In 31 days summer camp in San Bernardino begins and in 56 days our first game of the 2014 season takes place (did I count correctly?) and the Bruins are getting some attention for the right reasons. As Nestor reported the other day, NFL.com writer Bryan Fischer chose the Rose Bowl as the #1 college football stadium in the country. Well, we all know that, but what is relatively new is the attention our football team is getting for the accomplishments it is making. As Brando Hoffman pointed out in his Q&A and a with us, recruits are no longer talking about our turning corners, they are talking about an exciting place to play and of being part of something special,
"UCLA has built something special." The page is turning, if not being fully turned.
While we feel like the Bruins are not totally around the corner yet, I think we can agree that we are at least somewhere in the turn and it is good that the NFL is noticing U.C.L.A. again for the right reasons.
NFL.com is running a 14 for '14 Photo-Essay Series, and UCLA shows up in four categories.
Best CFB Stadium: #1 The Rose Bowl, enough said.
Best CFB Unifroms: #10 The L.A. Midnight alternate unis:"
The powder blues of the Bruins are one of college football's top uniforms over the years but adidas has been giving the team a few alternates to wear lately and debuted an updated TechFit look for UCLA last year. The black was certainly a departure from the past for the team but looked pretty slick and could see use in 2014 as well. The best part for UCLA might be the gloves, which feature palm trees and the Los Angeles skyline.
While I agree about the traditional powder blues, personally the Midnight's are my least favorite, but as I looked through many of Fisher's other choices I could see he and I are just not on the same page.
Top Recruiter in CFB: Adriann Klemm comes in at #3 and I think we can agree. While this year's class might not have had the kind of class we have been getting used to recently, there are some real gems in it and we have some wonderful recruits in waiting for 2015. About Klemm, Fisher writes:
Not every coach can whip out a few Super Bowl rings to show recruits, but Klemm can if he needs to thanks to his time as a member of the Patriots dynasty as an offensive lineman. He's risen up the coaching ranks extremely quickly thanks to his ability to recruit and keeping him around Westwood is Jim Mora's priority every offseason. He's made UCLA a big player for elite prospects out West while also getting them into homes across the country.
Top Personalities in CFB: #5, Myles Jack. We love him on the field, so I am guessing that is what Mike Huguenin means by personality. I think we have seen more personality from EV, Caleb, and others through social media, but it is clear that Myles adds some special personality and excitement to the Bruins game. This is what Huguenin has in mind when he chooses personalities that need to be followed "for a variety of reasons -among them talent level, their sense of humor and their back stories". About Jack, Huguenin writes:
Why you should know about him: He is a two-way player who truly excels on both sides of the ball. Though he is better as a linebacker, he was good enough as a running back last fall that he was named the Pac-12's defensive and offensive freshman of the year. He will play both ways again this season for the Bruins, who look to be the best team in the Pac-12 South. A high-level two-way player in this age of specialization? Yep.
Football training camp begins on August 4th, I can hardly wait. I hope to see you there and in Virginia at the end of August!