4. Linebacker depth and progress
Aside from the offensive line, the linebackers are the other position group that is in dire need of a make over. From recruiting to development to scheme, the LBs just need to be better.
More from Go Joe Bruin
- UCLA Football: It’s time for the nation to meet Dante Moore
- UCLA Football: Where are they ranked heading into week 4
- UCLA Football: Position battle breakdown for Utah showdown
- UCLA vs. Utah: Location, time, prediction, and more
- UCLA Football: Highlights from Chip Kelly’s appearance on the Jim Rome Show
Luckily, the Bruins have Don Pellum as their new coach and his style is one that is requiring a certain level of aggression.
From what we have seen, there is going to be a lot more pass rushes, especially from the hybrid DE/OLB EDGE position, which Jaelan Phillips should develop nicely into. On the other side, Keisean Lucier-South has been solid with the outside position.
In the middle, Krys Barnes has seen a lot of time with the 1s and has been very consistent. The other ILB seems up in the air. Though it could be Josh Woods (he is nursing a shoulder injury), but Mique Juarez, Brandon Burton and Lokeni Toailoa are also in the running for minutes at this position this fall.
To add, the Bruins get immediate help with an injection of experience and depth as two junior college transfers, Je’Vari Anderson and Tyree Thompson start spring practice today. Both are pretty versatile and active linebackers, so they should come in and immediately be in the competition for a starting spot.