Neuheisel Impressed With Freshman

Adam Maya reported in OC Register that CRN was high on a number of freshman in the early going.

"The game's not too big for them," Coach Rick Neuheisel said. "It's a bunch of guys trying to get to the front of the line. They're learning and even though they're making mistakes, they're making them fast."

Among the standouts Neuheisel mentioned were offensive guard Chris Ward (Mater Dei), linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (Edison), tailbacks Malcolm Jones and Jordon James, F-back Anthony Barr, defensive tackle Cassius Marsh and safety Dietrich Riley.

"This class from top to bottom is absolutely excellent," Neuheisel said. "If we can continue to put these classes together, UCLA football's going to be on the map before much time passes."

CRN singled out Chris Ward as one freshman who might be ready to step right in and get some playing time.

One player who has especially caught Neuheisel's eye is 6-foot-4, 318-pound Ward, who has been lauded for holding his own against the Bruins' sizable defensive line. He even has gotten the best of defensive end Datone Jones on occasion. [The confrontation with DJ must have been on day one.]

"I think Chris Ward can be a possible contributor (right away)," Neuheisel said. "He's a smart young guy, and he's really physical and he's got a great anchor. You always worry about strength with young offensive linemen. Can they anchor when they're getting bull-rushed? He's been able to do that."

OL Coach Todd Howard also has a big body who might be ready to play.

UCLA also has a freshman defensive lineman who might be called upon soon.

"I think Cassius Marsh is going to surprise some people in his freshman year," defensive line coach Todd Howard said. "He's showing some fire and urgency. He's an excellent athlete and he has that desire. I anticipate him being in the mix."

Howard said the 6-4, 285-pound Marsh already cleared one of the biggest hurdles for a freshmen: "I think he's physically able to play as a freshman, just like Brian Price was.

It is nice to see that players have come in right away with Division 1 size and strength. These kind of players can make a big difference in the success of the program, adding football talent, depth and competition to the program.

Go Bruins.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.

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