Once again, it's Friday morning, and what a glorious Friday it is: the long work week is almost done, the weekend is upon us, and we're inching closer and closer to football season. Also, with no work in the way, it's a chance to fire up the ol' PS3/Xbox and lead the virtual Bruins to victory in NCAA Football 13. Fortunately, EA Sports hasn't created a "moronic athletic director" feature yet, so virtual UCLA won't have to worry about virtual Chianti Dan f**king up the virtual program. So, with the weekend about to get underway, let's get straight to the various bits and pieces of news floating around the UCLA-iverse:
- Starting with, what else, football, in case you missed it, Johnathan "Jet Ski" Franklin has been named to the Doak Walker Award watch list, given out annually at the end of the year to college football's top running back. Despite recurring fumbling issues, there's no doubt that Jet Ski has the speed and moves to make a serious play at taking home post-season honors, assuming he can keep his hands on the rock and he finally gets an offensive line and offensive system that allows him to turn loose. And bear in mind, he still racked up over 2,000 yards the last two seasons behind a patchwork offensive line.
- Joining Jet Ski in the backfield is seldom-used power runner Malcolm Jones, who is hoping to have an expanded role in the UCLA offense following the departure of Derrick Coleman. The former Gatorade HS Player of the Year has seen very little action since coming to Westwood, but in a recent profile by Gilberto Manzano at the Agoura Hills Acorn, Malcolm is eager to make the most out of whatever opportunities Coach Mora and Noel Mazzone give him this season. We're all hoping Jones becomes a regular figure in the end zone.
- Sticking with football, former UCLA QB Ryan McCann was profiled by ESPN's Patrick Dorsey for forging himself a new career in . . . art. No, seriously. And his art is seriously legit. In a practice that McCann calls "pyrography" he takes a blowtorch to wood to make some pretty neat stuff. And who doesn't like blowtorching stuff?!
- On the academic side of the university, on Wednesday, the Regents approved UCLA's plan to build the hotel and conference center named for Meyer and Renee Luskin. While it's an ill-conceived use of the limited space on UCLA's campus (which would be better served by, say, an on-campus football stadium or dedicated football practice facilities, or say, a practice field longer than 80 freakin' yards), the university is hoping it will create jobs on campus and generate revenue for the university long term
- Finally, as Ajax pointed out yesterday, apparently we can all own a part of Spaulding Field. So, if you're looking for poor quality synthetic turf that is guaranteed to cause ankle, leg, and knee injuries, along with other assorted ailments, look no further! On the plus side, if you're concerned that your residence is going to be targeted by home invasion robbers, simply surround your abode with Spaulding turf and, with the litany of sprained ankles, blown-out knees, and broken feet suffered by those ski-masked bandits, the police will have no trouble apprehending the guilty as they desperately try to crawl off your front lawn.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to end the week with. Fire away with your thoughts, takes, and additions in the comments thread. And enjoy the sunny weekend!