Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel

Rick Kimbrel, the former managing editor of PrepStar magazine, is nationally recognized as one of the leading authorities on college football recruiting. The veteran analyst and reporter was key in first making Blue Chip Illustrated and then PrepStar Magazine a recruiting publication standard.

Kimbrel has written for CBS Sportsline, ESPN.com, CNN-SI, The Sporting News, Athlon's, Lindy's, Football News, and numerous other publications. He has also consulted on All-America teams for Parade Magazine and Street and Smith's. Most recently, Rick was the West Coast Recruiting Editor for Rivals.com, national recruiting consultant for Rivals.com and publisher of BruinBlitz.com.

Rick has been a featured guest on many television shows around the nation including Prime Ticket, Fox Sports, Fox Sports West, CNN, CNN-SI and numerous local and regional stations. Kimbrel is also a highly sought after guest on radio broadcasts from coast-to-coast.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:02

UCLA To Host Central Arkansas

Celebration 300UCLA (1-0), will put up their No. 18 by the Coaches Poll and No. 21 by the AP ranking on the line when the Bruins welcome Central Arkansas (1-1) on Nell and John Wooden Floor inside the world famous Pauley Pavilion in beautiful Westwood, Calif.

The Bruins are coming off an outstanding victory over an upset-minded Georgia Tech team across the waves in China. UCLA had to overcome some pretty intense adversity in notching the 63-60 victory, which indicates  fortitude with this team

The Bruins had four players score in double figures. Freshman guard, Kris Wilkes led the team in scoring with 18 points and displayed a sweet stroke from beyond the three-point stripe. Another freshman guard, Jaylen Hands added 14 points. Junior guard Aaron Holiday scored 11 points and a team-high seven assists. Senior big, Thomas Welsh, scored 10 points and led the team in rebounding with eight.

The visiting Bears stand with a 1-1 record, losing their opener to No. 24 Baylor (107-66) on Friday, but rebounded with a victory over University of the Ozarks (100-51) on Sunday.

The starting five for the Bears are senior point guard, Jordan Howard (5-11, 180), who scored 24 points, had three assists and three steals in UCA’s win on Sunday. Freshman center Hayden Koval (7-0, 210) scored 12 points, had six boards and four blocked shots. Senior forward Ethan Lee (6-6, 205), junior shooting guard Thatch Unruh (6-5, 190) and sophomore forward Aaron Weidenaar (6-7, 205) round out the starters for the Bears.

Providing points off the bench for Central Arkansas are freshman guard, Deandre Jones (5-11, 160) who scored 10 points in 22 minutes. Senior guard, Mathieu Kamba added 10 points in 12 minutes off the bench.

The tipoff is scheduled for 8:06 PM PST and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long doing the-by-play and UCLA Bruin great Don MacLean analyzing the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game on AM 570 in the Los Angeles area with the usual team of Josh Lewin and another all-time Bruin great Tracy Murray in their usual roles.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 14:47

Musing UCLA Football

UCLA USC 06Here we are with two games left in a challenging season for UCLA. It did not go the way Jim Mora, his coaching staff, his players or the Bruin faithful had anticipated or hoped.

It looked in early August when the training camp began that UCLA would have a great defense. That didn’t happen.

Perhaps losing seven players from the 2016 defensive team are currently on NFL rosters, three along the defensive front [Takk McKinley, Eddie Vanderdoes, and Eli Ankou], one linebacker [Jayon Brown] and three defensive backs [Fabian Moreau, Randall Goforth, and Marcus Rios].

That is a lot of talent to lose, but still, it looked like the defense was going be a team strength. The questions were on offense, yet, week after week the offense kept improving and the defense that looked like they were about to turn the corner earlier in the season became devastated by injuries.

While depth has been helped for the future due to players being rushed into duty, the defense this season suffered from immense growing pains and were gashed often giving up way too many big running plays and big plays in general.

When a team gives up big plays, as the Bruins often did this past season, it affects team morale, but in the defense of the entire team, they never quit giving effort, even though at times you couldn’t help but think the other shoe was going to drop.

The offense had to play under constant pressure that they had to score and at times, especially on the road, the Bruins would turn the ball over and put the defense in tough situations, also hurting a defense that was getting on the job training.

With all the adversity this Bruin team had to endure, they are still playing for a bowl game, but they have to play two of their biggest rivals and have to get one win to be bowl eligible.

Coming up this coming Saturday, the Bruins will be playing their crosstown rival USC, the team that just wrapped up the Pac-12 Southern Division crown and on the road.

No one who has been watching UCLA football this season, needs to be reminded that the Bruins haven’t won one game away from the Rose Bowl, maybe playing in the same town this week will take the road blues away for UCLA and they will play the way they have all season long when they play in Los Angeles County.

A win against USC will cure a multitude of sins this season. Will the Bruin defense put together a complete game and shut down the Trojans just enough for the offense help the Bruins to their first road victory>

Who knows, one thing that is certain when it comes to this intercity rivalry you throw the records to the wind. Anything can happen.

Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:14

Bruins Race Past Sun Devils

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At the beginning, it looked like the Bruins weren’t going to hold serve in the Rose Bowl for the first time this season. The Sun Devils scored two, first-quarter touchdowns and were leading 14-0. ASU had the ball again with 1:23 left in the first frame when defensive lineman, Marcus Moore, climbed the ladder deflecting a Manny Wilkins pass where an alert Nate Meadors turned the deflection into a pick-six making the score 14-7 and the race was on.

When the dust had settled, UCLA (5-5, 3-4) remained undefeated at the Rose Bowl securing a 44-37 victory over Arizona State (5-5, 4-3).

“It was a good win, a tough win,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. “We had a lot of new guys playing on defense and doing a nice job. We’re 5-0 at home; now our objective is to go on the road and get a win.

“I’m really proud of those young men. They’re resilient, they have great character. Tonight they displayed tremendous energy and passion. They were pulling for each other, and it’s always fun to coach a group like that. I’m really proud of them and excited to get a win and get back to .500, and we’ve got a couple left, and we’re going to focus on the one in front of us.”

Josh Rosen returned to action after being on the shelf last week due to concussion protocol. He started out slow and was a victim of dropped passes. With just enough of a running game to keep the Sun Devil defense honest, Rosen and his receiving corps soon turned hot throwing to 10 different receivers for 381 yards and one touchdown.

“I’m obviously proud of him coming back off the injury and taking the shot to the face and leading the team to victory,” Mora said about Rosen. “But I'm proud of all those guys. They're all like Josh. There’s just a full team of guys who are gritty and tough and playing through pain and through adversity and stepping up when they have to.

“It has not been an easy season for us; we’ve been really good at home and struggled mightily on the road. We get one more chance on the road to try to come up with a great performance.”

The return of junior receiver Jordan Lasley after a three-game absence was also key in the Bruin victory. Lasley posted a career high of 162 receiving yards. He has reached the century mark six times during his career. His 22-yard fourth quarter touchdown was one of the nails in the Sun Devil coffin.

“It has been a tough road for Jordan,” Mora said. “College is about learning, growing up, maturing through difficult times and persevering and learning how to manage your life.

“Jordan has had some struggles. But he has persevered. He has come back after three weeks away from this football team with, in my opinion, a different perspective, a little bit of a different approach, a little bit of a different attitude and I was proud of him tonight. Not only for the plays that he made but for the control that he showed when he did make plays and for him to be able to play with passion but harness it, and for him to be able to play with emotion but not become very emotional.

“He’s [Lasley] a guy that we need. Without Caleb Wilson and Darren Andrews, we have lost a lot of yards. We lost a lot of yards that was sitting on the bench in casts and knee braces, so to have Jordan come back with the great attitude that he did and play the way that he did, it makes you feel really good. I’m proud of him and I’m going to stay all over his butt to make sure that he continues down this path.”

Not a lot of time for the Bruins to celebrate. If the Bruins are going to win for the first time this season on the road, it will be against Pac-12 South Division arch-rival, USC (9-2, 7-1) at the Memorial Coliseum. The kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST and will be televised by ABC.

Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:22

Jimmie Daughtery Speaks On Receivers

UCLA's receiver corps has had more than their fair share of adversity. Bruin receivers coach, Jimmie Daughtery talks about the adversity and what his group has to do to fight through it. Enjoy!

Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:14

Christian Pabico Ready To Lead

UCLA junior receiver, Christian Pabico, knows that someone needs to step up and lead a depleted receiver corps. Pabico talks about the injuries to his teammates, especially his friend, senior Darren Andrews, who will miss the rest of the season.

Saturday, 11 November 2017 14:01

Bruins Win Opener 63-60

Welsh T USC030917After a rough start to their trip to China, UCLA (1-0), a team that is ranked 18th by the Coaches Poll and 21st by the AP nationally, was able to overcome losing three players due to an off-field incident and a late charge by Georgia Tech (0-1) to secure their first victory of season, 63-60.

The Bruins went on an 11-0 run with 11:02 left in the second-half and were leading 48-37. UCLA looked to be cruising to their first win, but the Bruins went cold and didn’t hit a field goal for the last 2:59 left when junior point guard Aaron Holiday hit a layup, but able to still hang on to take home the victory.

Freshman guard Chris Wilkes led the Bruins in scoring with 18 points. Fellow freshman guard, Jaylen Hands added 14 points. Junior point guard, Aaron Holiday scored 11 points and had a game-high seven assists. Senior center Thomas Welsh scored 10 points, had a team-high eight rebounds, blocked three shots and had two steals in a well-rounded game.

Senior forward G.G. Golomon did a lot of things that don’t come up in a stat line, but did score four points and contributed six boards. Sophomore guard Prince Ali and sophomore forward Alec Olesinski returned to action after sitting out last season due to injuries. Ali had two assists, two boards, one steal and one point in 20 minutes of play. Olesinski scored five points, two rebounds and one blocked shot while playing 14 minutes

Georgia Tech senior center Ben Lammers led all scorers with 24 points and had a game-high 10 rebounds.

UCLA comes home with the victory and will return to action in the friendly confines of Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday, November 15 when the Bruins will welcome Central Arkansas with the tip scheduled for 8:00 PM PST and will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

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