Now let’s take a look a couple new names joining the UCLA Football team in time for spring practice.
- Chase Cota, Fr. 6’3,185 pounds
- Kyle Phillips, Fr. 5’11, 175 pounds
It won’t be a major influx in terms of numbers for the Spring but both of these players bring a ton of talent to the Bruins. First we’ll take a look at Cota who, like Howard, should be able to make an instant impact in this offense.
Cota has the frame to add bulk and while there will always be concerns about adding bulk and losing speed, he doesn’t just win with speed although he can run with the best of them. Cota is a sharp and nuanced route runner for someone his age and you can only expect that to get better with college coaching. He also has impressive hands so no matter who the starting QB is for the Bruins in 2018 they’ll be throwing to as reliable target.
Oh is sharp route running a theme here? Because Phillips fits right into that mold. Quick feet, sharp routes, soft hands and surprising toughness for such a thin frame, Phillips is the dream slot receiver. The Bruins lost their starting slot receiver, Darren Andrews, to an ACL late in the season and he won’t return after graduating so replacing him is of paramount importance. At this stage in his football career Phillips is already more polished than Andrews was as a freshman and should thrive in this wide open offense.
We are going to see a number of combinations tried before the coaching staff settles on a tentative lineup before breaking spring camp but there has to be a a general sense of excitement not just from fans but from this coaching staff. Yes the Kelly offense could be simplified to a “run to throw” philosophy but with all of these weapons outside I have a feeling we are going to see a little fine tuning from this offensive guru as he shapes the UCLA Football offense.