Perhaps one of UCLA's biggest areas of weakness last year was the offensive line. Indeed, the Bruins' offensive line finished in the bottom-10 in sacks allowed, letting their QB get hammered 3.5 times per game. (And if you want to attribute that to UCLA just playing a more uptempo game, note that Hundley was sacked on 8.99 percent of all passing plays, still bottom-15 in the country.)
That's expected to improve with the seven men UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm recruited in the offseason. But for now, he's got the rag-tag'ish group from last year.
And he ain't too pleased with them.
“It’s a combination of guys not being focused,” Klemm said. “Sometimes these guys feel sorry for themselves because we don’t have numbers. It’s a combination of them being young guys that lack experience. …
“It’s something that — all-around, we didn’t have a great practice, but we probably had the worst out of the entire team.”
Asked how he felt about his line right now, Klemm replied: “I would expect to have two or three freshmen start this season. So that shows you how comfortable I am.”
Those are some pretty damning remarks. Sure, you expect a coach to get upset and tell the media when his guys aren't focused, but he's essentially writing off his current players, due to their inability to stay focused consistently.
Of course, note that Klemm is probably trying to light a fire under his linemen's butts, but expecting a couple of true freshmen to start over the guys currently in place? Yikes.
Wang goes on to note that Alex Redmond and Caleb Benenoch would be the best bets to start this season, but those are lazy bets (and are based on recruiting rankings more than anything). Wang also says the only "stable anchors" available to UCLA on the offensive line are Xavier Su'a-Filo and Jake Brendel, which sounds pretty accurate.
This says a lot about guys like Kevin McReynolds, Colby Cyburt and Conor McDermott, among others, and you'd have to wonder if Su'a-Filo and Jake Brendel have regressed. It's good to know that we're seeing dissatisfaction from coaches (so early into the offseason, more negativity and critique is a good thing), but considering the offensive line is still a major concern, well, it's worth being troubled over.