Just 30 more days to go till spring football gets started. CRN is keeping an eye on the countdown clock:
Just one more month until spring practice! I'm counting down the days.
Spring practice should give us another opportunity to see how the transfers from last season are meshing in with our team. Ted Miller from ESPN's Pac-10 blog recently took a look at incoming Pac-10 transfers this season. Josh Smith and Josepha Fauria were in that list:
WR Josh Smith, UCLA (from Colorado): The Bruins have a lot of guys back at receiver, but those guys weren't terribly explosive last year. The hope is that Smith will add some big-play capability.
TE Joseph Fauria, UCLA (from Notre Dame): While the Bruins lost Logan Paulsen and Ryan Moya, Fauria will combine with junior Cory Harkey -- and perhaps hybrid receiver Morrell Presley -- to give the offense plenty of punch at the position.
In case of Josh Smith, I am assuming we will also see coaches try him out in our kickoff/punt return team. While Terrence Austin had a good career at UCLA, I am looking forward to a possible upgrade of speed and explosion in that department because we haven't had that in a while in Westwood.
Speaking of lists Miller has been busy. He recently finished up putting together a list of to-30 Pac-10 players from 2009. 3 Bruins made that list. More on those guys after the jump.In Miller's top-30, ATV was at number 15:
15. Alterraun Verner, CB, UCLA (15): Verner, also first-team All-Pac-10 in 2009 after earning second-team honors the year before, was fifth on the Bruins with 72 tackles, including five for a loss. His five interceptions tied for second in the conference and gave him 13 for his career. The four-year starter also was an outstanding student and was a semifinalist for the Lott Trophy, presented to the nation's top defensive player on and off the field.
10. Rahim Moore, S, UCLA (NR): Moore, first-team All-Pac-10 in 2009 as a true sophomore, led the nation with 10 interceptions -- three more than any other player -- giving him 13 for his career. He also had seven pass breakups and ranked first in the conference and second in the nation with 17 total passes defended. He finished with 49 tackles, including three for a loss. Moore likely will be a preseason All-American and will have to fill a leadership void for a rebuilding Bruins defense.
2. Brian Price, DT, UCLA (6): Everyone knew Price was coming; they just couldn't stop him, even with a double-team. The Pac-10 defensive player of the year -- a likely NFL first-round pick this spring -- led the conference with 23.5 tackles for loss, which is eight more than No. 2 (Washington's Donald Butler). That total ranked fourth in the nation. Seven of those TFLs were sacks, a total that ranked first among conference interior linemen. He also had 48 total tackles and forced a pair of fumbles.
Hopefully we will have few more joining Moore, especially from the offensive side of the ball next season. Again, just 30 more days to go till we start finding out how the team is coming along to fill in the big shoes left behind by ATV and Mr. Price.