2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 28 UCLA Bruins
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the UCLA Bruins
No. 28: UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins Prespring Status
The Bruins suffered a slew of key injuries, but that was only part of the problem in a disastrous 4-8 season. There was supposed to be a commitment to the ground game, and UCLA finished with the second-worst rushing attack in the nation. The defense was okay overall, but it couldn’t seem to come up with a meaningful third down stop. With six losses in the final seven games, now the pressure is on for Jim Mora Jr.
QB Josh Rosen is back, but can he stay healthy? He’ll need to for an offense that was one-dimensional last season, but now returns with a slew of veterans, getting back eight starters. The defense is the problem, losing seven starters with the main concern the …
UCLA Bruins Biggest Issue
Defensive line. The secondary has to replace Fabian Moreau at one corner and S Randall Goforth, and leading tackler Jayon Brown is gone from the linebacking corps, but the line needs the most work this offseason. Takkarist McKinley turned into a superstar pro prospect on the end, while Eddie Vanderdoes and Eli Ankou are done in the interior. McKinley is the biggest loss, coming up with ten of the team’s 25 sacks, to go along with 18 tackles for loss.
UCLA Bruins Biggest Positive
Okay Josh Rosen, time to rock. There’s enough receiving talent returning to expect another massive season from the passing game, with Darren Andrews and Jordan Lasley back after leading the team. Fortunately, the Bruins spread the ball around, and now most of the main targets are back, too. Four starters are back on the line to keep Rosen upright, but health is the main concern for the star quarterback after only playing in six games. If he’s right, the Bruin O will blow up.
Really, Why Are The UCLA Bruins Ranked Here?
The defense might be gutted, but plenty of good prospects are in place to prevent too much of a drop off. The running game at least has to show up and Rosen has to be the best quarterback in Los Angeles, which would probably make him the best quarterback in the Pac-12. Everyone will be talking about USC in the South, but UCLA could be just good enough to sneak up and surprise.