We will do our football roundup in past, present, and future mode checking in on news and notes on a recent Bruin great, accolades for a current leader, and excitement around a potential future leader of the team. Let's start with the past. Apparently Brian Price hasn't wasted any time in turning heads out in Tampa Bay. Per the Bucs' official site Price has made his mark early in the training camp:
Price, the second-round defensive tackle out of UCLA, missed most of the Bucs' practice work in May and July due first to UCLA's long spring semester and then to a minor hamstring injury. He pushed sleds, worked out with trainers and grabbed 'mental reps' from the sideline during OTAs, but he wasn't really in the mix. Saturday morning's camp practice wasn't exactly Price's Buccaneer debut, but it was close, and it was certainly his first NFL action in pads. And it was eye-opening.
Making up for lost time, Price was all over the field. According to Morris, the young DT at times "ruined" practice, and scouts on the sideline at One Buccaneer Place confirm that he was enormously disruptive. It might concern some linemen on the other side of the ball that Price matter-of-factly says he's not completely recovered from his injury just yet, though he's giving total effort.
"I love football and I had to ease back into it because I had the injury," he said. "I'm not 100 percent yet, but I'm feeling good out here. I'm just going 100 percent, and we've got some great leaders out here in Ryan Sims, Roy Miller and Dre Moore among others, like Stylez White. Great D-Line, great coaches - just coming out here and getting after it.
" I'm just coming out here and doing my job. They drafted me for a reason. I'm just trying to play team ball and do what I came to do."
Per the Bucs' head coach Price "wrecked" practice:
After the first day of training camp head coach Raheem Morris said Price "wrecked practice." Price looked down right dominant at times and did not have the look of a rookie who practicing for the first time with pads on at the NFL level.
Somewhere Jeff Baca, Eddie Williams and co. are chuckling reading those clips. We are going to miss him. It is so great to see him make such good impression from the get go. Of course we had no doubt that the Bucs were getting a steal by drafting him in the second round. Let's keep our fingers crossed that Price will be healthy with a long professional career. We have no doubt he will be a great representative of our program just like MJD has been carrying the torch in recent years.
UCLA's All-American free safety Rahim Moore has been named to the Jim Thorpe Award Pre-Season "Watch List." In all, 35 football players were named to the watch list which honors the nation's top defensive back player at the end of the season.
Last season, Moore led the Pac-10 Conference and the NCAA with 10 interceptions. He has already been named to watch lists for the Lott Trophy and Nagurski Trophy this pre-season, while also being named a pre-season All-American.
The Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was an awesome defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as "The Legend", Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
If Moore stays healthy, he should have a great shot in winning this award. Not sure if there is any other DB in the country who is better than number 3.
As for the future, in case you missed it, there was a nice article in the Dallas Morning News about Bruin OL recruit Jacob Brendel from Plano, Texas, getting "read to lead" his high school team after" selecting UCLA":
Brendel had 12 scholarship offers before committing to UCLA on July 13. California, Northwestern and Arkansas made his final list along with the Bruins. [...]
"A week before I committed I went to California. I did go see Stanford, California and UCLA. That was a big mindset changer," Brendel said. "Before I went out there and saw the campus I loved Stanford. But I guess it didn't live up to expectations. I moved on to Cal and moved onto UCLA.
"I knew when I left California that UCLA was the place I wanted to be."
Brendel felt it would be hard to be a leader on Plano East's football team if he had to make recruiting visits every week during the season.
"I wanted to make sure I was done with all my recruiting stuff before my senior season," Brendel said. "It would be hard for me to lead the team if I was out of town doing recruiting visits."
Sounds like a kid who has a pretty healthy dose of perspective on his priorities. He should fit right in when he comes out to Westwood.