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Category: UCLA

College football: USC Coach Lane Kiffin tries to raid UCLA staff

Lane Kiffin

The tug of war between UCLA and USC reached a new flash point this month when Trojans Coach Lane Kiffin tried to lure Bruins assistant Eric Yarber across town.

Yarber, hired as UCLA’s receivers coach in January, declined.

“I think it is flattering to Eric, and to UCLA,” Bruins Coach Jim Mora said. “It’s a signal that, so far, we have done a good job of hiring assistants.”

Yarber was an assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the last two seasons. He previously coached with Arizona State, Washington, UNLV and Idaho, and with the San Francisco 49ers.

What makes Yarber even more attractive is that he grew up in Los Angeles, playing at Crenshaw High School, and is plugged in to the recruiting scene.

“We talked,” Kiffin said. “Eric has been a successful college and NFL coach. In the end, it didn’t work out.”

Kiffin also said that he had talked with Mora before approaching Yarber.

Attempted “coach poaching” is nothing new in the rivalry.

USC made a play for UCLA offensive coordinator Norm Chow when Kiffin was hired two years ago. Rick Neuheisel, in his first season as UCLA’s coach, wooed USC assistant Ken Norton.

RELATED:

Lane Kiffin hires two assistant coaches

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Lane Kiffin. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

UCLA, Pac-12 nix USC's plan to practice at Sports Arena

Usc3
USC's plan to practice Tuesday at the Sports Arena in preparation for Wednesday night's road game against UCLA was nixed by UCLA and the Pac-12 Conference, forcing the Trojans to work out at the Galen Center practice court.

As if the 6-20 Trojans did not have enough obstacles to winning another game.

After the Trojans' loss to Stanford on Sunday, USC Coach Kevin O’Neill said the Trojans would take a day off and then practice Tuesday at the Sports Arena, which is serving as a home venue for UCLA during Pauley Pavilion’s makeover.

A UCLA official told The Times' Chris Foster that UCLA called the Pac-12 office asking for clarification about USC's privileges at the Sports Arena as a visiting team.

Continue reading »

National signing day 2012: UCLA fills holes on the defense

UCLA-logoUCLA Coach Jim Mora always has defense on his mind. It’s his background.

Mora took care of some needs on that side of the ball with his first recruiting class.

The Bruins’ lack of depth cornerback has been addressed with Sacramento Elk Grove High’s Marcus Rios and Westlake Village Oaks Christian’s Ishmael Adams.

Mora wants to be tougher up front. Monrovia defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy and La Habra linebacker Aaron Porter fit the bill.

Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta’s Jeremy Castro and Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter’s Kenny Orjioke give the Bruins flexibility. Castro will play either defensive end or linebacker. Orjioke can play linebacker or safety.

Other defensive players who have signed include Arcadia safety Taylor Lagace and Elk Grove Sheldon High defensive lineman Nate Iese. An intriguing signing is defensive lineman Eli Ankou, who is from Ottawa and played at Red Lion Christian in Bear, Del.

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Carl Hulick signs with Bruins

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: UCLA adds receiver Javon Williams

UCLAUCLA has picked up unexpected help at wide receiver, as Chandler (Ariz.) High’s Javon Williams and Westlake Village Oaks Christian’s Jordan Payton both signed with the Bruins on Wednesday.

Payton had previously committed to USC, California and Washington. Williams took his decision to the wire, with UCLA and Arkansas the finalists. Payton is ranked 15th among wide receivers by Scout.com and Rivals.com. Williams, who is 6 feet 5, 186 pounds, is ranked 36th by Rivals.com and 53rd by Scout.com.

Hanging out there still is Bellflower St. John Bosco wide receiver Bryce Treggs, who is deciding between California and UCLA. He is ranked fifth by Scout.com and 12th by Rivals.com.

RELATED:

Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

Offensive lineman Carl Hulick signs with Bruins

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: Jordan Payton's odd journey ends at UCLA [Updated]

Jordan Payton

Jordan Payton became one of the most discussed high school football players to sign a letter of intent Wednesday when he changed his mind for the third time.

Payton, a wide receiver from Westlake Village Oaks Christian, signed with UCLA. He had previously orally committed to USC, California and Washington, doing so twice on television.

"It's crazy, but the people have to understand this process is crazy," Payton said. "You're giving an 18-year-old kid a decision of a lifetime. I wanted to make sure I made the right decision."

Payton said he gave up his USC commitment after learning more about the NCAA sanctions imposed. He said he loved California but the coaches who were recruiting him left.  He liked Washington, but after discussions with his parents and a phone conversation with UCLA Coach Jim Mora that lasted to 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Payton said, "I thought I'd be most successful at UCLA."

Payton is ranked 15th nationally among wide receivers by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Oaks Christian Coach Bill Redell said that Payton’s situation opens the entire recruiting process to criticism.

“A kid commits, it doesn’t slow anything down,” Redell said. “There is no such thing as your word anymore. I’m so mad at the situation. He shares some of the blame, but it’s not 100% on his shoulders. It’s the whole  recruiting situation. It’s not fair on the players. It’s not fair on the coaches.”

RELATED:

UCLA announces four prominent signees

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

National signing day news flash: Alabama seems to be winning again

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Oaks Christian wide receiver Jordan Payton. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

National signing day 2012: UCLA announces four prominent signees

UCLAUCLA has joined in the college football P.R. game, announcing Wednesday that four players had signed with the Bruins: defensive end Jeremy Castro, quarterback Devin Fuller, defensive end Nate Iese and defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy.

While other programs were releasing commitments in a flurry, UCLA held onto its news before finally announcing the four prominent signees.

Castro, from Murrieta Vista Murrieta High, is ranked 17th nationally as a defensive end by #Rivals.com and 23rd as a linebacker by Scout.com. He will be looked at as both an end and a linebacker.

Fuller, from Old Tappan (N.J.) High, is ranked third nationally as a quarterback by Scout.com and third as an athlete by Rivals.com. He will get a shot at quarterback first, but could also play receiver.

Iese, from Sacramento Sheldon High, is ranked 61st nationally by Scout.com.
McCarthy, from Monrovia High, is ranked second nationally by Scout.com and fourth by Rivals.com. He was considered one of the key recruits by UCLA coaches, with the skill and size (6 feet 5, 311 pounds) to play immediately.

McCarthy, Castro And Iese give Coach Jim Mora strength on the defensive side. Mora will be involved heavily with the development of the defense.

RELATED:

UCLA gets aggressive with recruiting

UCLA under news blackout; Hulick signs

Quarterback T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: QB T.J. Millweard signs with UCLA

UCLAT.J. Millweard, a quarterback from Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal High School, said he signed his letter of intent with UCLA on Wednesday morning.

Millweard, 6-feet-4 and 230 pounds, is ranked 23rd nationally among quarterbacks by Rivals.com and 31st by Scout.com. He will enroll early at UCLA to participate in spring practice.

UCLA could have a quarterback surplus soon, with Millweard and Old Tappan (N.J.) High’s Devin Fuller coming in next season and Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter‘s Eddie Printz giving the Bruins an oral commitment for 2013.

RELATED:

UCLA gets aggressive with recruiting

UCLA under news blackout; Hulick signs

Signing day means no longer having to speak in code

-- Chris Foster

National signing day 2012: UCLA under news blackout; Hulick signs

UCLANational signing day 2012 is here, but UCLA officials are remaining mum on which players have sent in letters of intent, per orders from Coach Jim Mora, while other programs gush information.

Free speech, though, can’t be halted. Anaheim Esperanza offensive lineman Carl Hulick said he signed his letter at 7 a.m.

Hulick, 6 feet 2 and 285 pounds, is ranked 14th nationally among centers by Rivals.com and 15th by Scout.com.

UCLA had 26 oral commitments heading into Wednesday. The Bruins have 68 players on scholarship currently. If everyone signs, UCLA will be nine over the NCAA limit of 85 scholarship players.

RELATED:

UCLA gets aggressive with recruiting

National signing day: The battle for No. 1 begins

Signing day means no longer having to speak in code

-- Chris Foster

UCLA football: Tackle Simon Goines switches to UCLA

UclalogoSimon Goines, a tackle from Keller (Texas) Central High School, said he will play for UCLA.

Goines, who is 6 feet 7, 290 pounds, made the announcement at his school Monday afternoon. His commitment gives UCLA five offensive linemen in the 2012 class.

Goines is ranked 37th at his position by Scout.com and 55th by Rivals.com. He had previously committed to Missouri. Goines was also being sought by Mississippi State, Arkansas, Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas State.

-- Chris Foster

UCLA basketball: MRI shows 'no significant damage' to Wear's knee

David-wear_600

UCLA sophomore forward David Wear, who hyper-extended his knee Saturday against Oregon, returned to practice Monday, schools officials said.

Wear had an MRI on his knee Monday, which showed “no significant damage.” He is third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.8 points and leads the team with an average of 6.4 rebounds per game.

Wear is expected to play in the Bruins’ game Thursday against Utah at the Sports Arena.

ALSO:

UCLA gets burned when their defense rests

Bruins blow double-digit lead in loss to Oregon

UCLA can't quite keep pace with Oregon State

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Bruins forward David Wear looks to score against USC's Aaron Fuller (21) and Byron Wesley during a Pac-12 game last week. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

UCLA basketball: Ducks chase down Bruins for 75-68 victory

Ucla-oregon1_600

UCLA continued down the slippery slope in Oregon, blowing a 15-point lead in the first half during a 75-68 loss to the Ducks on Saturday.

The Bruins led, 37-24, at halftime, but Oregon scored the first nine points of the second half and methodically wore down UCLA.

E.J. Singler scored a career-high 26 points, with 23 in the second half. His rebound and layup with 7 minutes 46 seconds left gave the Ducks a 52-50 lead. They never trailed again.

UCLA falls to 10-9 overall and 3-4 in Pac-12 Conference play. Oregon is 15-5 and 6-2.

ALSO:

UCLA guard De'End Parker expected to transfer

Four UCLA players taken in MLS supplemental draft

Redskins' Lou Spanos to become UCLA defensive coordinator

-- Chris Foster reporting from Eugene, Ore.

Photo: UCLA center Joshua Smith battles Oregon's Olu Ashaolu (5) and Devoe Joseph for possession of the ball in the first half Saturday afternoon. Credit: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press

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