UCLA Football is Linebacker U, sorry Penn State

BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Linebacker Eric Kendricks
BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 25: Linebacker Eric Kendricks /

Since Jim Mora took over the UCLA Football team, the Bruins have become the new “Linebacker U”, ripping that moniker away from the Nittany paws of Penn State.

The UCLA Football team has had a lot of success on the defensive side of the ball. One of the strengths of this team has been the linebacking position.

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Since Head Coach Jim Mora took over, the Bruins have had success from several LBs, three of whom are making a big impact in the NFL. Over the weekend, the NFL Network sent out a tweet of the Top 5 Linebackers on the Rise. Three of these five are Bruins. Boom.

UCLA has regarded themselves as “LBU” or “Linebacker U” since Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Myles Jack were in blue and gold.

The Bruins coaches have done a fantastic job of indentifying the player’s talents and putting them in the best position to succeed. This led to these Bruins dominating at their spots and eventually becoming successful in the pros.

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Barr was a running back that the Bruin coaches believed would be more successful hunting running backs. They were correct. Now he has one of the most famous moments in the UCLA-USC rivalry. On top of that, he is wreaking havoc for the Minnesota Vikings.

Kendricks is UCLA’s all-time leading tackler that helped make his defense one of the best in the Pac-12 during his time in Westwood. Now he is paired with Barr on the Vikings, making their defense one of the more up-and-coming in the NFC. And Myles Jack… well he is an athletic freak like no other.

But the tradition is continuous at UCLA. THe leading tackler from last season, Jayon Brown was selected by Tennessee Titans in the 2017 NFL Draft. This season’s group leader Kenny Young got a ton of preseason recognition as he made it to four award watch lists.

UCLA also has some rising talent of their own as Josh Woods, Breland Brandt, DeChaun Holiday, the Toailoa Brothers and Mique Juarez will display their skills this season. The talent and development continues and will be here for seasons to come.

But what about the old “Linebacker U”? Crickets.

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Penn State, though traditionally good with linebackers, has not lived up to the level that UCLA has lately, thus the title of “LBU”, is now in the paws of Bruins. Face it Nittany Lions, you lost your bite. By the way, I am not happy with your performance in the Rose Bowl. You’re better than that.