Unfortunately we have to start this edition of spring football news and notes some bad news. Bruins are losing Aleksey Lanis, one of the better athletes from their OL due to injury related issues. Dohn listed the following factors behind Aleksey’s decision to retire:
Lanis said he recently had his application to UCLA's graduate school turned down, so he will look elsewhere. I'll have some comments from Lanis in Tuesday's paper.
I asked UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel if he tried to talk Lanis out of retiring.
"It was clear in his face that he wasn’t ready to go on,'' Neuheisel said. "If I thought there was hope, I probably would have pushed harder and harder, but he was pretty set in his decision, and you have to respect that.’’
Aleksey’s departure means other youngsters in the program will have the opportunity to step up. That means Sean Sheller, 6-foot-5, 282-pound high recruited soph will get his chance. From the LA Times:
As a high school senior, Sheller was ranked 18th among tackles nationally by Rivals.com. His progress was slowed by a knee injury his freshman year at UCLA.
"He's just needs to get a little stronger and a little bigger," Neuheisel said.
"He's going to have to be leader," Palcic said. "It's time for him to step up."
"I'm not saying that we'll do that exclusively, but the majority of our concepts will be zone," Palcic said. "I don't think you can give an offensive lineman too many concepts to master, because there are too many defensive variations. Therefore you can be the jack-of-all-trades and master of none. I'd rather settle down into a few basic concepts and be very efficient at what we do."
While CRN and Palcic are working through the issues at the OL, DeWayne Walker is encouraging competition to improve our young secondary. From the Daily News:
At strong safety, Walker said senior Bret Lockett has done well to solidify his spot as Chris Horton's successor, but junior Aaron Ware is competing to win the free safety position.
"I think Lockett is fine," Walker said. "We just want to make sure he's consistent. I think that will be a spot where we definitely need depth behind Lockett, and Ware, that job is going to be hot."
Walker said incoming freshman Tony Dye could compete for playing time at free safety.
"He's an IQ guy," Walker said. "He's smart. He's a quick learner. And you still have Glenn Love, but I'm not going to give up on him.
"Right now, Ware, I feel more comfortable with him. He's just going to have to be a guy that doesn't make mistakes. If he doesn't make mistakes, he'll be fine."