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Football News & Notes

The focus today should be on the ridiculous story re the NCAA "investigating" Coach’s meeting with Kevin Love. In the meantime, I want to share some tidbits from the football front dealing with the coaching staff and recruiting. Perelman is reporting that OC position is down to Fisch, Rip Scherer and an outside shot at Norm Chow:

The Times' UCLA football beat reporter Chris Foster reports that new coach Rick Neuheisel's search for an offensive coordinator is down to former Baltimore Ravens assistant Jedd Fisch, Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Rip Scherer and a longshot try for Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow.

Recent Auburn (and former UCLA) offensive coordinator Al Borges is apparently out of the mix.
So Borges is out. I think Chow is an extreme long shot. On the surface, it appears that Neuheisel doesn’t have the funds to bring in an OC like Chow. A lot of the assistant pool fund was spent on retaining the defensive staff.

If Fisch comes aboard, I would imagine that RN would also play the role of QB coach to bring along the young assistant coach. If it is Scherer, because of his extensive experience, I’d imagine that RN would give him a little more autonomy. Just my guess.

Speaking of coaches on the "offensive" side of ball, Norvell is off to OU as the Sooners’ "passing game coordinator." Apparently Norvell and Stoops were team-mates in Iowa. While Dorrell failed to land the OC job for the Texans. Good luck to both of those guys.

Switching gears to recruiting, let's take a look at the commit board on Bruin Report Online and gander at the list of "soft verbals" who are committed to UCLA but are looking elsewhere through recruiting trips, etc:

What sticks out? Its interesting to me that 6 of 9 soft verbals are from the defensive side. The amount of hype I was reading during the campaign for retaining Walker (or hiring him as our next HC), I had the impression that keeping him would automatically shore up these recruits. But yet, after all, these guys are still "soft verbals"? What gives?

Also, Dohn points to another issue with some of these recruits who are on the fence:
UCLA's recruiting class is being challenged as other schools try to sway recruits, but another factor is at work, according to my sources, who said at least five of the committed players were not presented yet because of fear they would not be admitted when UCLA's admissions brass met last week.
I was told the kids will be able to get into "nearly every Pac-10 school, maybe all, except Stanford,'' by a source. Most of the players involved need to increase their SATs scores, and could still get into UCLA.
Hmm. If I were to guess, I think Dorrell and his coaching staff (Walker, Scott et al) probably stretched the universe of eligible UCLA recruits by being a little extra liberal in their offers this past recruiting season. I guess you can’t blame a head coach who was desperate to put together a "top-10 recruiting class" so he could hang that over an athletic director’s head who was going to make a decision for a regime change. And now we can see the consequences.

I’d suggest that none of us panic if we lose some of these recruits. We have to take the long term view here. I imagine CRN will have a strategy in place in terms of salvaging what he can out of this class, and will devise a long term plan of bringing in players who will fit the criteria set by UCLA admissions without having to stretch the available pool of UCLA's recruiting universe (which has been good enough to put together strong programs).