It's Monday morning, which means two things: (1) it's back to the grind at work and (2) it's time for the regular Monday morning bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse. With the Bruins on their way back to Omaha following a two-game sweep of TCU in the Super Regional, this Monday's version of Bruin Bites is a bit slanted toward the boys of summer. So with that, let's turn to the various bits and pieces of news from around the UCLA-iverse:
- While it's John Savage's baseball team getting all the attention right now, we're going to start with a football note, because, as we've discussed on multiple occasions, football is king in college athletics. On that note, WWL sat down with UCLA's offensive line utility man, Jeff Baca, who talked about constantly switching positions, losing his father at age 13, and his switch from pre-med to political science (which describes roughly 98% of UCLA alums).
- Turning to baseball, the Washington Post spoke with UCLA commit Lucas Giolito, who was drafted #16 overall by the Washington Nationals. The right-handed ace spoke about why he picked UCLA and where he sees himself going following surgery and rehab for an elbow issue. Per Giolito, he expects to come back stronger than ever; let's just hope that it happens in the Blue and Gold.
- While Giolito is a highly-sought after recruit, a MLB first-round draft choice, and a kid unlikely to ever play in Westwood, current UCLA starting catcher Tyler Heineman is the polar opposite: a former walk-on, who went from being marginally in the team to catching the interest of various MLB scouts. Heineman was recently profiled by our SB Nation Houston Astros' sister blog, Houston Crawfish Boxes, who characterize the formerly unhealded backstop as a "solid, solid pick" for Houston.
- Heineman's path from walk-on to being drafted to play professional baseball was one with many twists and turns, one that he discussed with WWL's Peter Yoon. In a pretty good piece of work, Heineman talked about how close he was to transferring out of Westwood, how he got himself ready for the opportunity to play, and how he's been confident in his role, despite pre-season prognostications projecting UCLA to struggle to replace Steve Rodriguez with Austin Hedges opting to take the money and go pro.
- Finally, turning to the hunt for missing former UCLA Bruin basketball player Gavin Smith, the family has offered a $20,000 reward for any information leading to finding Gavin. In an ominous bit of news, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, despite calling it a "missing persons" investigation, seem to be treating this something more than a simple disappearance, with officers executing a search warrant at a residence in West Hills as part of their hunt for Gavin.
Alright folks, those are your Bruin Bites to start the work week with. Fire away with your thoughts, takes, and additions in the comments thread.