The UCLA Bruins went through meetings today in preparation for their final nonconference game this weekend against #19 BYU at the Rose Bowl. A couple of the Bruin players talked about their last game against UNLV and looked ahead to the Cougars.
Takkarist McKinley talked about his blocked punt (he ignored his assignment) and what he thought was his sack vs UNLV (it wasn't, but he forced the Pick 6 to Kenny Young), the rest of the guys at DE and OLB, and how he plans to (not) deal with BYU and their "extracurricular" activities.
Our thanks to David Woods with Bruin Report Online for the video.
The Terminator that is disguised as a UCLA fullback (or tight end) that is Nate Iese also spoke today about what it's like to go up one on one with defensive backs (he can't tell), his increased productivity this season with other TEs being absent (he didn't take the bait), the difference between catching passes from Josh Rosen vs Brett Hundley (again, he can't tell), and how the team performed playing 70 deep on Saturday.
Thanks to David Woods and Bruin Report Online for the video
So, speaking of missing tight ends, the mystery surrounding freshman Chis Clark is beginning to unravel a bit, and it seems to be a case of major homesickness. Tracy Pierson at Bruin Report Online provided some more details on the issue today, confirming that Clark did indeed go home to New Jersey and is not on the team currently, but that his long term future still remains up in the air.
After playing in the season-opener against Virginia, Clark didn't make the trip to Las Vegas for the game against UNLV last weekend. He spent the weekend at his home in New Jersey. A source indicated UCLA told him to think about what he wants to do.
It was well-known that Clark was homesick and struggling to acclimate. He then had mononucleosis and sat out the beginning of fall practice.
The most recent bit of news is that Clark didn't show up to practice last week and a UCLA coach had to go get him in his dorm room.
Even though UCLA doesn't consider him currently part of the team, the door is slightly open for him to return at a later date.
I remember being kind of homesick when I first got to U.C.L.A. myself. Of course, being homesick for Lancaster (if that's even rational) isn't exactly the same thing as being across the entire country from home and family. I am pretty certain that none of my professors ever came to get me from my dorm room when I missed class, however, so he does have some advantages already. But when I look back at my youthful days now, U.C.L.A. and Westwood and Sproul 6 South and Sunset Rec and the BioMed library and the Inverted Fountain and 527 Midvale and Pauley Pavillion and Royce Quad are just as much home in my life as Quartz Hill and the high desert were before that, and my life would have been much emptier had I not given my new surroundings a chance to grow on me during those uneasy first weeks. So I do hope Clark gives it a chance in Westwood, because everyone really should make a change at some point in their development, and I think U.C.L.A. is the greatest place in the world to take those next steps in life. But change comes at different times for different people, and Clark is clearly having trouble with making the transition right now, so whatever he chooses, I hope he is able to find some peace with himself and his world.
Thanks to Tracy Pierson from Bruin Report Online for the video
In the meantime, while we can safely say that the U.C.L.A. Football 2015 recruiting class was one of the top 20 in the country, the U.C.L.A. Football 2015 commit/decommitment class of Roquan Smith, Cordell Broadus, and now Chris Clark has to be tops in the nation, bar none. That's 13 stars of prospects that we're missing on the roster.
And that's fine with me. I want teammates who want to be teammates. Give me the remaining 107 players who are currently on the roster and let's go beat up BYU.
Figuratively, Cougars. Figuratively.