Jon Gold from the LA Daily News recently sat down with Coach Rick Neuheisel to get his thoughts and reflections before the official start of UCLA's 2010 season. Gold lobbed some tough questions to CRN which could have easily tripped any seasoned D1 coach up. Yet just check out how CRN handled it:
On comparing the talent level now to in Karl Dorrell's last season:"It's not necessary for me to do that. It's for some other people to do that. My job is to go and get the very best and brightest to come to UCLA, and if I showcase this university as it can be showcased - with effort and with the ability to take them on the tour myself - if I do that, I know it's a tough thing to turn down. The proof is in the pudding. We've done a nice job with the guys we've gotten to campus, in terms of our percentages. Our batting average is always going to be high, because this is as beautiful a campus as there is in the country and an unbelievable environment for which to go to school. It's got great historical roots and it's still a romantic place to call home."
Well there is not much we can add to that. Go over to Gold's blog to read rest of the Q&A including CRN's definitive response on the much discussed Shirley/Richardsons. CRN provides text book examples on how to hit home runs off every curve ball thrown at him and turn them into positives for UCLA.
Given our early season injury issues and brutal schedule, I expect 2010 to be a challenging year. Yet I find myself most excited about UCLA football since the Fall of 1998. The vibe around Rick Neuheisel's program is unmistakable and it is not going to diminish despite the toxic cynicism from the Trojan lapdogs dominated Southern Cal traditional media and the national ones dominated by hacks and frontrunners, who are just out to drive up their corporate bottom line.
Let's sit back and enjoy this ride. There will be our share of downs and adversity in the coming season. However, you can finally sense the natural leadership and optimism that has been missing from UCLA football in two/three decades in Westwood. If CRN and his staff keep recruiting and coaching like they have been last two seasons, the journey to the promised land is going to be that much sweeter without all the bandwagoners around us.