And, here is the last part of our conversation with Scout.com's Brandon Huffman, in which Brandon gives us his thoughts on the state of UCLA's OL, whether there is another talent in the Bruin roster who could benefit from a position switch, and his thoughts on how many games we will win next season.
BN: What are your thoughts on the prospect of our OL for fall? Will XSF move outside to LT? Can true freshmen such as Redmond or Benenoch start? Thinking of all the sacks last year, how much will an older line and a wiser Hundley decrease that number? Any thoughts/reaction on the seemingly disproportionate number of head injuries in this unit?
I've been a big fan of Xavier Su'a-Filo since he was a junior in high school, and even when he started as a true freshman, I thought he was by far, UCLA's best offensive lineman since Jonathan Ogden (yes, better than Kris Farris- not based solely on his Outland Trophy year, but as a prospect). I had said numerous times that Su'a-Filo was UCLA's most important recruit in the 2012 class. And then he has a terrific sophomore season, where you could make a case that he was the best offensive lineman in the conference (Morris Trophy notwithstanding), and now that he's had a full year back from his LDS mission, I expect him to be a first-team All-American in 2013, whether that's at LG or LT.
Redmond and Benenoch were better prospects than Simon Goines was, coming out of HS, and I think that they both could start, as Goines did. I think the maturity of the offensive line, another year of Klemm's coaching and Hundley's maturation as a quarterback should help. I don't think that the head injuries are any more common or uncommon at other schools. Rather, I think with Mora's NFL experience, they make it a priority to care for their players with concussions/head injuries, whereas some schools have the "tape it up, you'll be fine" mentality.
BN: Are there any players on the UCLA roster that would be better served in a different position, ala Anthony Barr?
Huffman: The one I think could work would be using Kenny Walker as a running back, which is what he played in high school. He can run the ball. I know he struggled at times as a receiver last year, and as a returner, but I'm not convinced he couldn't be utilized as an 8-10 carry a game back in college.
BN: We know it's July but this is always fun to discuss. How many games do you expect UCLA to win next year? Will UCLA make it back to the Pac-12 championship game in 2013 to get another shot at the Rose Bowl?
I could see UCLA winning anywhere between 7 and 10 games this fall. I'll say 9 right now. To me, how they survive the Stanford-Oregon gauntlet will determine if they're playing in the Pac-12 title game. I don't think the Nebraska game will play as big a role in their psyche as those two games will.
Once again, a huge round of thanks on behalf of the entire BN community to Brandon. If you are on Twitter you must follow him @BrandonHuffman and as mentioned in Part 1, he alone is worth price of subscription to Scout (and BruinReportOnline.com).