Soso Jamabo

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UCLA loses third player to season-ending head injury this week

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On Wednesday, running back Bolu Olorunfunmi was added to the list of Bruins players set to miss playing time due to concussion concerns. Olorunfunmi, who will sit out for the rest of the 2018 season, was the third player this week reportedly being ruled out for the remainder of the 2018 season by head coach Chip Kelly.

Earlier this week, Kelly announced starting linebacker Jaelan Phillips and running back Soso Jamabo were out due to their own head injury concerns.

Olorunfunmi was UCLA’s leading rusher in 2017 with 565 yards and five touchdowns. Jamabo was the second-leading rusher for the Bruins after appearing in 10 games with 446 yards and a team-high six rushing touchdowns a year ago. The 2018 season has been quite a different year for both senior running backs. Jamabo has appeared in just three games with five rushing attempts for 12 yards, and Olorunfunmi has appeared in all six games with 31 rushing attempts for 85 yards; he is also tied for the most rushing touchdowns for UCLA with four this season.

Phillips appeared in four games for the Bruins, in which he recorded 20 total tackles and one sack this season. Phillips had been listed as UCLA’s starter at outside linebacker, with redshirt freshman Odusa Isibor listed as his backup at the position. Redshirt sophomore Mique Juarez has been listed as the other backup outside linebacker on the UCLA depth chart this season.

With more attention and care given to head injuries around the football world, it is not surprising to see players have to cut their seasons short, and the losses on the depth chart can never come at a good time for any program. Losing three players in the same week is especially difficult as Kelly is looking to finally build off the team’s first win of the season.

UCLA hosts Arizona this week in Pac-12 play. The Wildcats will be without starting quarterback Khalil Tate.

UCLA suspends six players for season opener vs. Cincinnati

Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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UCLA will kick off the new college football season and the first game in the Chip Kelly era a bit shorthanded. On Monday, UCLA suspended six players for the season opener this weekend against Cincinnati for what is simply being reported as a violation of athletic department policy. Tight end Devin Asiasi, running back Soso Jamabo, defensive linemen Osa Odighizuwa and Moses Robinson-Carr, defensive back Mo Osling, and offensive lineman Boss Tagaloa will all sit out of UCLA’s home game against Cincinnati on September 1.

Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported the news of the suspension, via Twitter.

Jamabo is one of UCLA’s top running backs returning in 2018 after rushing for 446 yards and a team-high six touchdowns last season for the Bruins in 10 games. The absence of Jamabo will likely mean more carries for senior Bolu Olorunfunmi, last year’s leading rusher for UCLA, as well as some younger options that could take advantage of the opportunity. Branden Stephens may be the most liekly to get a few more rushing attempts as a result.

Tagaloa started eight games for UCLA in 2017 and recorded 32 tackles with one sack. In nine games, Tagaloa recorded multiple tackles a year after playing in 12 games as a reserve lineman and on special teams.

Odighizuwa played in 13 games last season and recorded 15 tackles with 5.5 tackles for a loss and a sack as a backup.

Osling played in 13 games as . abackup defensive back and saw time on special teams by returning kicks. Osling recorded 18 tackles and returned nine kickoffs for an average of 18.0 yards per return.

Robinson-Carr played as a backup tight end and on special teams last season. He started one game and caught one pass for four yards.

Asiasi sat out the 2017 season after transferring to UCLA from Michigan.

UCLA has not released a depth chart for this weekend’s game at this time.

UPDATE: Now, UCLA has a depth chart. Redshirt junior Joshua Kelly sits atop the depth chart at running back. Kelley did not play in 2017 after transferring from UC Davis. No starting quarterback has been decided on at this time.

Josh Rosen shines as No. 13 UCLA handles Viriginia

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Behind a true freshman quarterback that played anything like it, No. 13 UCLA cruised past Virginia for a 34-16 victory at the Rose Bowl. Josh Rosen, a California native and No. 1 quarterback recruit in the class of 2015, played flawlessly in his debut, hitting 28-of-35 passes for 351 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions before leaving the game midway through the fourth quarter with victory well in hand for the Bruins.

Virginia opened the scoring with a 42-yard Ian Frye field goal at the 9:19 mark of the first quarter, but Rosen took over from there. He hit Devin Fuller for an easy four-yard scoring strike in the first quarter to give UCLA a lead it would not relinquish, nailed Thomas Duarte for on a gorgeous 30-yard rainbow to put the Bruins up 14-6 midway through the second, and then found Kenny Clark for a three-yard score to push the lead to 31-9 late in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers moved the ball well in the first half but stalled on all three of its scoring opportunities, leading to three Frye field goals and a 17-9 halftime deficit. UCLA’s talented defense, led by lineman Eddie Vanderdoes and linebacker Myles Jack, tightened the screws in the second half. Virginia would not score until the 3:33 mark of the fourth quarter as Matt Johns hit Taquan Mizell for on a 19-yard wheel route to provide the final score.

Mizell provided most of the offense for Virginia, rushing 16 times for 45 yards while also leading the club with eight grabs for 100 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Johns completed 21-of-35 passes for 238 yards with a score and a pick.

Another true freshman, Soso Jamabo, led UCLA in rushing, racking up 79 yards on his nine mom-up carries. Pac-12 leading returning rusher Paul Perkins totaled 59 yards on 14 attempts while leading the club with 58 yards on his five receptions. In addition to making good decisions with the ball, Rosen spread the wealth; 11 different Bruins recorded receptions on the day.

UCLA (1-0) heads to UNLV next week, while Virginia (0-1) heads home to face, gulp, No. 11 Notre Dame in the second of three games against ranked foes in the month of September.

After fleeing police, five-star UCLA signee facing multiple charges

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A heralded member of UCLA’s 2015 recruiting class will have a few legal obstacles to traverse before getting on campus.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting that, early Sunday morning, Soso Jamabo was arrested on multiple charges after fleeing from police officers attempting to pull him over.  Specifically, Jamabo was charged with evading arrest with a vehicle, minor consumption of alcohol, minor in possession of alcohol, speeding, driving without possessing a driver’s license and disregarding a stop sign.

According to the Morning News, it appears Jamabo was at his senior prom prior to the incident.

Jamabo was one of highest-rated prospects in the Class of 2015, with most major programs offering scholarships to the five-star recruit. The list of suitors was ultimately whittled down to UCLA and Texas, with Jamabo taking to Twitter to announce for the Bruins in very unique fashion.

The No. 1 player in the state of Texas, Jamabo was rated by Rivals.com as the No. 4 running back in the country and the No. 22 player overall.

UPDATED 4:04 p.m. ET: UCLA released a statement addressing Jamabo’s situation.

We are aware of the reports out of Dallas regarding Sotonye Jamabo. We are obviously concerned about these reports and are currently gathering more information. As this is a continuing process, we will withhold further comment until the appropriate time.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Tomorrow is National Signing Day

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We are now fewer than 24 hours away from the moment high school football players can begin faxing in their National Letter of Intent to the college of their choice. It is an exciting time and is the most significant part of the offseason calendar in college football.

Tomorrow, Wednesday February 4, will be the big day but the past 24 hours have seen plenty of recruiting activity from coast to coast. Last night Texas head coach Charlie Strong managed to flip quarterback Kai Locksley, son of Maryland assistant Mike Locksley, from Florida State to Texas, giving him what may be the quarterback he needs to begin turning things around at Texas. Florida head coach Jim McElwain also won a recruiting battle against the Seminoles and Miami by securing four-star running back Jordan Scarlett. There were also a number of commitments and developments around the country leading up to signing day. It is like the mad rush on Christmas Eve; a lot is happening, but tomorrow is the big day for the biggest headlines.

There will be a full day of live announcements being made on national television, with ESPNU offering some big announcements from tight end Chris Clark (Michigan or UCLA), offensive lineman Pat Allen (Tennessee, Georgia or Oklahoma), defensive end Byron Cowart (Auburn or Florida) and running back SoSo Jamabo (Texas A&M, Texas, UCLA, Notre Dame all considered among the favorites) by 9:00 a.m. eastern.

Power conferences will once again have the upper hand for the most part as the divide between the power conferences and the non-power conferences continues to evolve. Alabama will be a big winner, as will programs like USC, Clemson, Florida State and Tennessee. Ohio State has come on strong of late and Penn State looks to have its best class in years. Keep an eye on Florida and Michigan to see if they can finish with any notable additions, but remember these programs should be more fairly reviewed with what they do in 2016.

Some quick links with a quick glance at the power conference recruiting rankings as of Sunday, top recruits and top recruiting battles to keep an eye on leading up to tomorrow.

ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Some quick closing thoughts as we get ready for signing day. Do not tweet at recruits. These are high school kids making a life decision and they deserve the chance to make what they feel is the best decision for them, not your rooting interests. If a recruit does choose a rival school, it is for a reason or reasons that most likely do not involve the other school cheating.*

Are you ready? Let’s go!

* Your rivals definitely cheated.