UCLA Bruins

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  Joey Bosa of Ohio State holds up a jersey after being picked #3 overall by the San Diego Chargers during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Four-star recruits reign in first round of NFL draft

2 Comments

A wild and controversy-laden first night of the 2016 NFL draft has long since been put to bed — one college football program may have ongoing and lingering night terrors, though — with the second round set to kick off in less than an hour. Before that, though, it’s time to take a quick recruiting look back at that first round.

There were a total of 31 players selected in that first round, with just four coming from non-Power Five programs — quarterback Carson Wentz (North Dakota State, FCS) to the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2, cornerback William Jackson III (Houston, AAC) to the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 24, quarterback Paxton Lynch (Memphis, AAC) to the Denver Broncos at No. 26, defensive tackle Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech, Conference USA) to the Carolina Panthers at No. 30.  Wentz, as you may have learned during the run-up to the draft, wasn’t ranked in 247Sports.com‘s 2011 composite rankings and received zero scholarship offers from FBS programs, with Central Michigan the only school from that level showing more than mild interest.  The other three?  They were two-star prospects according to that recruiting service.

Those stars, or lack thereof, though, were the exception rather than the rule.

Of the remaining 27 first-round picks in the 2016 draft, more than half (17) were four-star prospects coming out of high school, again according to 247Sports.com’s composite rankings.  Of the players selected in the Top 10, seven of them were four-star recruits, with the lone exceptions being Wentz, Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey (2013 five-star) and Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin (not rated, zero FBS scholarship offers, began career as walk-on).

Aside from Wentz, Conklin, Jackson III, Lynch and Butler, every other draft pick was at least a three-star recruit coming out of high school.  Interestingly, there were nearly as many three-star recruits picked (four) as there were five-stars (five).

Including the No. 1 overall pick from Cal, quarterback Jared Goff, four of the first five selections were four-star prospects.  The first five-star selected was Ramsey; the first three-star was Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins at No. 12 to the New Orleans Saints.

Below is the entire first round of the 2016 NFL draft, with the draftees corresponding recruiting ranking in parentheses.

  1. Los Angeles Rams — Jared Goff, Cal (4*)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles — Carson Wentz, North Dakota State (NR)
  3. San Diego Chargers — Joey Bosa, Ohio State (4*)
  4. Dallas Cowboys — Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State (4*)
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jalen Ramsey, Florida State (5*)
  6. Baltimore Ravens — Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame (4*)
  7. San Francisco 49ers — DeForest Buckner, Oregon (4*)
  8. Tennessee Titans — Jack Conklin, Michigan State (NR)
  9. Chicago Bears — Leonard Floyd, Georgia (4*)
  10. New York Giants — Eli Apple, Ohio State (4*)
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida (5*)
  12. New Orleans Saints — Sheldon Rankins, Louisville (3*)
  13. Miami Dolphins — Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss (5*)
  14. Oakland Raiders — Karl Joseph, West Virginia (3*)
  15. Cleveland Browns — Corey Coleman, Baylor (4*)
  16. Detroit Lions — Taylor Decker, Ohio State (4*)
  17. Atlanta Falcons — Keanu Neal, Florida (4*)
  18. Indianapolis Colts — Ryan Kelly, Alabama (4*)
  19. Buffalo Bills — Shaq Lawson, Clemson (4*)
  20. New York Jets — Darron Lee, Ohio State (3*)
  21. Houston Texans — Will Fuller, Notre Dame (4*)
  22. Washington Redskins — Josh Doctson, TCU (3*)
  23. Minnesota Vikings — Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (5*)
  24. Cincinnati Bengals — William Jackson III, Houston (2*)
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers — Artie Burns, Miami (4*)
  26. Denver Broncos — Paxton Lynch, Memphis (2*)
  27. Green Bay Packers — Kenny Clark, UCLA (4*)
  28. San Francisco 49ers — Joshua Garnett, Stanford (4*)
  29. Arizona Cardinals — Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss (5*)
  30. Carolina Panthers — Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech (2*)
  31. Seattle Seahawks — Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M (4*)

Ohio State won the NFL Draft’s first round, and Ole Miss lost it

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Getty Images
12 Comments

After a win in the Great Satellite War of 2016 earlier Thursday, the Big Ten continued its winning streak into the night as Jim Delany‘s conference claimed the most selections in the NFL Draft’s first round.

Ohio State led the way with five selections, one short of 2004 Miami’s all-time record. Joey Bosa was first off the board to the Chargers at No.3, followed immediately by Ezekiel Elliott to the Cowboys at No. 4. The pair became the first teammates selected in the top five since Sam BradfordGerald McCoy and Trent Williams were selected in the top four in 2010. Cornerback Eli Apple joined Elliott in the NFC East in going to the Giants at No. 10, and Taylor Decker trailed six picks later to the Lions. Linebacker Darron Lee rounded out the night for the Buckeyes when he went to the Jets at No. 20.

Ole Miss trailed Ohio State with three first-round selections, but the night was anything but a win for Hugh Freeze and the Rebels, not after Laremy Tunsil was shown on Twitter smoking from a bong, then admitting in a press conference to taking money from coaches. Tunsil, once projected as the No. 1 overall pick, fell to the Dolphins at No. 13. Laquon Treadwell was chosen by the Vikings at No. 23, and Robert Nkemdiche headed west to the Cardinals at No. 29.

Most selections by team
5 – Ohio State
3 – Ole Miss
2 – Florida, Notre Dame

Other storylines of note:

– SEC shut out at the top: Thanks in large part to Tunsil’s slide, the SEC did not dent the big board until Georgia’s Leonard Floyd went to the host Bears at No. 9. It was the conference’s longest wait to join the Draft since 2006, when Vanderbilt’s Jay Cutler was the SEC’s ice breaker at No. 11 overall. Still, the SEC was the most frequent player on Thursday night.

Most selections by conference
1. SEC – 8
2. Big Ten – 6
3. ACC – 4
3. Pac-12 – 4
5. Big 12 – 3
6. American – 2
7. Conference USA – 1

– Chip Kelly‘s Pac-12 love affair continues: After loading up on Pac-12 players in Philadelphia, the new 49ers head coach double-dipped into his old stomping grounds by nabbing former Duck DeForest Buckner at No. 7, then trading back into the first round to nab Stanford guard Joshua Garnett in the Chiefs’ spot at No. 28.

– Quarterbacks at the top, again: Jared Goff became California’s first No. 1 selection since 1975, but the Big Game rivalry’s second in four years. Overall, quarterbacks have gone No. 1 overall 14 times since Peyton Manning entered the league in 1998.

The full list:

  1. Los Angeles Rams — Jared Goff, California
  2. Philadelphia Eagles — Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
  3. San Diego Chargers — Joey Bosa, Ohio State
  4. Dallas Cowboys — Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jalen Ramsey, Florida State
  6. Baltimore Ravens — Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame
  7. San Francisco 49ers — DeForest Buckner, Oregon
  8. Tennessee Titans — Jack Conklin, Michigan State
  9. Chicago Bears — Leonard Floyd, Georgia
  10. New York Giants — Eli Apple, Ohio State
  11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida
  12. New Orleans Saints — Sheldon Rankins, Louisville
  13. Miami Dolphins — Laremy Tunsil, Ole Miss
  14. Oakland Raiders — Karl Joseph, West Virginia
  15. Cleveland Browns — Corey Coleman, Baylor
  16. Detriot Lions — Taylor Decker, Ohio State
  17. Atlanta Falcons — Keanu Neal, Florida
  18. Indianapolis Colts — Ryan Kelly, Alabama
  19. Buffalo Bills — Shaq Lawson, Clemson
  20. New York Jets — Darron Lee, Ohio State
  21. Houston Texans — Will Fuller, Notre Dame
  22. Washington Redskins — Josh Doctson, TCU
  23. Minnesota Vikings — Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
  24. Cincinnati Bengals — William Jackson III, Houston
  25. Pittsburgh Steelers — Artie Burns, Miami
  26. Denver Broncos — Paxton Lynch, Memphis
  27. Green Bay Packers — Kenny Clark, UCLA
  28. San Francisco 49ers — Joshua Garnett, Stanford
  29. Arizona Cardinals — Robert Nkemdiche, Ole Miss
  30. Carolina Panthers — Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech
  31. Seattle Seahawks — Germain Ifedi, Texas A&M

Cal signs 10-year partnership with Under Armour worth a reported $86 million

BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Jared Goff #16 of the California Golden Bears drops back to pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the second half of their NCAA football game at California Memorial Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

Just a few years after Nike provided California with a comprehensive, streamlined look, the Golden Bears are leaving for Under Armour. The two sides announced a “campuswide parternership” on Friday, lasting 10 years and worth a reported $85.6 million.

Nabbing California was a strategic play for Under Armour. The Baltimore-based company counts San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and some guy named Stephen Curry among its endorsers.

“We’re anchoring in the Bay Area — it ties in strategically with our business,” Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank told the San Jose Mercury News. “With Cal’s reputation and its Nobel Prizes and its commitment to innovation, it was a slam dunk.”

In addition to $4.8 million annually in equipment, $3.5 million annually in cash and a $3 million signing bonus, Under Armour will outfit each of Cal’s 34 club teams, provide internship and employment opportunities for Cal students and graduates, provide fitness opportunities for Cal students, faculty and staff, and collaborate “on philanthropic and social responsibility programs.”

“We are excited to announce this unique partnership between UC Berkeley and Under Armour,” UC Chancellor Nicholas Dirks said in a statement. “Going well beyond a typical apparel contract, this relationship will extend across the entire campus, reinforcing our commitment to a strong, sustainable intercollegiate athletics program, one that is such an integral and fully integrated part of our university.”

In addition to the money, the equipment, the publicity and the new car smell, Cal gains the notoriety of owning the Pac-12’s richest apparel deal — richer than USC, richer than Stanford, richer than Oregon. That is, until UCLA takes its turn at the plate later this year.

UCLA AD Dan Guerrero explains why he voted for satellite camp ban

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 13:  UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero speaks at a press conference introducing Jim Mora as head UCLA football coach at the J.D. Morgan Center at UCLA on December 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Getty Images
4 Comments

Who ordered the code red? UCLA AD Dan Guerrero ordered the code red. But why did he order the code red? That’s another question entirely.

In the wake of a 10-5 vote to ban all off-campus camps earlier this month, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told reporters Wednesday the Bruins’ AD “did not vote the way he was supposed to.” In an email obtained by Sports Illustrated‘s Andy Staples, Guerrero explained to his colleagues why.

In short, Guerrero’s vote came at the end of the line, when it appeared Proposal 2015-59, authored by the ACC, to ban coaches from working camps off their own campuses, was going to pass no matter how he voted. In his mind, voting for that ban made more sense for the Pac-12 than allowing Proposal 2015-60, a rule forwarded by the SEC that would ban coaches from working more than 50 miles off their own campuses because the Pac-12 already had a similar rule on its books. If Proposal 2015-60 passed, Guerrero reasoned, Pac-12 schools would be at a disadvantage relative to other conferences, whereas 2015-59 put everyone on the same (albeit non-sensical) playing field.

Why Guerrero couldn’t have voted for Proposal 2015-60 and then urged the Pac-12 to change its rule is another question altogether.

Dear Pac-12 colleagues,

Recognizing the inquiries made to the Pac-12 Conference office about the decision rendered at NCAA Division 1 Council meeting this past week to pass Proposal 2015–59, ending  “satellite camps”, I thought it best convey my rationale for voting to support this piece of legislation. Prior to these meetings, I had extensive conversations with Pac-12 representatives in regard to the Conference’s position on a number of legislative proposals—the “satellite camp” proposals included. With an 0–11–1 vote cast by the Pac-12 Council, a vote to oppose proposals 2015–59 (sponsored by the ACC) and 2015–60, (sponsored by the SEC) was the charge with the ultimate goal to refer the legislation to the Football Oversight Committee (FOC). 

Going into the meetings, it was the feeling of many members of the D1 Council that these proposals would be tabled at the request of the FOC, thereby rendering both of these proposals moot, and keeping the current rule relative to “satellite camps” unchanged. In fact this was the preferred outcome by our Conference as indicated in the preparatory materials I received prior to the meeting. 

When this did not happen, it was conveyed on the Council floor that the FOC was supportive of 2015–59 and/or 2015–60. Based on the subsequent discussion it appeared as though passage was imminent. Therefore, I made the call to support 2015–59, which was the preference of the two options.

Proposal 2015–59 was clearly preferable from a Pac-12 perspective because it is aligned with current Pac-12 legislation SPR 6–6(a) that limits institutional camps to the campus.  If 2015–60 had passed, other conferences would have had a more lenient camp rule than the Pac-12 . As such, avoiding that outcome became my top priority.

When my read of the situation was that 2015–59 was going to pass, regardless of a Pac-12 vote against, I voted in favor of this proposition as it was the more consistent of the two with current Pac-12 legislation.

Hopefully this sheds some light on the process.

Thanks,

Dan Guerrero
Director of Athletics, UCLA

Guerrero wasn’t alone in voting against his league’s wishes. Texas State AD Larry Teis voted for the ban, though a majority of Sun Belt schools wanted to keep satellite camps intact.

Had those two voted in their conference’s best interests, a 10-5 vote for the ban would have swung to a 9-6 vote against (as a Power 5 school, the Pac-12’s vote counted double).

As fate would have it, UCLA chancellor Gene Block sits on the Division I Board of Directors, which will meet next week and is widely expected to revisit the D1 Council’s vote, if not walk it back altogether. It’s a safe assumption Block will walk into that meeting with a mind to take an extinguisher to the tire fire his athletics director started.

Larry Scott: Pac-12 rep ‘did not vote the way he was supposed to’ on satellite camps

WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 02:  UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero addresses the audience prior to introducing Steve Alford as UCLA's new head men's basketball coach on April 2, 2013 in Westwood, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Getty Images
8 Comments

Bet you didn’t see this twist coming, did you?

As you’ve no doubt heard, and much to the chagrin of Jim Harbaugh, the Big Ten and numerous other non-SEC head coaches across the country, the NCAA announced last week that they have barred the controversial practice of satellite camps.  While effective immediately, the ruling is not officially official, at least until the NCAA’s Board of Governors meet next week.

Earlier this week, NCAA executive Oliver Luck revealed that he expects the rule to be revisited, a rule that was approved by the NCAA Div. I council by a 10-5 margin.  Those voting for the ban included the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, Mountain West and Sun Belt; those against the ban were the Big Ten, AAC, Conference USA and the MAC.

The votes of the Power Five Conferences count double, which brings us to the twist:

Dan Guerrero is, of course, the athletic director at UCLA. Why, even as a member is not technically required, by rule, to vote the way his league leans, he voted for a ban on satellite camps when the overwhelming majority of his conference was against a ban is a great unknown — although that discrepancy was already noticed by at least one Pac-12 coach who blistered the NCAA for its decision to ban the camps.

“We’re trying to uncover this, I’m sure most of the Pac-12 is trying to uncover this,” Washington State head coach Mike Leach said during an interview with Rich Eisen late last week. “The Pac-12 poll (on satellite camps), 11 in favor of satellite camps, one abstention. Now how that unfolds into a vote against satellite camps, I can’t imagine. It’s unfathomable.”

If Guerrero had voted the way his commissioner said he was supposed to, that would’ve pushed the vote to eight in favor of a ban, seven against. That, though, wouldn’t have changed anything as the ban still would’ve still been approved, still been put into effect immediately, and still need final approval from the Board of Governors.

That said, it’s not a good look for anyone involved, Guerrero in particular.  Why Guerrero went rogue will be a burning question that continues to linger — and likely grow — until the man responsible for it provides some sort of public explanation.