"Yes, and I do not think it is even close."

Brian Dohn, blogging in the Daily News comes out and says what I've been thinking since the beginning of spring:

in your five years covering the football team, is the least talented group of players you've observed? (I'm not counting the incoming freshman class in this observation)

Yes, and I do not think it is even close.

Let's be clear: Karl Dorrell may have damaged the football program far more seriously than Steve Lavin damaged the basketball program. It only took Ben Howland one great recruiting class (Aaron Afflalo, Jordan Farmar, Lo Mata, Josh Shipp) to put the basketball program back on track. The task facing Rick Neuheisel is far, far more daunting.

I'm disinterested in the relative differences between the UCLA basketball and football programs and the general differences between football and basketball. Comparing Karl Dorrell and Steve Lavin is like comparing hanging to the firing squad.

The point is, while the football team may be populated mostly by good kids with good hearts and good grades, they simply lack the talent to seriously compete in the Pac 10 conference.

This is particularly true along the offensive line. I'm loathe to take Dohn all that seriously, but when he agrees with me, I guess I'll quote him again:

Why is the talent on the offensive line so depleted this year? Was the problem a lack of quantity or poor class spacing in recruiting (poor planning), a lack of quantity (poor talent evaluation) or both?

The quantity wasn't the issue, but you are on the money with the other things. Plus, many of these kids were recruited for Tom Cable's finesse style of blocking, then were asked to be power blockers.

I don't know what the reasons are, I just know the offensive line is easily the worst in terms of talent that I can remember. Again, I'm not picking on the kid's effort or desire -- I'm merely stating the obvious: they aren't all that good. Not only that, there is no depth at all.

I've no doubt enthusiasm will be high at Saturday's scrimmage. That's what the spring scrimmage is all about. If you're going, have fun. But don't get too excited. Enthusiasm rooted in the hiring of the infectious Neuheisel and his hiring of Norm Chow, his retention of DeWayne Walker and some top recruits arriving in the fall, must be tempered by the realization that the former coach left the cupboard largely bare.

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