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Spaulding Roundup: Kendricks Named Lott Award Finalist, Kenny Young Impresses

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Eric Kendricks was named 1 of 9 finalists for the Lott IMPACT Award as the Bruins continue to work through their bye week preparing for next Saturday's game with Southern Cal.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins continue to work through their final bye week of 2014, preparing for next Saturday's visit by Southern Cal. There isn't much breaking news coming out of the program nor injury speculation with the next game a week and a half in the future.

Menelaus has already shared Noel Mazzone's post-practice talk with the media in which he stated that he does not notice nor care much about which players are on the field running his offense - that he just calls the plays and presumably hopes that the guys on the field are the optimal group to make the plays work. In addition, Jeff Ulbrich and Owa talked with the media earlier today.

Video via Ed Lewis/Bruin Sports Report.

Early on in that clip, Coach Ulbrich talked a bit about Kenny Young and his limited role in the defense - usually backing up Eric Kendricks - despite the esteem in which he is held by the staff. Jack Wang expanded on that thought and noted how coaches are finding new ways to get him on the field in his Wednesday evening story for the Daily News.

"Every time he goes on the field, he does exactly what he’s supposed to do," said defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich. "Inevitably, he’ll be in for 10 plays and he’ll have five tackles. He’s got that innate sense just to get to the ball. When he gets there, great tackler. For a young guy, just extremely mature."

... Young has started three games this season and is a first-string inside linebacker in the base defense, but when UCLA (8-2, 5-2 Pac-12) shifts to its nickel formation, the freshman usually heads to the bench.

In that piece, Wang also shared the news that Eric Kendricks has been named as one of nine semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT awardgiven annually to the collegiate defensive player with the best balance of on-field performance and character. Eric looks to pull off the Bruin repeat after Anthony Barr was awarded the Lott trophy last year.

Chris Foster noted the defense's recent propensity to give up yards on the ground, with four of UCLA's last six opponents gaining over 200 yards on the ground in their games against the Bruins, and shared how the players are not letting this week's jump in the CFB playoff rankings get to them. Today's player who drew the short straw got to talk to the media after practices was Owamagbe Odighizuwa.

Video via Ed Lewis/Bruin Sports Report.

Former UCLA Beat/current SJ Mercury News sportswriter Jon Wilner has posted his own Pac-12 power ranking (1-12) and an early look at the conference's bowl picture, while Pacific Takes has a rundown of the South division title scenarios heading into this weekend.