There's been a lot of UCLA sports news in the past 24 hours, so let's catch up with What's Bruin.
First, in case you missed the news yesterday, circumstances have forced the Bruins to practice on a full-size football field. I wouldn't be surprised to see an announcement from Team Guerrero taking credit for an "innovative approach" to football practice.
In football recruiting news, four-star defensive tackle Garrett Rand has tweeted a list of his top five schools, and UCLA makes the list.
In addition to being open to offers from other universities, Garrett desperately needs to charge his phone before his next tweet.
ESPN has selected its 2015 All-Pac-12 preseason team, and it features four Bruins: defensive lineman Kenny Clark, linebacker Myles Jack, and defensive backs Ishmael Adams and Fabian Moreau. UCLA running back Paul Perkins is not mentioned.
Bruin Report Online has a terrific firsthand account from a BRO subscriber who was embedded with the UCLA football team for two days in San Bernardino as a reward for his donation to help Avery Huffman. I highly recommend the article. Among other things, it provides more evidence that Coach Mora, his staff, and the student-athletes who represent the four letters really get it.
BRO also has a nice photo gallery from UCLA's Fall Scrimmage courtesy of photographer Steve Cheng. Check it out.
For what it's worth, Matthew Joye at the Daily Bruin has graded each position group on its performance at fall training camp. Spoiler alert: The groups that earn the highest grades are UCLA's running backs and defensive backs.
The blog crew at California Golden Blogs have shared their thoughts on which Pac-12 title contender Cal has the best chance of upsetting. Several of the writers have chosen UCLA based on reasoning that ranges from "Hundley is gone as well as a bulk of their defense," to "UCLA will miss Brett Hundley much more than expected because he made their abysmal offensive line look merely incompetent." I have to admit that I'll really enjoy watching the Bruins thump Cal this year.
If you're interested to read what a bunch of know-it-alls have to say about the state of UCLA Football, head over to Streaking the Lawn to read their Behind Enemy Lines preview of the 2015 Bruins ahead of the UCLA-Virginia clash in 11 days.
Lastly, the Minnesota
Bruins Vikings announced the release of long-time long snapper Cullen Loeffler yesterday. If you followed the fiasco surrounding the Vikings' release of former Bruin Chris Kluwe in 2013 (after drafting UCLA's Jeff Locke), you may remember that Loeffler was the unnamed teammate who was present when special teams coach Mike Priefer directed provocative homophobic comments at Kluwe. Eventually, Loeffler confirmed Kluwe's version of events, and Priefer was briefly suspended by the Vikings for the comments. (Strangely, Priefer was neither punished nor reprimanded for repeatedly lying about the incident to the public and to the special investigator hired by the team.)
The release of Loeffler means that former Bruin Kevin McDermott will be the Vikings' long snapper in 2015. According to Minnesota Head Coach Mike Zimmer, McDermott won the long snapper competition on the basis of faster and more accurate snaps.
McDermott is the fifth Bruin that will make Minnesota's opening day roster. He joins former UCLA teammates Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Mike Harris, and Jeff Locke. With just two preseason games left before the Vikings season opener, Harris seems a lock to be the Vikings starting right tackle, and Eric Kendricks is making a strong push to claim the starting middle linebacker spot next to Barr.
For those Bruin fans who are following the T.J. Leaf saga, BRO reports that Leaf has set up in-home visits with at least half of the eight schools that he is considering. At the moment, UCLA appears to be scheduled for the first visit (September 9th), to be followed in quick succession by Indiana, Gonzaga, and Kansas. Apparently no official visits have been set yet.
Update: Leaf has scheduled an official visit with UCLA for the weekend of October 30th.
T.J. Leaf has official visits set with California for the weekend of October 23rd and UCLA the weekend of October 30th, he tells Scout.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) August 25, 2015
UCLA Athletics has a recap of the Bruins who are returning to Westwood after playing in various summer leagues, including the Cape Cod League, the New England League, the West Coast League and the Northwoods League. In particular, redshirt senior Eric Filia had an outstanding campaign for Kenosha in the Northwoods League. He batted .340 and led the league with 55 RBI.
Former Bruin Alison Lee has been selected to represent the United States on the Solheim Cup Team. After a three-victory winning streak by the United States (2005-2009), Europe has captured the last two titles. Let's hope that Lee can help the United States reclaim the Cup next month in Germany.
Finally, UCLA Athletics is introducing Bruin InstanTix, a new way for fans to purchase tickets. According to the official site, fans will now be able to use "cutting-edge technology" (or, as the rest of the world calls it, text messaging) to purchase E-tickets. Fans who register for Bruin InstanTix will receive a $10 credit toward their first purchase.