Rick Neuheisel continues to try and rebuild the UCLA football program back to the prominence it enjoyed under Terry Donahue. There’s solid talent on defense though the prospects from the offensive side of the ball are hard to find.
We don’t see much we like on offense. In fact our highest rated player from the scoring side of the ball was wearing a Colorado uniform the last time we saw him.
Josh Smith returns to the field after red-shirting in ’09 due to NCAA transfer rules. Smith showed us a lot of skill in ’08 at Colorado and was a big play receiver who also impacted the game as a return specialist. It remains to be seen how quickly he gets back in the saddle yet Smith does offer a good amount of upside talent.
The top NFL prospect on the Bruins roster far and away is linebacker Akeem Ayers. An imposing looking athlete on the field, Ayers is fast, large and stands out on film. He breaks down well, holds his ground against blocks and possesses the ability to quickly change direction. Very tough to block from the action, he holds his ground against strong, offensive linemen and makes plays. Ayers is very effective in space and easily stays downfield with opposing tight ends. He has all the skills to be a starting strong-side linebacker on the NFL level.
Many are high on the football skills of Rahim Moore yet we are not inclusive in this group. Moore showed skill early in his career yet has never really progressed on the field. He has a physical game and is very quick up the field to defend the run. At the same time Moore is inefficient, takes improper angles to the action and is late reacting in pass coverage despite his interception numbers.
On the other hand the team’s other safety, Tony Dye, is a prospect growing on us. An active safety constantly around the ball, Dye is a hard hitting defender that’s aggressive against the run. He must develop his game and prove he’s more than a run only defensive back yet there’s a lot to like about Dye.
Discuss all the NFL prospects from the PAC Ten!