4everBruin fanshotted a really heart warming article on this year spring football's internet sensation - Steve Manfro. Manfro has emerged as one of the most interesting storylines of recent UCLA football offseason thanks to consistent praise from pretty much every practice and spring ball observers.
We consistently keep preaching about how folks should stay guarded with cautious optimism given how we have gotten our hearts broken and soul crushed year after year (well pretty much every seven season of this blog's existence). That said it's still pretty fun to read about a kid who at least publicly oozes humility to accompany his reported showstopping performance on the practice field.
The latest piece from Lisa Horne (a Trojan alum) on Manfro will only endear him to UCLA fans as she shares the story of his Dad's 9/11 heroics as a New York police officer and his family's transition to Southern California since that terrible tragedy. As much as I liked the story though, I do think it is important for UCLA fans to not see Manfro as some kind "feel good" story ala "Rudy." The only thing Manfro has in common with Rudy is that the lead actor of Rudy - Sean Austin - is an UCLA alum. That is it.
He had a two-star rating from Scout.com, despite being the No. 1 all-purpose running back in the state of California. He also set a Foothill League single-game record, rushing for 420 yards on 15 carries. He bench-pressed 310 pounds, lifted 420 pounds from the squat and ran a 4.42 in the 40, yet the 5-foot-9, 180-ish-pound running back only had one scholarship on the table.
Rudy, he is not.
Credit to Coach Rick Neuheisel for spotting Steve Manfro and signing him to play for the four letters.
Going forward, if Manfro lives up to his practice/spring ball hype, let's think of other Bruin scholarship FB players to compare himself it, instead of diminishing his accomplishments by comparing him to some walk on legend from South Bend.