Guess what. We have another roundup heavy on recruiting related notes. Scotucla03 fanshotted a cool story about one of the latest Bruin commits - OL Jacob Brendel - that ran in the McKinney Courier Gazette (which I am assuming his local home town paper from Texas). There are few nuggets from the article worth taking note of on the home page. Thought his impression on Coach Palcic was interesting:
Brendel said the Bruins first popped onto his radar about five months ago during the offseason after he was visited by UCLA offensive line coach Bob Palcic. Amidst gaining an interest in the school's football program, Palcic's honesty also struck a chord with the lineman.
"We really hit it off because he was the same type of person I am," Brendel said. "I'm not going to sugarcoat things; I'm going to shoot it to you straight, and that's exactly what [Palcic] did. He said ‘if you're interested in us, give me a call and if you're not, you're not and I'll move on to the next person.'
"That really caught my eye ... he just kind of gave me the facts and we went from there."
Admitting communications with the Bruins hit a lull for a couple months, Brendel revisited things with UCLA after the school year ended via the NCAA-mandated one call policy, which set the wheels in motion for a West Coast recruiting trip one month ago.
"They shot it to me straight," Brendel said. "They said they had two commits right now and had five spots, and we'd really like you to come out and see the campus. That was the next step."
Coach Palcic has built his reputation on being one of the best offensive line teachers in college game. It sure appears that he is also building quiet a rep when it comes to recruit. Brendel is not the first guy to gush about Palcic this recruiting season. Just days ago we read about Casey Griffiths taking note of Palcic's excitement on the recruiting front. Overall, it is another sign of what kind of emphasis UCLA coaches are putting on OL.
Note Brendel did mention that UCLA coaches told him they have "five spots." That number will be a little flexible given Brendel himself has indicated that he might consider if another amazing option opens up where a school like Texas pursues him in a way in which he is more than back up plan. Over all though from what I have read from him, so far it looks pretty promising that he will end up in Westwood His comment about Stanford in the same article was kind of funny too.
While we are all excited about Brendel coming into Westwood next year, a little bummer (but not surprising news out of Pacific Northwest). Julious Moore, the defensive tackle from Bellevue, Washington, who committed to Bruins this past year but couldn't sign a LOI due to academic issues, will be enrolling at Portland State this fall. From Bob Condotta in the Seattle Times:
Moore committed to UCLA after also considering UW, WSU and most of the Pac-10 (he actually never signed a letter-of-intent due to academic concerns). But he wasn't going to be able to get in to UCLA this fall and was slated to be a gray shirt --- meaning to delay his enrollment until after this football season --- Goncharoff said.
Goncharoff said "that was something he didn't want to do.'' He's able to get into Portland State for the fall, and Goncharoff said "Portland State might be a better fit for him in the long run.''
Goncharoff said when Moore's academic issues at UCLA became apparent shortly after signing day that he did talk again with coaches at UW.
That is a bummer (but not a surprise). I had some hope that he would stick it out and grey shirt, but can't blame his decision if he wants to get started right away. On a similar note, we have also been hearing that LB Taniela Maka (a recruit from 2009), who have been trying for a year to get into UCLA as a greyshirt will probably not make into UCLA this Fall (and go somewhere else). News like this is always tough. We wish there was a little more transparency from the UCLA administration giving us a little more information on exactly what precise criterias they are using to determine the academic qualifications for these recruits.
Speaking of recruiting, this shouldn't be news to people here but still always amusing to read from another town's publication. Lya Wodraska from the Salt Lake Tribune notes the not so secret reason why schools want to be in the same subdivision as UCLA and Southern Cal:
[I]t seems every school is clamoring to keep its ties with USC and UCLA for recruiting purposes. Talent-rich Southern California is heavily mined by every program in the conference.
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott plans to discuss options with league athletic directors later this month, though it could be October before a decision is made.
He has acknowledged that deciding who gets to play with the L.A.-area schools is a difficult task.
Something he should have thought about before hurrying through expansion early summer. In the article, the Utah officials are playing a little coy (unlike the ones from Colorado who are insisting that the Buffs be in the same division as Southern California schools). They can say whatever they want and could care less. No matter how cool they try to be about the whole situation, Pac-10 as a conference doesn't matter much without the schools from California.
The article confirms the influence Dan Guerrero can (and should) wield during this division alignment discussions. He needs to ensure that whatever is the final outcome, UCLA's interest is taken care of first. He needs to make sure none of the new arrangements disrupt any of the traditions impacting UCLA football, dating back to the original Pac-8 conference.