Friday will be the last time we get to see Brett Hundley, Eric Kendricks and other Bruins "go to war with the Bruins". It is a kind of bitter-sweet feeling, getting to see them play football again and having to say goodbye at the same time. The Bruins landed in San Antonio today and will begin preparing today, with a quick practice before heading off to see Kyle Anderson play basketball. They will begin their 2nd week of full game prep tomorrow. The game will be on Friday, January 2nd at 3:45 Pacific Time. This week Alamo Roundup will bring you the latest updates.
First let's start with some photos of our Bruins landing in Texas. From @uclafootball:
And the folks @valeroalamobowl are giving our team a nice welcome:
made even better with music:
Thanks Ryan Kartje for the video!
Several Bruins, including Coach Mora met with the media today in San Antonio. First from Coach Mora:
Thank you Ryan Kartje for the video.
Some notes on Mora's comments: After a meal the team headed over for a quick practice and then get to go to the Spurs/Rockets game tonight and see Kyle Anderson play! Mora said he would love to be able to sit down and talk with Spurs Coach Popovich, but doesn't think that is realistic this week. The team will begin week 2 of game prep tomorrow. He says the players are really spirited and excited to playing against a really good team. When asked about Jake Waters, Mora has nothing but praise for the incredibly efficient quarterback. Mora also discounts the alleged draft experts and their projections of Brett Hundley's draft status. He says right now Brett is just focused on this game and to play well for his university.
Brett Hundley and Eric Kendricks also met with the media today (again thank you Ryan Kartje for the videos). Brett talks about how they have made "some pretty big strides these last three years" and how it has been a steady progression of building the program. He thinks the UCLA football program has taken a "pretty big swing" for the better. About K State's defense, Brett says they are fast, phsyical, disciplined, and don't make mistakes. The San Antonio press also wants to know what Brett thinks of Kyle (he thinks he is a great guy). Brett says he is not concerned with where he is drafted.
Eric says this year has been a blast and he has gotten to play with his brothers at the greatest University in the world. It was huge for him to win the Butkus and Lott awards. He says K State's running quarterback causes defenses trouble and UCLA really needs to watch their technique, can never relax nor count the quarterback out of the play. Eric has noticed that Waters has a little delay unlike other mobile qbs they have faced this year. Eric says Kyle is his buddy so he is really looking forward to see him tonight.
In other news about the team, Chris Foster tells us that Ellis McCarthy lost weight and gained effectiveness on the field this year:
Getting the weight off was the biggest thing. It got my knees feeling better and improved my speed and quickness. It has paid off, but I still need to make progress. ..From last year, and the year before that, I see huge difference when I watch game films. I'm running to the ball more.
Ellis had 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks in the last six games compared to 6 tackles and 1 sack in the first six. Angus McClure has this to say about McCarthy:
He is, without a doubt, better with his hands. His hand strikes on opponents are much more accurate. He is a bigger guy. He has to come off the ground and get into somebody's chest.
Huge props to Ellis and the training staff for helping a great talent work towards his goals.
Jaleel Wadood has really shown his talents on the field this year and was selected received the defensive freshman of the year award from the team. DB Coach Martin had this to say about why he has had such success:
His study habits. Everything came so natural to him at [Bellflower] St. John Bosco. He came here and learned how to watch film and learned how to study. The game has started to slow down for him.
Looking toward the future, with all the end of the year coaching carousel going full speed, Josh Rosen made it clear he would be enrolling at UCLA on January 5th:
I am 100% solid with the UCLA Bruins. There is nothing that could change me from enrolling on Jan 5. I apologize for any rumors that arose— Josh Rosen (@josh3rosen) December 28, 2014
For those of you going to San Antonio, UCLA has a really good site with information and other events taking place. One thing that sounds like a great deal of fun is Rudy's Bar-B-Q Pep Rally. Coaches, players, and the bands will be there and admission is free. Check out more events here.
Enjoy the anticipation and as always...