UCLA Football: Five potential breakout players in 2017

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Soso Jamabo
PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Soso Jamabo /
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DL Rick Wade, #90

R-So., 6’6″, 280 lbs.

Rick Wade is a bully on the defensive line. He has the dimensions of an offensive lineman, making it harder for the opposition to stop him at the snap. He will often break into the backfield and blow up a play before it has time to start. Wade’s three tackles for a loss in 2016, demonstrate his destructive force.

Wade is also good at observing handoffs and determining if he will be facing a run play, or a play action. In either case, Wade’s speed allows him to keep up with a running back trying to stretch the play to the outside, as well as, a quarterback trying to decide where to throw the ball. If there is a moment of hesitation from any ball handler, Wade will take advantage and make the tackle.

With only one sack in 12 games, Wade can definitely improve on his pass rushing. With Takkarist McKinley now a member of the Atlanta Falcons, Wade will have his chance to shine. Most opposing offenses will now be game planning on how to stop Kenny Young, who was named to the Butkus Award watch list. Wade should have an easier time getting to the quarterback, as his teammate takes most of the pressure.