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.

Sunday, 24 February 2013 22:48

Bruins Take Series

No. 2 UCLA Baseball Gets Series Win with 5-4 Victory over Baylor 
Valaika goes 2-5 with a RBI while Berg earns the win in relief.

Waco, Tex. - The No. 2 ranked UCLA Baseball team earned a big road series victory, defeating the Baylor Bears by a score of, 5-4, on Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark. Junior Brian Carroll scored the game-winning run in the top of the ninth inning on a passed ball by Baylor catcher Jimmy Landes.

After neither side scored for the first three innings, the Bruins got on the board in the fourth inning, when redshirt freshman Christoph Bono came to the plate with the bases loaded and knocked in junior Pat Gallagher with a sacrifice fly to right to make the score 1-0 UCLA.

Watson was dominant in the early going, retiring the first 11 Baylor batters on 45 pitches, 33 of which were strikes. In the bottom of the fourth inning though, the Bears got two runners on with two outs, bringing Mitch Price to the plate. Price hit a swinging bunt down the third base line, but sophomore Kevin Kramer came charging in and made a spectacular running throw to get Price at first and end the threat.

UCLA would add another run in the top of fifth, when junior Pat Valaika doubled down the left field line to score Carroll from second and send Kramer to third, giving the Bruins a 2-0 advantage. Two batters later, redshirt freshman Tyler Scott, who was making his first career at-bat, hit a two-run single up the middle to score Kramer and Valaika to give the Bruins a 4-0 lead.

Baylor would get one back in the bottom half of the inning though, getting a sacrifice fly from Nate Goodwin to cut the lead to 4-1. The Bears threatened again in the bottom of the seventh, putting two runners on first and second with one out. Watson got Brett Doe to ground out on the next at-bat, but then pinch-hitter Duncan Wendel knocked in both runners with a single to center to cut UCLA's lead to 4-3. However, sophomore David Berg came in to relieve Watson after the single and struck out Logan Brown looking to keep the game at 4-3.

The Bears would get the tying in the bottom of the eighth when Cal Towey singled off Berg to bring home Adam Toth, evening the game at 4-4 going to the ninth. In the top half of the inning, Carroll led off with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Kramer then reached first on a throwing error by the catcher, sending Carroll to third. Carroll would eventually come home on the next pitch after another passed ball, giving UCLA the 5-4 lead going to the bottom of the ninth. Freshman James Kaprielian came on in the bottom of the ninth and struck out the side to secure the 5-4 victory.

Overall, Valaika led the Bruin offense, going 2-5 with a double and a RBI. Gallagher followed that up with a 2-4 effort of his own while Scott, Carroll and Chatterton each added a hit. Watson went 6.2 innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs in a no-decision. Berg earned his first victory of the year while Kaprielian picked up his second save of the weekend.

UCLA (4-2) will hit the road again this Tuesday when they travel up the freeway to Santa Barbara, Calif., to face the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. out at UCSB's Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

Game Notes: UCLA's starting pitchers posted a 2.89 ERA this weekend against Baylor...the Bruins had eight batters hit by a pitch in the three-game series (three on the day), bringing their total to 17 on the year...UCLA improved to 4-3 all-time against Baylor...the win was David Berg's sixth of his career, all coming in relief...Brian Carroll went 6 for 12 with three stolen bases and a run in the three-game series this weekend, raising his average to a team-best .478 and his stolen base total to five stolen bases in six attempts. 

Sunday, 24 February 2013 05:14

TWear doubtful for USC

UCLA forward Travis Wear sustained a right foot injury during practice on Saturday afternoon. His status for UCLA’s game at USC on Sunday is doubtful. Game time at Galen Center is 12:30 p.m. (PT). Sunday’s contest will be nationally televised by Fox Sports Net.


Wear has averaged 11.6 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game during his junior campaign, having played in and started 25 of the Bruins’ 26 contests. He leads the team with 29 blocked shots. Wear missed UCLA’s game at Arizona State (Jan. 26) with a concussion.

Sunday, 24 February 2013 05:13

Bruins drop one to Baylor

No. 2 UCLA Baseball Falls to Baylor, 5-0
Vander Tuig strikes out three in six innings while Carroll goes 2-5 with a stolen base.

Waco, Tex. - The No. 2 ranked UCLA Baseball team dropped the second game of a three-game series with Baylor, falling to the Bears, 5-0, before a crowd of over 3,000 at Baylor Ballpark on Saturday afternoon.

Right-hander Dillon Newman earned the win for the Bears after throwing five shutout innings. Junior Nick Vander Tuig took the loss for the Bruins despite having a good day on the mound, giving up just four hits and two runs in six innings pitched. Junior Brian Carroll put together another multi-hit day at the plate for the Bruins, going 2-5 with a stolen base.

Neither team would score for the first four frames, but in the bottom of the fifth inning, Baylor third baseman Cal Towey broke the scoreless tie with a two-run home run off Vander Tuig that put the Bears up, 2-0. The Bruins threatened in the top of the sixth though, getting the first two runners on base. After Pat Gallagher laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, sophomore Chris Keck fouled out to third to bring up junior Brenton Allen. Allen was able to draw a walk to load the bases with two outs, but freshman Trent Chatterton struck out in the next at-bat to end the inning.

Baylor then opened the game up a little in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring three runs to increase their lead to 5-0. After loading the bases with nobody out, Lawton Langford hit a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 3-0. The next batter was Steve DalPorto, who executed a suicide squeeze to score the next run to make it 4-0. Baylor capped off the inning with a RBI single to shortstop by Jake Miller to give them the 5-0 advantage heading to the ninth. UCLA was unable to score any runs in the ninth inning and Baylor went on to claim the 5-0 victory.

The two teams will square off in the rubber match tomorrow at 11:05 a.m. PT at Baylor Ballpark. Left-hander Grant Watson (1-0, 0.00) will start for the Bruins while right-hander Austin Stone (0-0, 0.00) will take the mound for the Bears.

Game Notes: This is the fifth consecutive game that Nick Vander Tuig has pitched at least six innings...Vander Tuig allowed just one hit through the first four innings of play... Brian Carroll posted his third straight multi-hit game and his fourth in the last five games...Carroll also stole a base for the second straight game, giving him five steals in six attempts on the year...by reaching base tonight, junior Pat Valaika and sophomore Kevin Kramer have both now reached base in all five of UCLA's contests this year.

Saturday, 23 February 2013 15:05

Gymnastics Posts Road Season-High 197.2

UCLA Gymnastics Posts Road Season-High 197.2 at Oklahoma

Bruins cannot overcome school-record 198.375 score by Sooners.


Fifth-ranked UCLA recorded its best score on the road this season, 197.2, but second-ranked Oklahoma flexed its muscle with a school-record 198.375. The Bruins drop to 7-2 on the year, while the Sooners improve to 15-0.


Several career and season high marks were set by Bruin gymnasts. Freshman Sophina DeJesus returned to competition after sitting out two meets with a concussion and tied her career-bests on beam and floor with 9.875s. Her classmate Danusia Francis also set new career-bests, scoring 9.8s on bars and floor. Senior Kaelie Baer matched her career-best on vault with a 9.875 and tied her season-high on beam with a 9.8. Season-highs were achieved by Mattie Larson on beam (9.9) and Lichelle Wong on vault (9.825) and beam (9.85).


Vanessa Zamarripa scored 39.65 in the all-around to tie for second place and took home UCLA's only individual victory, winning uneven bars with a 9.95.

The Bruins began the meet on uneven bars and scored 49.25. Francis and Olivia Courtney started out with two straight routines with stuck dismounts, with Francis scoring a career-best 9.8 and Courtney scoring 9.825. Larson had a fall on her dismount and scored 9.15, but DeJesus rallied back with a 9.85 after a stuck dismount. After Wong's 9.825, Zamarripa hit a beauty of a routine, hitting and holding every handstand and sticking her double layout dismount to score 9.95. The Bruins earned 49.25 but trailed Oklahoma, which scored 49.525 after producing four 9.9+ vaults.


UCLA had a good showing on vault in rotation two, scoring 49.3 on the strength of 9.9s from Courtney and Zamarripa, who blasted huge vaults with unparalleled distance. Baer tied her career-high with a 9.875, Wong tied her season-best with a 9.825, and Dana McDonald earned a leadoff 9.8. The Bruins were unable to make up ground, however, as the Sooners scored 49.575 on bars thanks to five 9.9+ scores.


Floor exercise saw five Bruins score 9.8 or higher. McDonald started with a 9.825. Sadiqua Bynum fell on her middle pass and scored 9.15, but DeJesus once again followed a fall with a big score of 9.875, which tied her career-best. Alyssa Pritchett produced a 9.9, Zamarripa earned a 9.95, and Francis scored a career-best 9.8 to give UCLA a 49.35 team score.


With Oklahoma ahead by 0.75 heading into the last rotation, the Bruins were looking to finish strong on beam and achieve a 197 score. Needing at least a 49.1 team total to do that, the Bruins tied their season-high on the beam with 49.3 to surpass the mark. Baer did her part by leading off with a season-high 9.8. Wong scored a season-best 9.875, and DeJesus tied her career-best with a 9.875. Larson rebounded from her earlier fall on bars to hit a season-high 9.9. Zamarripa scored 9.85, and Francis finished with a 9.625.


"Everybody on the team and coaching staff feels that this is the best meet we've had all year. Not because of the scores but because of the team chemistry and the team dynamic," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. "I've been open about saying that we need to mature emotionally as a team, and the work we did this week really came through tonight."


UCLA goes back on the road once again next week, facing two-time defending NCAA champion and fourth-ranked Alabama on Friday, Mar. 1 in Tuscaloosa.

Team Results

1) OU 198.375

2) UCLA 197.200


VAULT Results

1) Keeley Kmieciak (OU) 9.925, Maile'ana Kanewa (OU) 9.925, Brie Olson (OU) 9.925


BARS Results

1) Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.950

2) Keeley Kmieciak (OU) 9.925, Brie Olson (OU) 9.925, Taylor Spears (OU) 9.925


BEAM Results

1) Taylor Spears (OU) 9.975

2) Erica Brewer (OU) 9.950

3) Mattie Larson (UCLA) 9.900, Keeley Kmieciak (OU) 9.900, Brie Olson (OU) 9.900


FLOOR Results

1) Haley Scaman (OU) 9.975

2) Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.950, Taylor Spears (OU) 9.950, Brie Olson (OU) 9.950


All-Around Results

1) Brie Olson (OU) 39.700

2) Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 39.650, Keeley Kmieciak (OU) 39.650, Taylor Spears (OU) 39.650

Saturday, 23 February 2013 14:46

UCLA Edge Baylor

No. 2 UCLA Edges Baylor, 4-3, in Series Opener
Carroll goes 3-4 with a RBI and two stolen bases while Plutko picks up first win of the season.

The No. 2 ranked UCLA Baseball team picked up their third win in a row, edging the Baylor Bears, 4-3, in the series opener at Baylor Ballpark. Junior Adam Plutko earned his first win of the year after giving up just one run in six innings.
Right-hander Max Garner took the loss for Baylor after going five innings and giving up an earned run.

Junior Brian Carroll led the Bruins at the plate, going 3-4 with a RBI and two stolen bases to bring his total to four on the year. Sophomore catcher Shane Zeile followed that up with a 2-4 effort of his own, knocking in a RBI as well.
The Bruins again got off to a hot start, recording three hits and a run in the first inning to go ahead early, 1-0. After Valaika doubled with two outs, senior Cody Regis, making his first start of the year, singled to center to score Valaika and put the Bruins ahead, 1-0. Baylor would tie it up in the bottom half of the inning though, as Cal Towey hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to even the game at 1-1. 

UCLA would take back the lead in the top of the third inning, when Zeile picked up his first hit of the year with an RBI single to left, scoring Kramer and giving the Bruins the 2-1 lead.

In the fifth inning, Baylor threatened by getting Adam Toth into scoring position with one out. But the Bruins executed a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play to get out of the inning still ahead by one.

In the top of the sixth, Carroll added an insurance run for UCLA, scoring Shane Zeile with a two-out single down the left field line to make it 3-1 Bruins. UCLA tacked on another run in the top of the seventh when Filia scored on a wild pitch by Baylor pitcher Crayton Bare, increasing the lead to 4-1. Baylor fought back though, and in the bottom half of the inning cut the deficit to two when pinch-hitter Brett Doe hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Jake Miller. The Bears eventually got two runners on with two outs, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in Lawton Langford. But David Berg got Langford to ground out back to the pitcher to end the inning.

Once again Baylor threatened in the bottom of the eighth, getting two runners on with one out. But for the second straight inning, Berg worked out of trouble, inducing a groundout and a strikeout to end the threat. Freshman James Kaprielian came on in the ninth and after giving up a run on a bases loaded walk, was able to get Wes Mercurio to ground out to Zeile to seal the 4-3 victory for UCLA and earn his first career save.

UCLA and Baylor will continue their three-game series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. PT. Nick Vander Tuig (1-0, 0.00) will take the mound for the Bruins.

Game Notes: With the win, Adam Plutko improved to 8-0 in his last nine starts, going at least six innings in each of them…Plutko has also logged a 1.14 ERA in his last eight starts…today was the third consecutive game that the Bruins have scored at least one run in the first inning…Kevin Kramer and Pat Gallagher were both hit by a pitches in the game, which brings UCLA’s total to 10 hit batters through four games...Brian Carroll posted his third multi-hit game in four games this year, raising his average to a team-leading .533…all four of UCLA’s runs tonight were scored with two outs.

Friday, 22 February 2013 22:27

Is Dorton Close?

Dorton Malik The Bruins didn’t waste any time getting busy on the recruiting trail for the class of 2014. Not too long after UCLA hauled in an outstanding recruiting class, they were busy getting started on another one hosting an invite only meet and greet. One of the players there was defensive end, Malik Dorton (6-3, 235) from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco.

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