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I think the football program have 21 scholarships available and Wednesday received 21 signed NLIs.
If Erik Lorig or anyone else (now I'm really teasing you, aren't I?) decide to jump in the boat, they'd need to find rides for them by fall.
But as I've repeated a few times, it's unlikely it would be a problem. Scholarships always become available. --Tracy Pierson
Erik Lorig, the 6-4, 250-pound tight end/athlete from Rolling Hills (Calif.) Palos Verdes Peninsula, is still undecided, as of Thursday day. He again took the day off from schol to try to make his decision with his parents.
His father admitted that he has narrowed down his list, and good sources are indicating that USC is the school most likely eliminated, leaving it down to UCLA, Cal and Stanford.
Lorig will apparently decide and announce on Friday.
I agree with you that Jordan is the most important guy in the equation. He's going to have the ball in his hands more than anyone else over the next 2-3 years. And he's the guy at the point of attack on defense. He needs to be solid defensively.
In terms of how well they're taking the lessons to heart, I think it's too early to tell. If you look at the results on the court, it's clear the results have been mixed. Some games (or halfs) they get it, other times they don't. I'd say that's to be expected, given their youth and the heavy load they're being asked to carry.
They're all bright kids, though, and I believe they're all coachable. It may take some bitter defeats for the lessons to truly take hold, but I think they'll eventually get there.
At the same stage, I think Jordan's bball IQ is as high as any freshman I can recall at UCLA. However, I told Jordan in the summer after his sophomore year in high school that I thought he only used his instincts at the offensive end of the court. I never saw him take a charge and he didn't make the plays on defense that he should, given his feel for the game.
Jordan got in the habit of resting on defense partly, I believe, because he was pretty much the entire offense for his team. He had to play the whole game and if he didn't score 30+, his team probably wasn't going to win. Now he's in a situtation again where he's being asked to carry a disproportionate share of the load. He's playing more minutes than anyone on the team, at the most difficult position on the court, as a freshman. So it's probably not surprising that he's struggling defensively.
Jordan has the game, the intelligence and the charisma to be a very good leader. Where he needs to get better is in learning how, and when, to be leader. Jordan needs to learn that being a leader is not about yelling at a guy who made a mistake. First and foremost, it's about setting the right example. You can't lead if you're not defending anyone yourself.
A lot is being asked of these freshmen. So far, I think they've responded very well, given the circumstances. When things don't go well -- and that will probably happen fairly often over the next year and a half -- I think they'll learn from the experience. -- Greg Hicks
UCLA linebacker Dan Nelson is doing his all to support the troops in Iraq. Running in Half-Marathon
We spoke with a pair of recent official visitors.
Rio Rancho (New Mexico) WR Chris Williams has committed to hometown New Mexico State...
Butte CC tight end Steve Schmidt committed to San Diego State...
Neither player received an offer from UCLA, as both said that they were told UCLA had offers out elsewhere...
Sources have told us that UCLA is no longer recruiting Adam Leonard, the linebacker from Washington.
There isn't a set standard of UCLA admissions for athletes.
Each recruit's academic history is brought to an academic committee and they review each of them.
That's why it's so absurd when someone says something like, "Well, this one kid has a 2.8 and a 900 SAT and UCLA is turning him down. While UCLA has accepted a guy with a 2.5 GPA and a 880 SAT.
First, to begin with, I've met very few recruits whose academics are what they tell reporters. We have a general rule -- called the 2.5 Rule, in doing this job. You can take 2 inches off the height and .5 off the GPA they claim.
So, there's going to be quite a bit lost in reliability in information right there.
UCLA, then looks at the kid's academics. They're looking for signs that the kid will have the tools to make it in a UCLA academic environment.
They tend to weigh GPA higher than SAT, generally, since so much of academic success of an athlete are his work habits and not his natural intelligence.
So, UCLA looks at a kid's transcripts, and there just isn't a set standard. Say a kid has a 2.7 but has four Fs. The committee who look at him less approvingly than someone with a 2.5 and no Fs. They also like to see consistent improvement. If a recruit has a 2.5 but has been declining in his three years at high school, compared to a recruit who has a 2.5 and steadily improving, that is a consideration.
UCLA wants their recruits to have over a 2.5, preferably closer to a 3.0. If he has a failing grade in a class or two, his GPA better be higher.
He also has to have the right types of classes. He needs UC-required course, and he has to have done fairly well in them. Many kids have legitimate 3.0s that UCLA can't get in because they earned that 3.0 in PE and woodshop classes.
Many times this is what dings a kid academically at UCLA. While he might have an okay GPA, he just didn't have the classes necessary to qualify, even by NCAA standards, by this time of year. Say a kid, in this time in his senior year, is lacking the English course he should have taken as a junior. He'd have a chance to make it up, but UCLA generally doesn't want to take a kid who still lacks the necessary courses by signing day. Most of the time it's proven to be a bad risk.
The committee also likes to see good verbal and English performance. They'll give more credit to a kid who has scored better in English and on the verbal portion of the SAT than someone with about the same average scores but lower English scores and SAT verbal scores. The theory is that language skills lend themselves better to academic success.
Then, they look at the SAT. As I said, they'll probably weigh the verbal portion of the test a bit heavier.
They'd like the SAT to be around a minimum 900.
There is also the issue of whether the recruit had a big jump from one test score to the next. If he scored a 680 on his first attempt at the SAT and then jumped to 1,000, UCLA is wary. It's a sign that he might have cheated or had someone take the test for him, and that the score will be redflagged by the Clearinghouse.
Also, if a kid, say, has a 2.1 GPA with some Fs, but then scored a legit 1,080, UCLA would be wary of him. It would indicate that he's a classic under-achiever -- naturally pretty intelligent but he doesn't apply himself in class.
So, there you go. That's just a little bit of what goes into it. On a specific, individual basis, it can be even more detailed and complicated. And each individual recruit's academic history is different, hence no real set criteria by UCLA.
I've just received word that the wide receiver from Lousiana, George Lewis, who said he was verbally committed to UCLA -- isn't.
UCLA never accepted his verbal commitment, from what I understand.
Similar to the Jeremy Childs situation, Lewis lacks the academics for UCLA admittance. He told UCLA he wanted to come, and from what I've heard his verbal was never accepted. But he then told various reporters (including our own) that he had verbally committed.
So, Lewis is out.
Tony DiMartinis, the defensive end from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, was on an official visit this weekend. He was the mystery fifth visit.
Another on his official visit was Daniel Baldridge, a 6-5 offensive line prospect from Opelousas, Louisiana. He's another Bieniemy recruit. I don't think he was offered.
Deon Wallace didn't visit. There was apparently a serious car accident in his family and he couldn't make it. It's uncertain if it will be rescheduled.
Adrian McCovey didn't visit. See the current front page story.
And we're hearing that Charles Brown was on an official visit. Apparently, since he had to end his first official early he was granted one more day of an official visit this weekend.
We'll have more on the visits coming soon...