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Football News & Notes

As expected, the Palcic hiring is the lead story today. From the OC Register:

"I'm excited about returning to UCLA and I am looking forward to working for Rich (Neuheisel)," Palcic said, in a statement through the athletic department.

The Bruins last season were ranked sixth in the Pac-10 and 57th among 119 bowl Division I-A teams in rushing offense, averaging 151 yards per game, and eighth in the conference in rushing touchdowns with 12. They also were tied for seventh in the Pac-10 and 102nd in the nation with Oregon State in sacks allowed with 36.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, was 22nd in the nation in rushing offense, churning out 201.5 yards per game. The Badgers did, however, allow 33 sacks and were 91st in the nation.
More from the Daily News and the LA Times. Again, as noted in the comment threads yesterday, I think it is worth mentioning how CRN was able to lure Palcic away from a solid program like Wisconsin with a pay raise. To me it shows some signs of commitment on the part of UCLA to having a serious football program.

Palcic’s arrival might mean the end of OL coach Bob Connelly. Another coach who is on the move is Jay Norvell, who is looking for jobs at places like Purdue and Oklahoma. But, as of right now, nothing is official yet. Per Jill Painter, we should probably know more by Friday.

Elsewhere, congrats to 34 members of the football team who made the UCLA Director’s Honor Roll. From Painter:
Thirty-four members of the 2007 UCLA football earned a spot on the UCLA Director’s Honor Roll for the Fall Quarter. Student-athletes with a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher and at least 12 graded units make the list. Eight of the 10 scholarship freshmen who entered school this past quarter made the Director’s Honor Roll.

The complete list includes: Luc Barbosa, Brandon Bennett, McLeod Bethel-Thompson, Ben Bruneau, Raymond Carter, Patrick Cowan, Matthew Culver, Justin Edison, Justin Fareed, Chris Forcier, Michael Harris, Brigham Harwell, Tyler Holland, Ryal Jagd, Aleksey Lanis, Kenneth Lombard, Glenn Love, Travis Martin, Shawn Oatis, Terry O’Neal, Logan Paulsen, Aaron Perez, Robert McCurdy, Brian Price, Danny Rees, Garrett Rubio, Michael Schmitt, Nathaniel Skaggs, Matthew Slater, Steve Sloan, William Snead, Trevor Theriot, Courtney Viney, Jordan Woolbright and undergraduate coach Steve Urrutia
Brian Price’s name stands out to me from that group. That is extremely impressive on BP’s part after getting a late start since he didn’t arrive on campus at the same time with the other freshmen as UCLA had issues clearing his papers with the NCAA. Congrats to Brian and everyone else.

One guy who is making the grade on the next level is MJD. And I had to share with you this article by Mark Reiss of the Boston Globe who took note of MJD’s spectacular night against the Steelers and compared his career to the overhyped one of you know who:
The triple-threat performance was nothing new for Jones-Drew, who has been electrifying since Jacksonville selected him in the second round of the 2006 draft out of UCLA, 60th overall.

While Reggie Bush got most of the hype out of the '06 running back class - he was the second overall pick, by New Orleans - Jones-Drew has proven to be equally deserving of the spotlight.

Bush has 1,146 rushing yards in his first two seasons. Jones-Drew has 1,709.

Bush has 161 receptions for 1,159 yards, while Jones-Drew has 86 catches for 943 yards.

Total touchdowns: Bush has 14, Jones-Drew 26.

Yet in the battle of playmaking running backs, Jones-Drew has been overshadowed, perhaps by playing in a smaller media market.

After last night, playing in front of a nationally televised audience in a high-stakes game, that should no longer be the case.
Now all we need is for ESPN and rest of the traditional media to take note.