UCLA football’s defensive line contributed to a conference-leading 3.29 sacks per game last season and also helped the Bruins pace the conference with 3.6 rushing yards allowed per game. (Ella Barnes/Daily Bruin)
Despite losing a stalwart in the teeth of their defense, the Bruins will have ample bodies to fill the void up front.
Consensus first-team All-Pac-12 selection Osa Odighizuwa found a new home in Dallas when the Cowboys selected the defensive lineman in the third round of the NFL Draft on April 30.
Not only do the Bruins return one of the most experienced quarterbacks in the conference, but they also have experience waiting in the wings.
UCLA football currently has six quarterbacks behind incumbent starter rising senior Dorian Thompson-Robinson, including rising redshirt sophomore Chase Griffin, who started two games in place of Thompson-Robinson last season.
Experience, experience, experience.
Coach Chip Kelly of UCLA football will have the second-most returning production in all of the Football Bowl Subdivision next season as he has the opportunity to claim his first winning season in Westwood in four tries.
The Bruins will have a new man in Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s ear.
In the same offseason that it promoted a new wide receivers coach, UCLA football also hired Ryan Gunderson in February to take over as quarterbacks coach following the departure of Dana Bible, who held the position since 2018 when coach Chip Kelly took the reins in Westwood.
After 210 picks of waiting, Demetric Felton will be heading to the NFL Draft’s host city.
The former UCLA football running back and wide receiver was drafted 211th overall to the Cleveland Browns on Saturday.
While the receiving corps on the field will largely stay the same, it will have a new leader on the sidelines.
During the offseason, UCLA football promoted Jerry Neuheisel – son of former Bruin head coach Rick Neuheisel – to be the team’s new wide receivers coach, succeeding Jimmie Dougherty, who was on the Bruin staff for the past four years and left to be an assistant coach at Arizona in January.
Last year’s NFL Draft marked a busy weekend for the Bruins.
Three former UCLA football players heard their names called in the virtual ceremony – tight end Devin Asiasi, cornerback Darnay Holmes and running back Joshua Kelley.
When assistant head coach Brian Norwood arrived in Westwood last year, the Bruins’ defense was in for a makeover.
The former Navy defensive coordinator added a striker position and new 4-2-5 look to the playbook, and – under his and defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro’s guidance – UCLA football’s defense became far more aggressive and active in the backfield than it was in 2019.
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