What Juniors Could Jump Early?

There are a few juniors on the football team that are critical to UCLA's success next season. But the word is that at least a couple of them could very well leave after this year to pursue opportunities in the NFL and Major League Baseball...

UCLA loses six significant seniors next year, but they could lose some juniors also.

Juniors tight end Marcedes Lewis, safety Jarrad Page and linebacker Spencer Havner would all be possibilities to leave early.

Sources are indicating that Lewis will seriously consider jumping early to the NFL.

Lewis will file papers with the NFL after the season to have his draft stock evaluated. It's believed, though, that if that evaluation comes back moderately encouraging, Lewis could leave.

Some NFL sources said they believed Lewis would probably be a mid-round pick. If he were drafted in the third or fourth rounds he would probably get a guaranteed signing bonus worth up to maybe $500,000.

Those same NFL sources believed, though, that it would behoove Lewis to return to school, get bigger and stronger and more polished and continue to improve his blocking.

Commonly a mid-first round pick could receive a $3-6 million guaranteed signing bonus. Low second-rounders commonly get $1.5 million, so it could be quite financially beneficial for Lewis to stay for his senior season.

However, sources do indicate that if Lewis were projected as high as a third- or fourth-round pick he would seriously consider leaving.

In addition to Lewis, junior safety Jarrad Page could be a bigger threat to leaving UCLA after this year – not to the NFL, but to major league baseball.

Since Page is a junior he is eligible to be drafted in baseball after this year. Page is considered by many baseball scouts to be a potentially elite baseball prospect. If he played baseball full time, some baseball experts believe he'd be a first-round pick.

Junior linebacker Spencer Havner will also file his papers with the NFL at the end of the season to have his draft stock evaluated. NFL sources indicate that Havner more than likely would not project high enough to consider an early jump.

Lewis figures to be a very big fixture in UCLA's offense next season, and critical to the Bruins offense. Losing receivers Craig Bragg and Tab Perry to graduation, it would be fairly devastating to also lose Lewis.

Page and Havner are the two most productive players on UCLA's defense and, next year as seniors, would be considered the most vital parts of UCLA trying to restore its defense to respectability.

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