Of course we are talking about football (not that Josh Smith). And it looks like big news for Coach Neuheisel and UCLA football program as the Bruins per Dohn are about to nab one of the better playmakers in college football. Former Colorado WR is heading to UCLA:
UCLA is getting a deep-threat receiver and a proven kick returner in former Moorpark High star Josh Smith, who will complete a transfer from Colorado to UCLA by the end of the summer, according to sources.
Smith left Colorado in the spring, in part because he wanted to pursue a degree in music, and Colorado does not offer one. Under NCAA transfer rules, Smith will sit out the 2009 season and be eligible for the 2010 season.
According to sources, Smith will enroll at UCLA in September and redshirt. He will have two years of eligibility remaining when he returns to the field. The only hang- up would be an unforeseen issue with his transcripts, sources said.
More from WWL's Tim Griffin:
The two schools that originally were thought to have the best chance to attract Smith were Arizona State and USC. Smith began making rap demos and CDs during high school and is interested in pursuing that career after he leaves college.
Smith, a junior, finished the 2008 season with 1,987 all-purpose yards. He set Colorado school records with 1,568 return yards and 50 kickoff returns, including a touchdown return that helped propel the Buffaloes to a season-opening victory over Colorado State.
Smith also gained 387 yards receiving on 29 catches and added 32 rushing yards last season. He caught 23 passes for 451 yards as a freshman in 2007.
The California lifestyle has always appealed to Smith, who moved in with his older sister, Alexis Scott, while in high school.
If this transfer comes into fruition (and it is looking very good for the Bruins), this would be a huge boost for UCLA. With Smith in the fold, CRN gets yet another big time play maker in his program. If you want to get a sense of what kind of explosive play making ability he has, take a look at some of these CU highlights from last season (he is number 1):
2008 CU Buffs Highlights (via rockrule40)
He can be a game breaker and he would perfectly bridge the gap as a red shirt junior in two years when Austin graduates out of the program. Basically getting this guy into the program amounts to signing a 5 star recruit. In this case its only better because UCLA is getting someone who has already proven himself at the college level. So thank you Colorado. More pigskin notes after the jump.Ted Miller from ESPN's Pac-10 blog has another quick off-season look at the major news happening at UCLA during this off season:
- Six players will not return for various reasons -- safety E.J. Woods, quarterback Chris Forcier, offensive lineman Sonny Tevaga, receiver Dominique Johnson and running backs Raymond Carter and Aundre Dean.
- Besides returning starters, the Bruins have five players again available who would have started last year but were out for various reasons back: running back Christian Ramirez, tight end Logan Paulsen, center Kai Maiava, fullback Trevor Theriot and offensive tackle Sean Sheller.
- Joseph Fauria, 6-7, 260-pound tight end, transfer from Notre Dame to UCLA. He will be eligible to play in 2010.
Guess we can now add Smith into that mix. Given how the off season transfers have shaped up, a reasonable argument can be made that the over all talent level is trending upward.
As for the returing starters, they are going to have a very interesting start to this regular season. Yesterday, I linked up the OC Register's capsule preview of Kansas State, a football team which will have a new coach (although it will be his second go around in Manhattan). The OC Register also has the capsule (short) previews up for Tennessee and Stanford. As some of you noted already, it's interesting to see how many new coaches UCLA will be taking on next season: San Diego State, Tennessee, Kansas State, Washington and Oregon. That is almost half the regular season schedule and right now I am unsure how that will impact our record.
For the first time in years, I feel like I don't have an exact read on how our season will go. There are so many unknown factors at this point such as inexperience of our OL, QB in the mix. Throw in the factor of new head coaches for other programs (one can argue facing Chip Kelly will not be any different than facing Oregon team from last two years since they will be running the same offense), there few games in which result could go either way. All of this is making this sense of anticipation even stronger and unforunately the off season longer.