That's what Norm Chow was blurting out around 8:57 am PT yesterday in Morgan Center offices. WWL's Bruce Feldman got to hang out with CRN and his staff yesterday, which resulted in this fantastic article on the most epic signing day for Bruin football in about a decade. You must go over there to read the entire column (which has already been linked in our comment thread, FanShot, and FanPost section). But just for a little teaser here is what went down when Stan came aboard:
8:57 a.m. PT: Rauscher [Phil Rauscher, UCLA grad assistant, -BN Ed.] returns to Chow's office and tells him the recruits in Hawaii are starting to announce their commitments.
"On what?" Chow asks. "We're watching it on a live feed off the Internet," Rauscher answers as Chow gets up from his chair and follows the young, goateed assistant over to a cramped room that looks like half-supply room and half-tape library next to the lounge. Turns out most of the UCLA coaching staff has piled in there to watch as all of the FBS recruits from the Hawaiian Islands are announcing their schools. In a few moments it's Hasiak's turn. There is a long pause as the camera lingers on Hasiak. He is a huge need recruit for the Bruins. The team might've had the sorriest offensive line in major college football last season, ranking 116th in rushing and 110th in sacks surrendered. "C'mon Stan. C'mon Stan," Chow says in a whisper. "UCLA ... UCLA ... UCLA." It is UCLA, Hasiak announces.
A big "Yeah!" roar surges through the football office. Neuheisel comes in and high-fives Chow and other assistants.
11:13 a.m. PT: Chow's small office is jammed as Palcic, Tata, Rauscher and Neuheisel sit with the offensive coordinator awaiting the announcement of blue-chip lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo, the nation's No. 3-ranked offensive tackle, from Utah. Over the past few weeks Su'a-Filo had narrowed his choices down to USC, LSU, UCLA, Utah and BYU. Chow and Palcic have exhaustively recruited Su'a-Filo. Most of the online recruiting analysts say the Utes are the team to beat. There's a little added spice to this in that Su'a-Filo is coached by Louis Wong, one of Chow's former BYU players, although the Salt Lake Tribune reported the other day that Wong has interviewed for the offensive line position at Utah. As the TV commentators hype the upcoming announcement, some highlights of Su'a-Filo are shown before they go to commercial break, with the well-proportioned giant mauling another touted prospect in a high school all-star game.
"Gosh, c'mon," Neuheisel says. "C'mon Xav! Come on, baby!" The head coach claps his hands and walks away.
Following the break, Su'a-Filo reaches for a UCLA hat with a big "B" on the front and stretches it over his head.
"HAAAAAAAAAAY!" Chow shouts. Everyone wedged inside of Chow's office hollers, except Palcic. He is more relieved than anything. It just went from being a good day to a great day at UCLA, although the drama is taxing. Palcic, a former NFL line coach, is amazed at what the recruiting world has become. It has been quite a whirlwind month for him. He'd never been to Hawaii 'til January and now he's been there four times. He's also been to Utah quite a bit thanks to the pursuit of Su'a-Filo.
6:35 p.m. PT: It's announcement time again. Two of Neuheisel's sons and their nanny have come up to the lounge to hear what Carroll's doing. So have Chow and McClure. "Please Randall," pleads youngest son Joe. "We really need you!"
Carroll nervously tries on a USC hat at first and then a UCLA one as the show goes to commercial break. The nanny is looking for clues. "Is he left-handed or right-handed?"
No one answers.
It's back to Carroll, who promptly puts the UCLA hat back on. Again, the room erupts. A great day just got even better.
Okay the beatdown of Timmeh's gap closers was the perfect finish but you get the point.
I don't think we will ever have to hear about chemistry issues between Chow and Neuheisel after reading this article column. As we have mentioned already few times we will probably stop hearing the nonsense about how Chow doesn't enjoy recruiting. He might have not cared about it in the past but at this point it's clear that the exact opposite is true at UCLA. Perhaps CRN's relentless optimism/tenacity is more than words and it has rubbed off on his entire staff.
I think it's also a safe bet that all of our players are taking close note of how confidently CRN and his staff operated through the entire process without giving an inch. You have got to believe that mentality is going to rub off on the entire team if not on every facet of this program.
I also found the anticipation from Neuehisel's son re. Carroll's anouncement endearing. It gave a whole new meaning the idea of a "Bruin family."
Just 64 days left till spring game.