Off-Season News and Notes

Even though the focus of the football program has been recruiting lately, there are still things happening at the Morgan Center. Here's the latest we've heard on the injured, potential transfers, some potential longer-term solutions for the defensive tackle position, and more...

This is the latest I've heard on some of the injured:

Senior tight end Logan Paulsen is out of the boot and running.

Senior tight end Ryan Moya should start running around the middle of June.

Junior offensive guard Darius Savage is recovered and full go.

Sophomore Mike Harris should begin jogging later this week.

Despite having been starters are one time last season, we're hearing that both Savage and Harris will have to improve their stock to break back into the offensive line's starting five.

We're hearing from a couple of sources that Chris Forcier, the quarterback/wide receiver, will transfer. We haven't heard that it's definite, and we'll try to firm up the facts, but sources are indicating it's going to happen.

We're also hearing that the coaching staff is taking a you're-either-in-or-you're-out mentality with some of the players who were considering transferring. Let's see if more scholarships open up as a result.

The NCAA allows a football program to carry 85 scholarships. If everyone who is earmarked for a scholarship received one next fall, UCLA would have 91 players on scholarship, meaning they have to trim 6 from the scholarship list.

If Forcier left, it would be five over the limit.

We're hearing that it's not looking good for JC offensive lineman Shawn Johnson to gain admissions.

Eddie Williams, the much-coveted lineman from Mt. SAC, has a better chance, according to sources, but his admittance is still uncertain.

The last we heard is that JC defensive tackle Brendan Warner had all of his paperwork in order and needed to submit it to UCLA admissions.

Regardless of what happens with the JC transfers, UCLA will still need to open up a few more spots. The staff, however, isn't worried about having enough spots for next fall, believing there are still a few players presently on the roster who are transfer candidates, and a few incoming freshmen who might be candidates to greyshirt.

But hence the reason UCLA is taking a you're-either-in-or-out stance with those considering transferring.

Three players have already announced they will transfer: running backs Raymond Carter and Aundre Dean, and wide receiver Dominique Johnson.

It would seem that the UCLA coaching staff isn't nearly as panicked about the defenisve tackle position for the next couple of years as many readers of this site.

I'm hearing that's because UCLA feels there are some guys already on the roster that could grow into the position.

The thought is that, while UCLA likes Damien Holmes at defensive end, and he had a good spring there before getting injured, he could continue to get bigger and become a defensie tackle.

Right now he's 6-3 and about 265.

The other candidate who I've heard mentioned is Donovan Carter, the strongside linebacker. Carter is currently 6-1 and about 260.

Both are redshirt freshmen.

There's also the potential for Eddie Williams, the JC lineman from Mt. SAC. First, Williams needs to get qualified (as discussed above). If he does, he would get a first shot at offensive guard, but there is some thought to him becoming a defensive tackle, and we've heard he's agreeable to it. The though is, given the need for impact players on UCLA's offensive line for the 2009 season, if Williams could come in this fall and move into a starting O-line spot, he would. If he couldn't crack the starting OL, UCLA could potentially move him to DT. Williams has three years to play two.

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