Monday, May 26, 2008

Brehaut a Bruin

The coaching staff has taken their time evaluating the quarterbacks in the 2009 class. This weekend, they looked at two local talents who were both favoring the Bruins. Josh Nunes of Upland High School and Richard Brehaut of Los Osos High School. The two inland empire signal callers were considered among the best in the state. Brehaut got the nod and he committed to the staff.

Richard had a stellar 2007 Junior season. He passed for 2,348 yards and 22 touchdowns with only 8 interceptions. He completed 65% of his passes and many recruiting experts consider him a very accurate passer on short and intermediate length routes. In addition to his passing game, Brehaut racked up 528 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

While not necessarily a duel threat quarterback, he does have enough quickness to be elusive. He can also throw fairly well on the move. ESPN states that he has a good pocket presence and a strong football intelligence. Scout reports that he has a 3.6 GPA, so he's no dummy. He has adequate arm strength but his accuracy drops a lot when he throws deep down field.

Brehaut had outstanding offers from Nebraska, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Many of those offers came in the last few weeks and this young man has seen his stock rise considerably as of late. Scout ranked him as #22 QB in the nation with four stars. Rivals ranks him higher as the #9 QB with four stars. By any measure, he is a very good pickup for the coaching staff.

Considering that his high school's uniforms are the same as UCLA... I guess it was meant to be!
(Photo credit:

Saturday, May 17, 2008

O-line help

It looks like UCLA might be getting a transfer along the O-line. Kai Maiava, who is the younger brother of the USC linebacker, is supposed to be heading to Westwood. He is a big 300 pounder who was at Colorado last season. Still haven't seen the official announcement, but Jill Painter at the Daily News is reporting it as well.

Maiava will have to sit out the 2008 season, due to NCAA transfer rules, but he'll be a solid addition for the following season. He played a bit a guard his freshman year and then switched to full back last season. He was used sparingly in the rotation and found himself buried on the depth chart this spring with the Buffs.

Recruiting Snapshot

Not a lot of recruiting news lately. Still, I put together my recruiting snapshot image for the 2009 class. Pretty easy to see the imbalance as the Bruins have six commits on defense and not a single one on offense. Click the image below to see it in full size and make sure you zoom in (the picture is pretty big)...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Depth Chart

The post Spring depth chart is out. It doesn't differ much from the pre-spring depth chart, but there are a few notable exceptions.

We all know that Pat Cowan is done for the season. That moves Ben into the #1 slot assuming he can be back to full health in time for the season. Sean Sheller moved from the #2 left tackle to the starting right tackle because of the medical retirement of Alexi Lanis. None of those were surprises.

Some players have moved up the depth chart a bit. John Hale is now the starter at strong-side linebacker since Kyle Bosworth was moved to the starting WLB. Josh Edwards, who was the starter before the spring, moved to the #2 slot behind Bosworth. Jess Ward passed up Jeff Miller for the second DT spot behind Brian Price.

Scott Glicksberg, who was pegged as the backup center, moved into a tie for the starting spot at right guard with Nick Ekbatani. Ekbatani really struggled to hang onto his playing time last season and it will be interesting to see if Glicksberg will pass him up. Kalil Bell and Raymond Carter are still the two leading tailbacks but Christian Ramirez has moved from 4th string to a tie for 3rd string with Moline.

The coaches seem really high on Ramirez as he is also now tagged as the starting kick-off return man. Ryan Graves has also been moved to punt returns.

Here is the complete depth chart:


SE 19 Dominique Johnson (6-3, 208, So.**) (3)
10 Gavin Ketchum (6-5, 209, Jr.**)
2 Ryan Graves (6-1, 167, Sr.**)
27 Ryal Jagd (6-3, 187, Fr.**) ^
35 David Martini (6-1, 197, Fr.**)^

LT 73 Micah Kia (6-6, 298, Jr.) (8)
69 Brandon Bennett (6-4, 319, So.**)

LG 77 Darius Savage (6-4, 338, So.**)
55 Sonny Tevaga (6-3, 337, So.**)
50 Aaron Meyer (6-1, 296, Sr.**)

C 58 Micah Reed (6-4, 316, Sr.**) (8 at OG)
57 Jake Dean (6-4, 286, So.**)
53 Adam Heater (6-5, 246, Jr.**)

RG 66 Scott Glicksberg (6-4, 269, Sr.**) (1 at TE) OR
75 Nick Ekbatani (6-4, 290, Jr.**)
61 Andy Keane (6-2, 284, So.**)

RT 72 Sean Sheller (6-5, 282, So.**)
65 Mike Harris (6-5, 311, Fr.**)

TE 86 Logan Paulsen (6-6, 252, Sr.) (13)
15 Ryan Moya (6-4, 229, Jr.**)
89 Nate Chandler (6-3, 265, Fr.**)
81 Glenn Rauscher (6-3, 223, Fr.**)^

QB 7 Ben Olson (6-4, 235, Sr.**) (5)
3 Kevin Craft (6-5, 210, Jr.**)
8 Chris Forcier (6-3, 185, Fr.**)
11 Osaar Rasshan (6-4, 214, Jr.**) (3)
12 Pat Cowan (6-5, 218, Sr.**) (5) ##

FB 31 Trevor Theriot (6-0, 233, Jr.**) (6)
45 Tobi Umodu (6-0, 235, So.**)

TB 36 Kahlil Bell (6-0, 206, Sr.) (5)
20 Raymond Carter (5-11, 202, Fr.**)
42 Chane Moline (6-1, 236, Jr.) (1) OR
24 Christian Ramirez (6-3, 211, Jr.)
21 Craig Sheppard (6-1, 193, Jr.**)^

FL 9 Marcus Everett (6-1, 212, Sr.**) (1)
4 Terrence Austin (5-10, 160, Jr.)
82 Taylor Embree (6-4, 195, Fr.)
6 Jamil Turner (6-1, 204, Jr.**)
26 Mike Angelo (6-1, 191, Jr.**)^
21 Ben Bruneau (6-0, 204, Fr.**)^


LE 55 Korey Bosworth (6-1, 235, Jr.**) (3)
47 Chinonso Anyanwu (6-4, 216, Jr.**)
85 David Carter (6-5, 257, So.**)

DT 92 Brian Price (6-1, 297, So.) (5)
52 Jess Ward (6-4, 280, Jr.**) (6)
98 Jeff Miller (6-5, 259, So.**)
51 Nathaniel Skaggs (6-4, 300, Sr.**)

DT 93 Brigham Harwell (6-2, 292, Sr.**) (2)
90 Jerzy Siewierski (6-2, 285, Jr.)
50 Chase Moline (6-2, 252, Sr.)

RE 56 Tom Blake (6-4, 259, Sr.**) (8)
91 Reginald Stokes (6-3, 250, So.**)
99 Justin Edison (6-3, 244, Fr.**)

SLB 12 John Hale (6-4, 220, Sr.)
40 Akeem Ayers (6-2, 231, Fr.**)

MLB 51 Reggie Carter (6-1, 221, Jr.**) (8)
43 Steve Sloan (6-3, 225, Fr.**)
57 Justin Woolbright (6-1, 217, Fr.**)^
59 Michael Lutu (6-1, 233, So.**)^

WLB 54 Kyle Bosworth (6-1, 222, Sr.) (7)
53 Joshua Edwards (6-1, 232, Sr.**)
48 Mike Schmitt (6-0, 224, So.**)

LC 22 Michael Norris (5-9, 177, Sr.**) (1)
7 Courtney Viney (5-8, 153, Fr.**)

SS 25 Bret Lockett (6-2, 204, Sr.) (1)
35 Matt Culver (6-2, 201, Sr.**)^
31 Garrett Rubio (5-9, 186, So.**)^

FS 27 Aaron Ware (6-0, 193, Jr.**)
20 Glenn Love (6-4, 207, Fr.**)
32 Michael Ciaccio (6-0, 173, So.**)^

RC 1 Alterraun Verner (5-11, 176, Jr.) (11)
30 Chris Meadows (5-11, 175, Sr.**)^


PK 15 Kai Forbath (6-0, 197, So.**) (13)
KO 37 Jimmy Rotstein (5-11, 174, Jr.**)^ (13)
P 17 Aaron Perez (6-4, 229, Sr.**) (13)
LS 52 Christian Yount (6-1, 250, So.) (13)
H 17 Aaron Perez (6-4, 229, Sr.**)
PR 4 Terrence Austin (5-10, 160, Jr.)
2 Ryan Graves (6-1, 167, Sr.**)
KOR 24 Christian Ramirez (6-3, 211, Jr.)
4 Terrence Austin (5-10, 160, Jr.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lack Of Institutional Control

Lack of Institutional control, as prepared by the NCAA committee on infractions:

In determining whether there has been a lack of institutional control when a violation of NCAA rules has been found it is necessary to ascertain what formal institutional policies and procedures were in place at the time the violation of NCAA rules occurred and whether those policies and procedures, if adequate, were being monitored and enforced. It is important that policies and procedures be established so as to deter violations and not merely to discover their existence after they have taken place. In a case where proper procedures exist and are appropriately enforced, especially when they result in the prompt detection, investigation and reporting of the violations in question, there may be no lack of institutional control although the individual or individuals directly involved may be held responsible.
OK, so we all have heard the news about O.J. Mayo taking illegal benefits during his time at USC. What's sad is that nobody, probably not even Trojan fans, are all that surprised by it. Mayo was a prep phenom that many considered one of the best players in the country. Yet very few programs recruited him coming out of high school. Why? Because those programs knew he had a checkered past and many doubted his eligibility as an amateur athlete. I mean, seriously, the kid brought along a documentary crew to film him visiting the SC campus for the first time. That's trouble with a capital T.

So here we are, again, talking about a super star SC player who took money during his time on campus. We're here, again, looking at receipts and paper trails dug up by an investigative journalist. And, again, the University has no idea that any of this happened. They had no clue that their best player (who wore new clothes , sported a flat screen TV in his room, and flew his friends and family out across country to watch games) was doing anything wrong. Again.

Here's the thing. The Reggie Bush incident was supposed to wake up USC. We have agents in our locker rooms? Hmmm... maybe that's not such a good idea. Yet, guess who was hanging around the Galen center locker rooms? That's right! Sports agents! The guys implicated in the investigation said there were hanging around the program for the last two years. So, in the time after their program was publicly chastised for giving professional agents access to their amateur players, they didn't absolutely zero to prevent it from happening again. In fact, according to transcripts from the investigation, these guys (well, their emissaries anyways) were an integral part of the USC basketball staff!!

From Pat Forde's piece about the whole thing:
The swag allegedly was financed by a man named Rodney Guillory, who previously had gotten former USC guard Jeff Trepagnier in trouble for accepting agent kickbacks. Not only did that fail to get Guillory banned from campus, he also wound up a fixture within the program. Of course, who wouldn't want a 43-year-old scammer hanging around a college freshman?

According to transcripts from OTL's interviews with Johnson, Guillory was sitting in the USC basketball offices when Mayo's signed letter-of-intent rolled off the fax machine. Johnson also said coach Tim Floyd talked frequently with Guillory about Mayo whenever "issues" arose.
I think this incident will hurt USC more than they can imagine. And not just in basketball. The NCAA is still investigating the Reggie Bush case. One thing they'll look at is a lack of institutional control (as defined above). Does SC have institutional control? I think you have to say NO. They're letting the same problems, and the same problem characters, continue to run their programs afoul. They aren't preventing these things from happening in the first place and that is one of the criteria for finding them at fault.

Will the NCAA finally come down on these guys? I think the public pressure is mounting. When guys like Pat Forde are calling for the death penalty, it's hard to imagine a scenario where they only get away with only a slap on the wrist.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Opponent Spring Practices

Spring practice wrapped up last week and all our opponents have completed their sessions as well. Here is a look at the news stories coming out of those camps and what our boys might expect to face this fall.


The Vols have spent some time retooling their offense as well this April. Like the Bruins, Tennessee heads into the 2008 season with a new coordinator, three other new offensive assistants, a new scheme, new terminology and a new quarterback. Jonathan Crompton, a red-shirt junior, is the likely starter for the fall. He will be out of action for the next month after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his throwing elbow.

There will be more of an emphasis on the running game this time around and the Volunteers have a good one in Arian Foster. The Vols return all five offensive line starters from last season and they will provide a big front for Foster, who's closing in on Tennessee's all-time rushing record.


The Cougars return a very potent and experienced offense this season. One area to watch is their offensive line. A big and powerful group last season, they've been dinged by the injury bug this spring. BYU returns a lot of players at the skill positions including QB Max Hall who had good games against UCLA last season. Junior wide receiver Austin Collie had a good spring and he'll challenge the Bruin's inexperienced secondary this fall.

On defense, the Cougars lose standouts Kelly Popinga and Bryan Kehl. Following in their footsteps, junior Matt Bauman has asserted himself as the new leader of the linebacking corps. He had a good spring and the BYU defense is starting to gel despite not returning many players from last year's squad. Their secondary is young and there might be an opportunity for our offense to throw on them this year.

Fresno State

One of the goals of the spring for Fresno State was to add some depth to a team that returns 10 starters on offense. To help fascilitate that, the veterans didn't see a lot of reps during the scrimmage. QB Tom Brandstater only had 5 pass attempts while his backup took most of the snaps behind center. The Bulldogs have a new offensive coordinator his season in Doug Nussmeier and it will be interesting to see if he opens up an FSU offense mainly known for a strong running game. They have a lot of experience along the line, though many of those starters missed time this spring with nagging injuries.

While the offense is mainly set, the defense has some had some holes to fill this spring. The Bulldogs lost Marcus Riley and Trevor Shamblee, two of their best linebackers. In their place, a host of young players are looking to fill those spots. They also have to fill the shoes of Tyler Clutts, one of their best defensive ends. They don't really have any super stars on this side of the ball and they lack a true leader.


The Wildcats remind me a lot of our own team. An inconsistent offense. A defense without any big super stars. They're a work in progress that always seems to be rebuilding each and every season and this team is still struggling to learn the air-raid offense installed last season.

One area where the Wildcats will have some experience is at quarterback. Willie Tuitama is back for his third season and he had a decent spring. He threw for 231 yards on 20 completions out of 36 attempts and one touchdown during the spring game. The running game looks decent and their offense could be exciting if it really gets going.

The defensive side is going to struggle this season. They have a lot of new faces and not a lot of a talent. They lose two of the best corners in the league with Antoine Cason and Wilrey Fontenot departing. They do have some guys stepping up in Devin Ross and sophomore Mike Turner; both had good springs. Highly regarded recruit, Robert Golden, is coming in the fall to add some depth in the secondary.

Arizona State

ASU had a break-out season last year, but will they continue with that success in 2008? RB Shaun DeWitty adds some depth to the Sun Devil's running game. Along with Keegan Herring, this team should continue to perform well on the ground. Carpenter was only able to complete 7-of-21 passes for 88 yards in their spring game. They still have a lot of problems with their offensive line and it doesn't look like they've solved those problems yet.

Erickson looks to add more of a spread-element to his offensive strategy. The team practiced with more four and five-receiver sets and tailback screens this spring. ASU might be making a name for itself as a defensive team this season. The defense was impressive throughout spring and dominated the spring game.


Across town, the Trojans are getting ready for another dominating season. They had a battle at quarterback that everyone knew would end in Mark Sanchez getting the starting job. So it was no surprise when he came out of the spring game as the leader. Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp held their own, though, and the Trojans look loaded at the position for the foreseeable future.

One big piece of news was that Joe McKnight ended up missing the last week of practice because of eligibility problems. Those likely won't translate into him missing time this fall but it did give the other running backs a chance to shine. The leaders at running back for next season would be C.J. Gable, Staffon Johnson, and Allen Bradford.

On defense, junior cornerback Kevin Thomas, who missed the 2007 season because of a shoulder injury, has played well during the spring. He's already worked his way into the Trojans' third cornerback spot and he has the potential to take the job from starters Cary Harris and Shareece Wright.


The Bears had a lot of questions to answer this spring. The biggest one is who will be the starting quarterback? Nate Longshore has a lot of experience but he struggled mightily in Cal's downward spiral last season. Kevin Riley had his fair share of struggles as well, but he impressed in their bowl victory over Air Force. Unfortunately, Longshore missed the entire spring because of a pectoral injury. The decision, according to coach Tedford, could come as late as the week before their home opener.

Injures have also set back other skill positions on offense. Running back Javid Best is out with a hip injury. Which hurts because the Bears lost James Montgomery this off season when he transfered to WSU. Wide receiver Jeremy Ross is also sidelined with a sprained ankle. That leaves a lot of inexperienced guys getting playing time this spring and a lot of unresolved questions on the depth chart.

On defense, the Bears have been using a three man front during the spring. Redshirt freshman Bryan Anger has been wowing onlookers with his punting ability. He should help their special teams unit this fall.


Like so many teams in the conference, the Cardinal are searching for a starting quarterback for the 2008 season. Tavita Pricthard, who lead them to their huge victory over the Trojans in the Coliseum last season, is the front runner at this point. He struggled, however, in their spring scrimmage where he only completed 12 of 28 passes for 106 yards. That leaves an opening for Alex Loukas and transfer Jason Forcier (Chris Forcier's brother).


No team in the PAC-10 lost more offensive weapons this past season than the Ducks. The dynamic duo of Dixon and Stewart won't be wearing their Oregon uniforms this season and that has left the Eugene faithful asking a lot of questions about their backfield. They may of gotten at least one answer in LeGarrette Blout. The Duck's running game got a boost from the big, 235 lb running back. He bulldozed his way to 68 yards on just 5 carries during their spring scrimmage and he's drawing high praise and favorable comparisons to Stewart.

Oregon State

Oregon State struggled on offense last year but their defense kept them in a lot of games. Unfortunately for the Beaver Believers, that sturdy defense front seven won't be back this season. They did have some depth at linebacker and it looks like some young talent, including Keaton Kristick, Bryant Cornell, and Dwight Roberson will be an adequate replacement.

On offense, the Orange and Black get back standout receiver and return-man Sammie Stroughter. He'll be a big boost to a passing attack that had it's ups and downs last season under first-year quarterback Sean Canfield. Also back from injury is guard Jeremy Perry who missed all but one game in 2007 because of a broken leg. The rest of the offense was hit pretty hard by graduation, including the loss of running back Yvenson Bernard. They'll have a lot to work out this fall if they want to stay in the top-half of the conference standings.


The Huskies were delt a tough blow when they lost their best offensive lineman in center Juan Garcia with a foot injury this spring. A 6th year senior, Garcia was a second-team, all-conference selection last year, starting every game at center for the second consecutive year. Their line will be young and inexperienced, so it makes the loss of a seasoned veteran hurt even more.

After missing on hiring DeWayne Walker away from UCLA, the Huskies hired Ed Donatell, who spent 12 of the previous 13 seasons coaching in the NFL. Their defense will likely be a work in progress this season as their defensive line losses many of their starters. The Huskies are hoping to tap into some of their true freshman who enroll this fall at defensive tackle. That's not a good sign for the Dawgs as freshman rarely make an impact on the line.

Washington State

One of the stars of the Cougar's spring scrimmage was Michael Willis. The converted defensive back has been moved to wide receiver for the 2008 season. Willis pulled down 6 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown during the game and he could be a another big target along with talented receiver Bradnon Gibson. Of course the Cougs still need to find a quarterback who can throw to these guys. Fifth year senior Gary Rodgers is the heir apparent to Alex Brink but he could be challenged by junior Kevin Lopina, who had a solid spring.

Head coach Paul Wulff is also introducing a new no-huddle spread offense this season. He'll run that offense behind a veteran line that returns four starters but no stars at running back. Things are so thin at tail back that when the spring session ended, WSU only had one healthy player available. Chris Ivory missed part of the spring with injury and he has also struggled to stay academically eligible. Dwight Tardy also watched the rest of the team from the sidelines due to injury.

Wulff and his staff switched to a new 4-3 defense moving standout linebacker Andy Mattingly to defensive end. This squad has struggled with depth and injuries in the past and they still need to find players in their two deep after the spring. WSU' returns three returning senior starters at linebacker including Greg Trent but their secondary has a lot of holes.

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Wade Payne. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)