UCLA football: Kicker Kai Forbath decides against NFL draft
Forbath had considered declaring for the NFL draft, but after weighing his options chose to stay in school. Today is the last day a college junior could declare for the draft.
“There were a couple things,” said Forbath, who is in Connecticut to accept an award for being selected to the Walter Camp All-American team. “I want to graduate, that is important to me and my family. I wanted to take the whole next year to help the team and get bigger, stronger and get more mature mentally.”
Forbath, who won the Lou Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker, was 26 of 29 on field goals last season and scored 108 points. He has made 37 consecutive field goals from inside 50 yards.
Forbath is second in UCLA history with 72 field goals and fifth with 291 points. His has demonstrated the leg strength necessary for the NFL, making nine of 12 field goals from 50 yards and beyond in his career.
“I know there are some NFL teams looking to get a guy this year and I’m hoping that will be the same next year too,” Forbath said. “But I didn’t want to go just because the opportunity was there.”
In other UCLA football news:
-- Tackle Xavier Su’a-Filo has been assigned to Tallahassee, Fla., for his two-year Mormon mission. He will report on Feb. 3. Su’a-Filo, who started all 13 of UCLA’s games, could return to the Bruins in time for the winter quarter in 2012.
-- The Bruins are holding a recruiting weekend, which could help address the need at defensive tackle. Sealii Epenesa (Honolulu Iolani High) and Ricky Heimuli (Salt Lake City Brighton High) are visiting the UCLA campus this weekend.
Heimuli, who is 6 feet 4 and 285 pounds, is the bigger prize. He is ranked sixth overall at defensive tackle by Rivals.com. Epenesa, who is 6 feet 2 and 300 pounds, is ranked 47th.
Bruins offensive coordinator Norm Chow is heavily in recruiting both. Chow announced he would stay at UCLA after being courted by USC this week.
UCLA has a hole at defensive tackle. Brian Price, one of the top defensive tackles in the nation, is forgoing his senior year and has declared for the NFL draft. Jerzy Siewierski, the other starter, and Jess Ward were both seniors. David Carter is the only defensive tackle with significant experience who will be returning next season.