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Football News & Notes

Bits and pieces of news keep coming out of the football front. Nice article in the Whittier Daily News on Kevin Craft, the latest QB commit for UCLA:

"As soon as UCLA hired Norm Chow (as offensive coordinator last week), they watched my tape and wanted to recruit me," said Craft, who because of NCAA transfer rules is not eligible to enroll at UCLA until the summer. "In the end, it was just an excellent opportunity for me.

"It's a great time to be a Bruin and a Bruin fan. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

Craft was a top prize among junior college quarterbacks. He earned CCCAA Player of the Year honors after completing 313-of-511 passes for 4,231 yards and 44 touchdowns. The Mounties finished 10-3 and lost 31-28 to City College of San Francisco in the state title game.

Craft also was high on the recruiting lists of the University of Hawaii and Southern Methodist University. Hawaii had wooed him all season, and SMU came into the picture in the past month when June Jones resigned as Hawaii's head coach and took the SMU job.

But UCLA was just too appealing to the 22-year-old who started his college career at San Diego State and transferred to Mt. SAC.

"It's an unbelievable academic school," Craft said of UCLA. "And the coaching staff is real attractive. They are real close to home. There are a lot of attractive points to their program."
The good news around Craft’s commitment was dimmed a little bit (hey I am always bummed to see a good kid leave UCLA) by the exit of the Law Firm (we were always kidding MBT). I think MBT could have turned out to be a serviceable backup by his senior season at UCLA under coaching of Chow and CRN. However, CRN and Chow will have pretty solid depth at QB going into this year’s spring practice. This is how the depth is shaping up for next season:
  • Ben Olson (red shirt senior)
  • Patrick Cowan (red shirt senior)
  • Kevin Craft (Junior transfer)
  • Chris Forcier (Red shirt freshman)
  • Osaar Rasshan (red shirt junior – but could get moved over to WR now that we have a competent coaching staff)
  • Nick Crissman (true freshman most likely to red-shirt)
That’s not a bad bunch to start out. Now the question will be whether we have enough talent and depth at OL to protect these guys and come up with a productive offense. We will see.

Meanwhile on the recruiting front hits keep coming for CRN. He was able to lock up yet another soft verbal yesterday. This time it was Nelson Rosario, a stud WR from Oceanside El Camino high. From Dohn:
"I'm officially going with the Bruins,'' Rosario said. "It was a big decision. I liked both schools and the coaching staff's from both schools the same, It came down to being closer to the family."
Rosario said he hopes to play as a freshman, "but the coaches said it all depends on how hard I work when I get in there."
The count for remaining soft verbals is now at 4 and one of them happens to be Kevan Walker (which I find kind of odd … oh well).

Speaking of DeWayne Walker, he has a key visit coming up. He is teaming up with CRN to pay Darrell Scott an in-home visit:
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel and defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker are scheduled to have an in-home visit with St. Bonaventure of Ventura running back Darrell Scott tonight. Scott is the top-rated running back in the nation, according to several scouting services.
Well I know there is a lot of excitement around Scott. But again we have to be realistic on this one. CRN and Walker have a huge mountain to climb here. From what I have heard Colorado has had an edge in Scott’s national recruiting battle for a while. I think we might be a little late in this game. Then again we know not to underestimate CRN.

And we will end with a little spring practice notes from Dohn:
UCLA's Spring Practice will begin on Thursday, April 3 and will conclude on Saturday, April 26 with the Spring Game. Individual dates will be announced soon. I am told practice is open to the public. There is a chance the spring game will be played at the Rose Bowl, but no decision has been made.
Man … for the first time in years I am actually excited about reading news and notes coming out of football spring practice. I guess this is how it feels like when one’s PB is full.