Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
Rankings are important to a certain extent. We’ve recruited very well for many, many years. The talent that has been brought into the program strictly from a rankings perspective has been very good.
IMO, the current issues we’re facing are due to:
1) Failure to develop the talent once in the program
2) Failure in the identification/evaluation of talent
3) As Ty mentioned, although the classes may have been well ranked, they were unbalanced classes and/or did not address pressing needs within our program.
4) The CTS Effect (This is a disease that we’re still suffering from)
Also, I agree with bruinbunz: Good Lines + Capable QB = Success. IMO, you cannot fail in this department but that’s exactly what we as a program have done. We’ve had our tough breaks but that doesn’t excuse the length of time it is taking to rectify this. Our glaring recruiting failures are in 3 areas (QB, OL & DL):
This is our QB class by year:
2005 – Ben Olsen and Rasshan
2006 – None
2007 – Forcier
2008 – Prince, Crissman and Kraft (JC)
2009 – Brehaut
2010 – Bell
I hailed the signing of Big Ben just like everyone else. However, Ben was a godsend (no pun intended) and a curse. Getting Ben helped to give us a momentum boost but hurt our chances to bring in other top notch QB’s because they did not want to sit behind him. The fact that CTS would not compete in the recruiting game (Cheaty never had an issue getting stud QB in consecutive seasons) also was quite damaging. Thus, we needed to hit a homerun with Big Ben but we all know how that turned out.
Personally, I attribute Big Ben not living up to his hype to CTS. This goes to not only the inability to develop talent but to identify it. What do I mean? Why recruit a kid with a Howitzer for an arm to run a timing/quick strike/short passing game such as the WCO? Cowan was a warrior but he was never supposed to be a starter. We were then left with Rasshan and Forcier who are more runners than passers. These fups by CTS put us waaaay behind when it comes to solidifying the QB position.
I love KC and forever will for essentially being a crash test dummy for our program. So we’re now left with Crissman (who I think takes a medical retirement), a gimpy KP, an inexperienced RB and a JC transfer in Bell. I think Hundlley has tremendous potential but if UCLA is to experience any success next year, we need to figure out in the next 5 games, who (from the incumbents) is going to lead this program.
I wrote some stuff about our DL in response to a question posed by Bellerophon in this thread.
Below is our OL class. I didn’t include the 2010 class since it’s too soon to determine how they’ll impact the program.
2006 OL: Kia, Tevaga, Bennett, Sheller, Dean and Ekbatani (JC)
2007 OL: Harris
2008 OL: Bradford, Baca and Maiava (RS due to transfer)
2009 OL: X-Man, Hasiak, Abele, Capella, Tayor (JC), Williams (JC)
Our issues on the OL all stem back to the 2006 OL class. I along with others believed that class was going to fortify the OL for years to come. Afterall, this was Tom Cable’s handpicked recruits for his schemes and they came in highly touted. Cable then left and for various reasons this class never lived up to their press clippings. The recruiting misses were magnified because 1) we didn’t have a lot of talent on the OL within the program and 2) the 2007 class was very small with only Mike Harris brought in for the OL. Did we miss on this class because they were overrated or did we miss because the coaches failed to develop them. Yes, they’ve been jerked by having multiple coaches/philosophies. So was it a evaluation or development issue or even worse, both?
I agree that rankings wise, we should be a lot better. If the Northwestern, Uconn, Cincinnati, Utah’s of the world can experience success, there is no reason why we shouldn’t considering our recruiting rankings. And if it’s not an issue of talent, then you can only pinpoint the issue to lack of development.
Off Topic a bit: Talk about develpment…if anyone was watching the Mich St/NW game, there was a receiver Rashad Lawrence who kept on making catches and the announcers said he was a FR. I looked him up and lookie-lookie, he is a True FR, 2 Star Recruit. Now…how come our more highly touted guys can’t produce nor play like him? Hmmm….