crissman, incoming QB recruit next season. Safe to say this news is making a little impression on blue chippers like Crissman and other recruits around the Southland:
Even more elated with Monday's announcement was Edison quarterback Nick Crissman, who had been cartwheeling around his Surfside home with excitement since Neuheisel phoned Sunday night.

"So what do you think of our new offensive coordinator?" Neuheisel asked Crissman, who had not wavered from his commitment to sign with the Bruins.

"I told him, 'This is awesome' and 'I can't wait to be a Bruin.'" Crissman recalled saying. "What quarterback wouldn't want to be learning from Rick Neuheisel and Norm Chow, both coaches who've worked with the biggest names in football?"

NFL coaching experience, which Neuheisel had as a Baltimore Ravens assistant and USC's Pete Carroll had with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, will certainly be alluring to the top high school recruits. Chow had spent the last three years as the Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator, tutoring Vince Young, the 2006 NFL Rookie of the Year.

Even more attractive to the blue-chippers will be the names Chow can drop. In 32 seasons at the college level, Chow groomed BYU's Ty Detmer and USC's Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart for Heisman Trophy-winning seasons and prepared Palmer, Leinart, Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Philip Rivers and Marc Wilson to become NFL first-round draft picks.

Crissman rattled off a lot of these famed quarterbacks as he talked about learning from Chow's playbook. There's no doubt that the Bruins will use Chow's credibility in the courting of Mater Dei's Matt Barkley, who is among the nation's top junior quarterbacks and who made a visit to UCLA on Saturday.
Well we will see how the Barkely recruiting ends up. Suffice to say the arrival of Chow will help a little. But more importantly as Kuwada from the OC Register details below it will still take some time for Chow to right he ship at UCLA considering he is not inheriting the bevy of offensive firepower he did at Southern Cal. The rebuilding process will take some time:
Chow did have an immediate impact when hired at North Carolina State, working in 2000 with a freshman quarterback in Phillip Rivers. The Wolf Pack had been ranked only 96th in scoring in 1999 (20.3 points per game), as well as 86th in total offense (324.8 yards per game) and 58th in passing offense (211.4 ypg). But with Chow and Rivers, North Carolina State improved in 2000 to 31st in scoring (31.0), 41st in total offense (396.3) and 15th in passing offense (292.5).

The process was a tad slower when working at USC the following season, despite working with eight returning starters, including quarterback Carson Palmer (Santa Margarita High).

The Trojans actually gained more than 100 fewer yards per game in the first season with Chow as their offensive coordinator than they had in 2000 under Coach Paul Hackett.

But USC and Palmer took off in their second season – the Trojans' quarterback completing 63.2 percent of his passes for 3,942 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions and winning the Heisman Trophy. USC then led the Pac-10 in scoring in 2003 and '04, averaging 41.1 and 38.2 points per game, in winning back-to-back national championships and produced another Heisman winner in Matt Leinart (Mater Dei High).

At UCLA, Chow will not have that same type of talent to work with initially. The Bruins and Washington are the only teams in the Pac-10 without a all-conference position player returning next season, though Olson, running backs Kahlil Bell and Raymond Carter and split end Marcus Everett will return from injuries.
In other words the rebuilding process will require patience from UCLA fans. And we intend to do just that. CRN has already done more than enough to merit breathing room in the coming year and beyond. And we intend to give him that space just like we gave to Coach Howland.

We are going to enjoy the rebuilding process led by CRN and his talented coordinators in the coming years. And we intend to stick with them through the inevitable peaks and valleys as they work on getting UCLA back to the glory road.

GO BRUINS.
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