Let's jump right into some football related news.
News: Mora offered Kiffin OC job
Remember when in 2013 on the Dan Patrick show Mora was quoted as saying he would hire him if he was available? Well, Mora remembered and, according to Brett McMurph from tWWL, offered Alabama OC Lane Kiffen the vacant job.
Lane Kiffin spurned an offer from UCLA to leave Alabama and become the Bruins' offensive coordinator, sources say. https://t.co/P9HVhkdjZ1
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 14, 2016
The offer makes, I think, for some interesting angles. First, Kiffin is an elite OC but has been a terrible HC at various stops, including Southern Cal. Second, can Mora hire anyone outside the $C family? I mean jeeze. Third, well, I'll just stop and let the community have some fun with this.
More awards for Josh Rosen
Congrats to Josh Rosen as he collects another "Freshman of the Year" award!
Not just quarterbacks, but all freshman! Rosen must still be reaping the rewards of living the dream with that ubercool hottub in his dormroom. I think everyone is jealous that they weren't that cool in college. Oh &, his QB play wasn't bad either.
Here's another award:
More on the new coordinators
Jack Wang has a nice article breaking down the new coordinators and "what it all means" for UCLA football. The BruinsNation community has dissected the Mora quote,
Our objective is to be a big, strong and physical offensive unit that has flexibility of personnel groupings,
to mean that it will bring some pro-style power aspects back to the offense such as tight ends and fullbacks. Well, Wang agrees.
I'm going to go into my own views of the new coaches now.
If I recall correctly, those words were spoken right after the Nebraska game so really aren't new. So, I find it funny that Mora is putting so much stock into the Nebraska game. What about it is giving him such a 'revelation' when we have been getting our butts kicked by Stanford for the past 4 years?
Still, I think Kennedy promoted to OC is a long overdue promotion for him so I am interested to see his impact on the offense. He's a tough, no nonsense coach so I can see leadership and accountability immediately improve from the "aw shucks woulda, shoulda, coulda" garbage that Mazzone would spew after losses. I just get the feeling we have a real adult running the offense now.
Like many, I'm most excited about the addition of Marques Tuiasosopo. Joe noted he was Pac12 recruiter of the year, well he was also the Scout recruiter of the year, helping $c haul in the #1 recruiting class last NSD. He also finally brings some instant cred at the QB coaching position, which as Jack notes, could finally build depth at QB position--something the Mazzones were never able to do.
Remember that a QB coach has the highest probability among the positions coaches to become an eventual OC, so at only 36 years old Tuiasosopo is in a good position to be promoted to OC in the future. I have to wonder if Mora is making a shrewd and calculated move here. Do we have our next OC in case Polamalu doesn't work out? I think this is a possibility.
I understand many might, rightfully, be disappointed by the continued trend of "first time" coaches Mora has brought in. Until we see some tangible results (Pac12 championship or bust!), I'm going to remain skeptical.
Oh and before I forget. Will next year mark the Return of Iese?
Could Nate Iese (finally) get a bigger role? That, and other implications of UCLA's now-official coaching hires. https://t.co/dQA2ozELSG
— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) January 13, 2016
Yes, please. The kid is a football player. Jack Wang has some stats for us.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound athlete has been an underutilized but hyper-efficient target the past two seasons, producing three touchdowns on the first seven catches as a Bruin. Listed as a fullback, he has 24 career grabs for 169 yards.
The Bruin's first commit from 2016, Krys Barnes (ILB #6 nationally, 4*), is featured on Scout's Spotlight:
You tell me: is that not a Bruin or what?
Brandon Huffman of Bruin Report Online has a break-down of all Bruin targets for the 2016 class after the U.S. Army All-American bowl. I really hope I have the time to do a full recruiting breakdown before NSD. Cross your fingers.
Want to laugh out loud? Just think about Steve Alford and how he got beat up by the lowly Toejams last night. Not enough for you? Well, Jack Wang has a video of Steve Alford. It also includes Tony Parker and Thomas Welsch.
Feel bad for the players that they are coached by TIARA.
That's it for now.