UCLA Football will have new faces starting in key positions in 2017. There are potential breakout stars all across the board that should get Bruins fans excited for the future of the team.
As it is with the end of every season, the UCLA Football team lost key pieces on both offense and defense due to graduation, as well as the NFL Draft. It’s bittersweet, as these players will be missed.
However, their departure opens the door for up and coming players to make their own names in Bruin lore.
This article will explore potential breakout players, who will see added responsibilities this coming year. If these athletes reach their potential, it should help UCLA overcome the 4-8 season they suffered in 2016.
Without further ado, here are the selections for UCLA’s breakout players of 2017.
DB Nate Meadors, #22
Jr., 5’11”, 195 lbs.
Nate Meadors played in just nine games his sophomore season at UCLA. In that time though, he showed incredible potential that hopefully indicates the Bruins’ defensive back position will be in good hands after the loss of Fabian Moreau, Marcus Rios, and Randall Goforth.
Meadors isn’t the biggest defensive back, but he’s not lacking in power. In the nine games he played, he totaled 35 tackles. What allowed Meadors to amass nearly four tackles per game in his short stint, is his ability to watch the backfield and predict where the ball will go. Once the play begins, Meadors’ quick reaction times allows him to make a break on the ball.
It helps that Meadors lined up at quarterback often in high school. This affords him a unique perspective in regards to what an opposing quarterback may do. It also gives merit to Meadors’ incredible athleticism. He is not only fast, but has fantastic footwork.
This combination is pivotal for success as a defensive back, as it allows one to stay with the wide receiver they’re covering, and either intercept or break up a pass, or tackle the receiver if the pass is completed. Meadors used his speed and footwork well last season, tallying six defended passes.