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Spaulding Report: UCLA Football's Deon Hollins - A True Student-Athlete!

Practice notes and other football news as the UCLA Bruins prepare to travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Utes. This a must win game for the Bruins if they hope to keep their Pac-12 Championship hopes alive.

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Yesterday, gbruin talked about Deon Hollins, what an outstanding Bruin he is, and his remarks about Pac-12 officiating. Well, later in the day, Larry Scott decided to reprimand Deon:

The only thing that makes me feel okay about this, is that I am sure Larry Scott also reprimanded the paid Pac-12 officials for doing such a horrible job - in this game and in others.

I am sorry, but this fine young man spoke respectfully about the officiating - critically yes, respectfully yes. I for one am very proud of him for the statements he made. Someone needed to speak a bit of truth to power! This reprimand really makes me wonder what the Pac-12's goals are for student-athletes. UCLA's mission and principles are clear (emphasis mine):

UCLA's primary purpose as a public research university is the creation, dissemination, preservation and application of knowledge for the betterment of our global society. To fulfill this mission, UCLA is committed to academic freedom in its fullest terms: We value open access to information, free and lively debate conducted with mutual respect for individuals, and freedom from intolerance.

  • We are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue, in a respectful and civil manner, on the spectrum of views held by our varied and diverse campus communities.
  • Universities, and conferences made up of places of higher learning, should not be reprimanding their student-athletes when they engage in criticism and dialogue "in a respectful and civil manner".  I am sorry Larry if you can't handle the truth. Thank you Deon for speaking up. I think this is what the commissioner should be concerned about:

    Now back to today's news from practice.

    Jim Mora spoke today with the media, but not much about the upcoming game. Jerry Neuheisel and Kene Orjioke were both honored on senior day and will be leaving the team next year, as they have or soon will have completed their degrees! Congratulations to you both!  Mora thinks Jerry will stick around to coach - he's so intelligent and has UCLA in his blood. Chris Foster asks about Jerry becoming the offensive coordinator. Unfortunately, Mora says that UCLA already has "a pretty good one here". Ugh!

    The good news is that UCLA was able to raise $10,000 for homeless vets through the helmet auction and have moved four vets into homes already.

    Coach Mora also talked about how good the conference is "through and through". Every game is competitive and the conference has played itself out of the national championship picture. As Mora states, this is an important game this week, so let's hope the offensive coordinator brings his A game!

    Thank you to Bruin Report Online for the video.

    As for Deon Hollins, Coach Mora was also asked if Deon's reprimand entails anything else. Answer: a clear and direct no.

    On the other side of the line of scrimmage, according to Jack Wang, Utah will be without their star running back Devontae Booker on Saturday. Booker leads all FBS players in carries with 268, is 11th in the nation in rushing yards, has scored 11 touchdowns this season, and rushed for 157 yards last year against the Bruins. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Devontae is undergoing meniscus surgery in his knee today and is expected to be out the rest of the regular season. We wish the best for Devontae has he rehabs and we hope that UCLA doesn't lower their guard going into this game because of the news.

    Gbruin always says, "Lines win games". Well the o-line seems to be doing a pretty good job this year:

    One of those linemen, Jake Brendel, is a NFF National Scholar-Athlete and Campbell Trophy Finalist:

    Chris Foster  takes a look at the offensive line and how Paul Perkins is making them look good. Okay, so that's according to Jake Brendel:

    The one good thing about having a successful running back, a lot of it gets attributed to the offensive line.

    Perkins last game broke the 1000 yard barrier, putting him in elite company:

    His 121 yards against Washington State last Saturday put him in an exclusive UCLA club. He is the sixth Bruins running back to have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, joining DeShaun Foster (2000-01), Skip Hicks (1996-97), Karim Abdul-Jabbar (1994-95),Gaston Green (1986-87) and Freeman McNeil (1979-80).

    Perkins has 1,082 yards this season. He led the Pac-12 with 1,575 yards in 2014.

    Foster also notes that Jordan Payton could become UCLA's all time receptions leader:

    Payton's 14 receptions against Washington State, which tied a UCLA single-game record, left him in second place on the career list with 187 catches. Craig Bragg (2001-04) holds the school record with 193 receptions...

    "It would be cool to leave a legacy," Payton said. "You come here with dreams and for one to come true would be unbelievable."

    It would be an awesome legacy, Jordan, and a well deserved one!

    UCLA clearly has the offensive weapons to beat anyone in the country:

    So we will see if this week the Bruins have a game plan to give this talent the best opportunity to succeed.

    Have a good evening, and as always ...

    Go Bruins!