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Seniors = Key Part of CRN's Revitalization Plans

If you think CRN in his effort to revitalize Dorrell era's listless program, is going to engage in some kind of weeding out process involving seniors, think again.

Chris Foster from the LA Times has an article on how CRN reached out to the seniors of our football program in his first days as the UCLA new football coach:

Day One. Meeting One. Question One.

Rick Neuheisel, still with that new-car smell as UCLA's football coach, wasted little time getting to the point in January. In his first meeting with the Bruins, he had all the seniors raise their hands and asked, "What does rebuilding mean to you?"

Neuheisel already had an answer for them.

"It means, 'To heck with the seniors, we're rebuilding for the future,' " Neuheisel said. "I don't think that's right."

With that, Neuheisel headed down the path many first-year coaches follow, trying to lead his team away from a bad case of senioritis.

The Bruins, who scrimmage today, have 19 seniors on scholarship, 11 of whom could be starters in the fall. The group ranges from quarterback Ben Olson, who has one chance left to reach the lofty projections set for him, to Marcus Everett, who was granted a fifth year of eligibility, to cornerback Michael Norris, who has waited in line to be a starter. [...]

Neuheisel has said of his seniors-to-be, "They all came here to win and take the program to a higher level. Why would we wait?"
In some ways CRN's approach in Howlandesque. After all it was Coach Howland who depended on the senior leadership of Dijon Thompson, Ced Bozeman and Ryan Hollins to jump start our hoops program. Instead of trying to scapegoat players from previous era, Howland was able to brilliantly mix experience talent from the previous era (who were never received competent coach) with the tale with the infusion of fresh talent he brought into the program to form the foundation of his current successful program. For Coach Neuheisel to jump start our football program he will have to do much of the same.

That is why it's not prudent for anyone to give up on players like Olson, Everett, Norris or any other seniors, until they have finished their careers at UCLA. They still have ways to go.

And I am hopeful that there is a decent chance that they will able to revitalize not only their individual careers but also play key roles in building a solid foundation of what should be one of the premiere football programs in the nation.