S Quentin Lake
After Jaleel Wadood left after 2017 and with four other defensive backs leaving the program since Chip Kelly took over, the once might UCLA secondary took a hit with their depth chart. Before last season, it was expected that Darnay Holmes, Nate Meadors, and Adarius Pickett would be the returning starters, which is always a good thing, but who would replace Wadood?
That question was quickly answered during spring practice when Quentin Lake emerged as the best option at safety. Some might say that he was inserted into the starting line up because of depth, but it quickly became apparent that he earned the spot on his own merit.
Lake is a fiery defender that does not quit on plays. Not only was he busy defending the skies (2 interceptions, 5 pass breakups), but he was able to get after any and all opponents that made their way to his area of the field. Lake was third on the team in total tackles with 67 in 2018, behind only Pickett and Krys Barnes.
With Pickett gone, Lake will be expected to be the leader of the secondary with Holmes. Though the Bruins did not have a great year with their pass defense in 2018, they should take a step up in 2019 with players getting healthy and having more depth. That will help to set up Lake for a solid junior season.