Can UCLA Football Sustain the Loss of Their Seniors?
Aside from the fact that the UCLA Football team went 4-8 and ended 2016 without a bowl, things might get worse with the departure of several seniors (and one junior).
At this point, the UCLA Football team is in rebuilding mode, which now includes developing a handful of young players due to the fact that there are a several key players leaving the program.
This going to to make 2017 very difficult for Head Coach Jim Mora if he expects to have a different result than we saw in 2016.
Unless he has a massive plan for developing his younger players or somehow brings in several top recruits on National Signing Day, it is going to be tough to “reload” this team.
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Ishmael Adams, Kenneth Walker, Nate Iese, Mike Fafaul, Conor McDermott, Eli Ankou, Takkarist McKinley, Eddie Vanderdoes, Jayon Brown, Isaako Savaiinaea, Cameron Griffin, Deon Hollins, Tahaan Goodman, Randall Goforth, Marcus Rios and Fabian Moreau are all leaving the program.
And those are just the players that have contributed on a regular basis.
This is the biggest departure of players in the Mora era and it could not come at a worse time. That is roughly ten starters from the offense and the defense that Bruins need to make up for.
Considering there are two potential first round picks (McKinley and Vanderdoes) and possible a few other that could get selected to the NFL Draft, the Bruins are in a spot of trouble in losing all of this talent.
UCLA has recruited well in the last few years, but this cycle it has been a little slow. UCLA does have a few top prospects committed like 4-star TE Jimmy Jaggers, 4-star DT Greg Rogers and 5-star DE Jaelan Phillips, but at this point, the UCLA Football team only has nine pliers committed.
The Bruins also have a lot of young talent that is ready to step up and take over several positions, but will it be enough to start a revolution from this 4-8 season? We will now more when we get closer to Spring Practice.