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Spaulding Report: Shuffling the Secondary, New Defensive End, and The Eyes of Texas are Upon You!

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Mora speaks to the media after Thursday's practice as the Bruins get ready to travel to Texas. UCLA also adds speed to its already impressive defensive line!

Harry How

Coach Mora spoke to media after a "good Thursday" practice before heading to Texas tomorrow.  Coach Mora said they have had three really good practices in a row and have worked on "eliminating the errors".

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via Ryan Kartje, OC Register

On Randall Goforth, Coach Mora is not expecting him to play:

We’re leaning towards doubtful and teetering on out.  We’re still waiting on a little information, but I think he’s very doubtful.

Tahaan Goodman and Jaleel Wadood will step in, along with Anthony Jefferson who is a little bit sore. "He's getting  old, he's a senior now".

Jacob Brendel is  doing well.  He was only supposed to play part of the game last Saturday, but felt good playing the whole game.

About trying to change the culture of a team like Charlie Strong is trying to do, Mora said this UCLA group of players embraced the culture change that they wanted to make.  They wanted to garner national respect and they've done every that's been asked of them.

"The eyes of Texas":  On scheduling competitive teams, Mora says the players like playing teams where they get to compete and where they can grow.  "It's what we want." They want to play the best.  "We want to compete with the best."

Neutral?  "It shouldn't matter to us... We get to wear our blue uniforms...  What's important is that we go down there tomorrow on Friday ... do our little walk through... get all the giddyness out of our system.  Look at the scoreboard and  go 'ooh aww' ...look at the bar... take it all in."  And then the focus turns towards the field.   UCLA is not the home team so they're not allowed to invite recruits.  The coaches will go out on Friday and see players and games.

And there is good news today for the Bruin's already talented d-line.  As AHMB reported, UCLA signed defensive end Takkarist McKinley to a scholarship today.  McKinley will be eligible immediately to practice and to play.  Takkarist was considered  academically ineligible after signing a letter of intent with Berkeley in 2013, and enrolled at Contra Costa College.  It turns out, however, that two of his summer school courses were left off of his transcript so when he arrives at UCLA (expected on Monday) he can participate immediately.   Welcome to Westwood Takkarist.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Officially signed my scholarship to UCLA GO BRUINS <a href="http://t.co/RzuSSDhuLQ">pic.twitter.com/RzuSSDhuLQ</a></p>&mdash; takkarist mckinley (@D1boundTAKK) <a href="https://twitter.com/D1boundTAKK/status/510192250182049793">September 11, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Takkarist, according to AHMB, is incredibly athletic and fast:

At 6'3 235 lbs., McKinley ran a 10.58 100 meter dash in high school.  Given that our defense has only managed one sack this season and McKinley won't have much time learn the system, I suspect that if he plays this year he'll have one role: unleash that athleticism on the quarterback.

Congratulations Mr. McKinley and bring on the boom!

Not much else to report out of Spaulding today.  Let's just hope our Bruins can put together an exceptional game on both sides of the ball Saturday.  As Coach Mora said: "The Eyes of Texas"... are upon you, all the live long day (okay, I went to kindergarten in Texas so I know the songs).

Enjoy and Go Bruins!