Spaulding Roundup: Post-Finals Practice Starts Bowl Preparations For The Bruins

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A roundup of news coming out of Westwood as the Bruins start their 15 pre-bowl game practices in preparation for the Sun Bowl against the Virginia Tech Hokies.

First video out of practice since finals week took over the UCLA campus. Here are some thoughts from Coach Mora about preparations for Virginia Tech who the Bruins will be squaring off against in the Sun Bowl.

  • Basically, the gist of the video is that Coach Mora is going to start practicing specifically for Virginia Tech earlier than the Bruins did last season in the embarrassing Holiday Bowl loss to Baylor. Mora noted that was a change that was specifically designed to prevent a similar result. He said that there was too much time spent on getting the younger players practice time last season before bowl preparations started. Though he also noted that there will be a scrimmage for the younger players later in the week.
  • One interesting note that snuck in there while Coach Mora was avoiding questions about recruiting (about which reporters are fully aware of his inability to answer specific questions, so there was no need to waste time on it) he had a root canal this week and proceeded to head right back out on the recruiting trail. As someone who has almost entirely avoided serious dental issues, got to hope that he's doing alright because I have no similar experiences to draw from.
  • Not a ton to note outside of that, though there has been some news on the All-American front as those teams keep rolling out. Anthony Barr is easily on track to become UCLA's first consensus All-American  since Kai Forbarth in 2009, as he has already been named to the 1st team for Sporting News, Walter Camp, Athlon Sports and NFL.com's All-American teams. But there are other Bruins being recognized as well. Eddie Vanderdoes, Myles Jack and Alex Redmond were all named to the 1st team Freshman All-American team by Sporting News and will no doubt get some love from other publications as well. There will likely be an All-American roundup post coming once all the teams are released, so those Bruins get the recognition they deserve from Bruins Nation (we should do a BN All-American team, just a random idea).
That's about it out of UCLA from this week, hope the coaching staff heads out to make some headway on this upcoming recruiting class, as several targets are still competing for State titles around the country and the players currently competing for UCLA are wrapping up the last week of school before their winter break.
Until next time, Go Bruins!
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