Quick Tidbits about Football, Recruiting

There were a number of developments this week in the football program, while things are getting down to it in recruiting, including at UCLA's position of need -- defensive tackle. Here are a few random things we've heard recently...

Here's a quickie report with some tidbits on the football program and recruiting.

-- We're hearing that Stan Hasiak, the freshman offensive lineman, will not return to the program. It's a decision that comes from the program, not from Hasiak. Without getting into details, Hasiak was far too problematic and disruptive of a personality.

-- As we reported yesterday, sources are indicating that next season UCLA will return to the darker blue color on their away jerseys, in the number and on the shoulder flare.

-- The state of California has mandated that UC employees take a non-paid furlough sometime between September and next September.

That means that each football coach will have to take off upward of three weeks. How many days depends on how much each coach is paid. The days don't have to be consecutive, but have to accumulate to total each individual's amount.

Now, while the university has to encourage them to take off those days, the coaches can still work those days while being unpaid, which is what I suspect the UCLA coaches will do.

Some coaches, in fact, will use many of the days during their once-a-year vacation in the summer. So, essentially, they won't get a paid vacation.

-- One of the biggest positions of need in recruiting is at defensive tackle. UCLA already had two recruits (Julious Moore and Wesley Flowers) committed at the position, but want more. It's looking a bit uncertain, though, if they actually will get commitments from any others.

Academics, again, as it's been traditionally with defensive tackle prospects, is an issue. UCLA couldn't accept Kirifi Taula, and the DT from Anaheim Servite recently committed to Arizona. Sealii Epenesa from Honolulu (Haw.) Iolani, is considered an excellent prospect that really likes UCLA, but academics could also be a road block for him.

Ricky Heimuli could be UCLA's best shot at another defensive tackle. The #6-ranked DT in the nation from Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton will take his official visit to UCLA January 16th during UCLA's biggest recruiting weekend.

UCLA is still trying hard with George Uko, the #3-ranked DT from Chino (Calif.) Don Lugo, but Uko is still thought to be leaning to USC.

Ego Ferguson, the DT from Chatham (Virg.) Hargrave, is still a possibility. UCLA has a good shot of getting an official visit from him.

The Bruins continue to recruit Richard Ash from Pahokee (Fla.) High, even though he recently committed to Michigan.

The Bruins also have offered Fred Thompson, the 6-4, 280-pounder from Oakland (Calif.) Tech, who will take his fifth and final official visit to UCLA on January 9th. Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington have also offered and he's visited each of those schools.

-- With Hasiak leaving the program, you might think UCLA would be looking to find another offensive line prospect. But it's felt that they're pretty well-stocked on the OL with young guys, and that bringing in two or three in the 2010 class is good. UCLA currently has two commitments, and is looking very good with Wade Yandall from Carson (Calif.) High.

-- A new name for UCLA recruiting is Ryan Murphy, the S/OLB prospect from Oakland (Calif.) Tech. Murphy has parlayed an exceptional senior season into scholarship offers from Arizona, Oregon State and Washington State, three schools he's already visited officially. UCLA hasn't offered to date, but could very well if Murphy's academics look good.

-- Rumors continue to circulate about many silent verbals, but we know of just one currently.

-- UCLA has two big recruiting weekends coming up on January 9th and January 16th. It appears that the Bruins will have about 8 to 10 recruits coming in for their official visits on the 9th, and perhaps 12 or more on the 16th.

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