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Wednesday News & Notes

Over at What’s Bruin, Rich Perleman has some interesting posts that are worth taking note of. Let’s start with a note on scheduling. Apparently Minnesota’s head coach Tim Brewster is interested in scheduling a home and home with UCLA:

Although the UCLA folks we spoke to haven’t heard anything about it, comments from new Minnesota football coach Tim Brewster about his desire to play UCLA continue to pop up.

Here’s Sunday’s note in Charley Walters’ column in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press: "If new Gophers football coach Tim Brewster had his way, Minnesota would open its on-campus stadium on Sept. 12, 2009, against UCLA."

What’s this all about? Well, Brewster played two years at Pasadena City College before transferring to Illinois as a tight end and he was the captain of the 1983 Big Ten Champion Illinois team (10-1-0, ranked fourth) that came west to lose to Rick Neuheisel and the 6-4-1 Bruins, 45-9, on New Year’s Day 1984.

One thing more: Brewster’s youngest son Nolan is a highly-regarded safety at Mullen High School in Denver. He’s made a verbal commitment to attend Texas, but notes that he has offers from UCLA, USC, Oregon, LSU, Nebraska and Florida in addition to one from Dad to attend Minnesota.
Last year I wrote a post on what interesting match-ups Bruin football may want to take on down the road. Suggestions included teams like Virginia, Boston College, LSU, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. I’d be more than happy to see UCLA play an early September game at Minnesota. I hear Twin Cities is a fun place to visit during Fall with lots of good eats, beers, and cool down to earth folks from Midwest.

I am all for it. And I hope UCLA is open to the idea.

Also staying on football theme, Perleman has a hype piece on former Bruin Eric Scott, who joined Dorrell’s staff this season. Eric has zero experience as an NCAA assistant coach but because of his connections to LA schools as a former assistant high school coach, he has been able to made some good contributions in recruiting:
Overheard from a USC athletic department staff member: "Eric Scott is going a great job. He is really helping them."

Scott, 32, is entering his first season as UCLA’s wide receivers coach, so why the fuss? Because of his impact in recruiting. Prior to joining the UCLA football staff as an intern for the 2006 season, he had seven years as an assistant coach at Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, in the heart of the South Los Angeles-area talent base.

It’s no secret that Scott made an immediate impact, especially with Parade All-American defensive tackle Brian Price and PrepStar "Dream Team" tailback Raymond Carter, both from Crenshaw. In addition, he’s been deeply involved in recruiting seniors-to-be wide receiver Kemonte Bateman from Crenshaw (four-star per, Dorsey safety Rahim Moore (four star), Johnathon Franklin (three star), Leuzinger linebacker Uona Kavienga (four star) and others.
As we have said before. All this recruiting success is cool. But none of it is going to matter if Dorrell fails to win a Pac-10 championship. So I will reserve my judgment on Eric Scott until I see how UCLA performs this season. And one of the factors I will be closely looking into see is how the messed up WR unit (which became a joke under the leadership of a HC with experience as an "NFL WR coach") performs this season.

Coach Scott’s responsibilities will include making sure that the WR rotation actually optimizes the talent already available on roster. We certainly don’t want to see a bizarre rotation in which we saw a walkon like Andrew Baumgartner (God bless him for all his efforts) getting more reps than talents like Junior Taylor, who became increasingly frustrated with Dorrell’s impotent offense through the season.

We are already reading stories of glorified walkons this off-season. I sure hope Scott and rest of Dorrell’s staff actually uses the talent available to them and not fall into Lavin’s pathetic (and bizarre) "lucky charm" tactic of giving more time to well meaning (but not athletically gifted) athletes such as Sean Farnham, Rico Hines of the world while wasting the talents of kids like Barnes, Thompson, Bozeman et al. You get the picture.

Anyways, we will end with a good note from the LAT blog. This is not news to any of us but Perleman has some numbers showing how UCLA Athletes are really smart. One of the superstars include Chris Jospeh, who will be the starting C this coming season, who has the best overall GPA of any UCLA athlete who’s been in school for two or more years at 3.969. Not too shabby Chris.

Hopefully your head coach can match your class room standard of excellence by achieving similar success on the field this coming season.