With under one month to go until the start of fall camp, we're going to count down our 30 most important UCLA players for the 2016 season. These are the players we think are going to have the most significant impact for UCLA this year, so don't take this to mean that these are the players we think are the best long-term prospects, or even necessarily the most talented. Every BRO staffer has ranked his top 30 UCLA players, and from that we've drawn an aggregate list.
Today we'll continue with No. 4.
4. Scott Quessenberry, RS Junior Center
2015 Season: Sat out the year recovering from shoulder surgery
Why He's Important: Three months ago, Scott Quessenberry surely would have cracked the top 15 or so of this list, but it's unlikely he would have been thrust into the top 5. After all, Quessenberry sat out all of last year, and in his previous two seasons, the vast majority of his playing time came at guard, not center, where he's likely to play this year. Three months ago, he was a piece to the offensive line puzzle, but that was all.
In the intervening months, though, Quessenberry has become suddenly critical to UCLA's hopes this year. First, Tevita Halalilo, a player UCLA was counting on to compete to start at guard this year, reinjured his leg in spring practice and will sit out the year, thinning the interior of the offensive line. Then, in a much more significant development, Jake Raulerson, the Texas transfer many were counting on to push Quessenberry at center this year and possibly push Quessenberry all the way to guard, was not admitted to UCLA graduate school. This was a huge blow to UCLA's offensive line. Now, Quessenberry has basically no one behind him at center, and with guard depth what it is, he will have to be very good in his first year back from sitting out a season.
It's certainly going to be interesting to watch. Quessenberry has been well-regarded within the program since he arrived on campus, but the timing for him has always seemed to be off. His freshman year, when it would have been ideal to redshirt him, he had to play due to injuries. UCLA intended to redshirt him again before his sophomore year, but, again, injuries thrust him into duty. He finally redshirted his junior year, but only after undergoing two shoulder surgeries which left him recovering and unable to participate in football-related activities until late last year. The hope is that this is the year he can finally realize that potential that many have talked about.
And if UCLA is going to reach the heights it would like to this year, that hope is going to have to turn into a reality pretty quickly.
What's Been Said About Him:
“Scott has natural leadership abilities. We want a bunch of guys who are leaders, some who are loud and some who are quiet.” -- Coach Jim Mora, April 3, 2016
Most Recent Interview:
30 Most Important Bruins for 2016
|Rank||Name||Highest Rank||Lowest Rank|
|4||Scott Quessenberry||4 (Dave Woods)||8 (John Evergreen)|
|5||Jayon Brown||2 (John Evergreen)||15 (Blair Angulo)|
|6||Takkarist McKinley||5 (Blair Angulo)||10 (John Evergreen)|
|7||Kolton Miller||3 (Dave Woods)||20 (Blair Angulo)|
|8||Soso Jamabo||7 (John Evergreen)||18 (Blair Angulo)|
|9||Fabian Moreau||4 (John Evergreen)||22 (Dave Woods)|
|10||Nate Iese||7 (Blair Angulo)||Unranked (Tracy Pierson)|
|11||Ishmael Adams||8 (Dave Woods)||22 (John Evergreen)|
|12||Eli Ankou||10 (2-way tie)||21 (Dave Woods)|
|13||Isaako Savaiinaea||11 (John Evergreen)||27 (Dave Woods)|
|14||Eldridge Massington||8 (Blair Angulo)||26 (Tracy Pierson)|
|15||J.J. Molson||9 (Blair Angulo)||21 (2-way tie)|
|16||Nate Starks||14 (Dave Woods)||22 (Blair Angulo)|
|17||Jaleel Wadood||6 (John Evergreen)||30 (Tracy Pierson)|
|18||Kenny Young||13 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (Blair Angulo)|
|19||Theo Howard||14 (John Evergreen)||24 (2-way tie)|
|20||Matt Dickerson||15 (John Evergreen)||29 (Tracy Pierson)|
|21||Randall Goforth||12 (John Evergreen)||29 (Blair Angulo)|
|22||Austin Kent||17 (Blair Angulo)||30 (John Evergreen)|
|23||Bolu Olorunfunmi||13 (Dave Woods)||Unranked (Blair Angulo)|
|24||Deon Hollins||15 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (Dave Woods)|
|25||Darren Andrews||12 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (2-way tie)|
|26||Kenny Walker||13 (Blair Angulo)||Unranked (2-way tie)|
|27||Mike Fafaul||11 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (3-way tie)|
|28||Josh Woods||23 (Blair Angulo)||Unranked (2-way tie)|
|29||Keisean Lucier-South||14 (Tracy Pierson)||Unranked (3-way tie)|
|30||Nate Meadors||20 (John Evergreen)||Unranked (2-way tie)|