Coach Rip Scherer Talks UCLA Tight Ends

Apr. 26 -- UCLA tight ends coach Rip Scherer spoke about the state of his position group this spring, how he sees them fitting into the offense, first impressions of true freshman Jimmy Jaggers and more...

Opening statement

As the tight ends coach, that’s a position that’s a big focus for us this spring. We’ve got a lot of involvement. Coach Fisch has brought an offense that involves a lot of different personnel packages. So (we’re) getting a chance to see a lot of guys grow and improve. I like the group, I think it’s a great group. I think we have six guys that really are just busting their tails, learning a new offense, very involved. It’s been fun, it’s been fun to see their growth.

On whether the tight ends will be more involved in this new offense

The tight ends are going to be utilized as they show they’re capable of being utilized. So to answer that question, I put it on them. If they want to have multiple tight ends on the field, then they have to demonstrate that they can handle that responsibility, and do the things that are asked of them in the run game and the pass game. And so it’s a process, it’s an ongoing process.

On whether the players will dictate the scheme this year, as opposed to the scheme dictating what the players do

Well I think it’s a combination of both. I think there’s enough flexibility in what we’re doing to cater to individual abilities – I think that’s a strength of coach Fisch’s, in terms of what we’re doing. But by the same token, you have to have the right guys doing it. I think we do, from a receiver standpoint and a tight end standpoint. Again, we’re taking baby steps. We’ve got a long way to go, but each day we’ve been better. Not to be confused with good, but we’re better. 

On how much the tight end group has grown since last year

Tremendous growth. You know, guys are just a year more experience, a year more mature, a year more experienced and mature in playing college football, and understanding what’s involved at that position. We’ve got some guys that are converted receivers, who were quarterbacks in high school two or three years ago. So it’s been a process. But I think there’s a lot more comfort in terms of those guys playing the position right now. 

On whether it’s helped to now be able to recruit tight ends, instead of having to convert players

Oh, for sure. I mean, Jimmy Jaggers came in here, Jordan Wilson came in as a tight end – although he did not play much as an attached tight end in high school. And then Moses Robinson-Carr will be coming in the summer. So I think as the position continues to evolve for us, we will continue being able to attract quality tight ends. 

On whether Devin Asiasi will be able to play this year

You know, that’s an NCAA issue that is a number of pay grades above mine. That’s a compliance issue, so that’s being handled by others in our apartment. 

On being the lone returning coach on the offense

Last man standing. You know, I guess it’s always good to still be standing. I’ve been in situations like that before. I just appreciate coach Mora having the confidence in me. I’ve had a relationship a little bit with coach Fisch; I’ve never worked with him, but being in the NFL together, we knew each other. So I think there was a little bit of a comfort level there. So it’s been good. I always enjoy learning. In 43 years, I’ve been involved in a number of different offenses. So this is just learning some things that I’ve known kind of from the NFL, putting some things together. So it’s been a learning process for all of us, but I think we’re moving in the right direction. I think Jedd’s doing a heck of a job with our offense.

On Jimmy Jaggers

You know, he’s a guy that should be getting ready for the senior prom and he’s out here trying to block guys like Jaelan (Phillips) and Rick Wade and JTM and those big 270-, 280-pounders. But he’s competed, he’s learned, he’s getting better every day. He’s got an unbelievable attitude, unbelievable learning attitude, unbelievable competitive attitudes, great pride. I’m glad he’s on our team.

On Caleb Wilson

Caleb has grown as a leader, he is evolving as a leader in our offense. He’s taken ownership on and off the field – in the meeting rooms, in the locker room. The players are looking up to him. And it’s based on what he’s done and how he handles himself and the way he works in the weight room in the offseason. 

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