It's Monday morning, and after another sunny, relaxing California weekend, it's once again time to climb back into the car, hit the commute, and re-join the grown-up work with the work week routine. So, let's get the morning commute/coffee hour/hour of stubborn refusal to do work started with the round-up of the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse.
So, let's get to it this morning's edition:
- As the norm, let's start with football (especially with fall camp starting this weekend!). Former Bruin all-star stud defensive tackle Brian Price is looking forward to a fresh start with a new team, the Chicago Bears. The former second-round pick was traded from Tampa Bay to Chicago because of lingering concerns about his recurring injury woes. Price is expected to compete for a starting job down the line with the Bears, while in the short term, he's looking to re-ignite his promising NFL career that has been derailed by injury. Let's keep our fingers crossed for one of the all-time great Bruins, both on and off the field.
- Turning to our current Bruins, the Los Angeles Wave featured current starting running back Johnathan "Jet Ski" Franklin and his quotes at Pac-12 Media Day, where he discussed his pleasure at the direction UCLA was heading under new head coach Jim Mora. More importantly, the Wave, which features predominately inter-city/urban issues in an area that runs from Hollywood Hills to Carson and Culver City to Whittier (i.e. featuring Inglewood, Compton, Lynwood, and Dorsey) focused in on UCLA, helping give Jim Mora a little bit more exposure in a part of Southern California that UCLA needs to recruit strongly if its going to get back to the top.
- Tracking back to a story we originally first noted back in December of 2011, it appears that the Regents have reached a plea agreements with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office for the University's role in the tragic lab fire that took the life of lab research assistant Sheri Sangji. As a result of the Regents plea, the University of California will maintain a lab safety program on all UC campuses (shouldn't this be something the university should have done decades ago, as a matter of common sense?!) and endow a $500,000 scholarship in Sangji's name at Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law (UCLA screws up, Cal benefits...how lovely). Despite the Regents' plea, criminal charges remain against Sangji's supervisor, UCLA chemistry professor Patrick Harran. His next appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court is set for September 5.
- Finally, as mentioned earlier (HT LongtimeBru), former UCLA commit, RB Keyante Green from Georgia (3 stars, #62 RB in the nation, per Scout), has decommitted from the Bruins and pledged his future to Purdue. According to comments from Green, early playing time was the factor, coupled with Purdue's continued pursuit of Green while UCLA's interest cooled, that led him to decide to be a Boilermaker instead of a Bruin. To each his own, I suppose. But, while it would be good to have Green in our backfield stable, his decommitment shouldn't hurt UCLA in any way, especially if Mora lands coveted Craig Lee (4 stars, #24 RB in the nation, per Scout). But even without Lee, as Nestor noted in his pre-fall camp running back preview, running back is the one spot that UCLA has plenty of depth in the foreseeable future (which, as Keyante himself noted, was part of the reason for him switching to Purdue). While the Bruins will feature Jet Ski in 2012, the following season should feature former Gatorade Player of the Year Malcolm Jones in his senior season, along with Jordon "Joystick" James (in his redshirt junior year), not to mention Damien Thigpen (redshirt senior). Absent other additions to the stable, 2014 would feature James, the spring camp sensation, Steven "White Mamba" Manfro (by then, a redshirt junior), Paul Perkins (a true freshman this year), as well as Kenny Walker (another true freshman this year), who can line up in the backfield as well. So, it's hard to blame Keyante for jumping ship if immediate playing time was important to him. Grabbing Lee's commitment will be a good boost, but it won't be an absolute must-get for Mora.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to start the work week with. Fire away with your thoughts, takes, and additions in the comments thread.