For years, the UCLA Bruins have been able to bring in some talent, but never put it together on the field for consistent success. Head coach Jim Mora pinpointed one of the biggest reasons as a lack of depth and talent along the offensive line.
He put together a young group in 2012 who overcame their inexperience to gel into one of the better units in the Pac 12, but Mora has his sights on the big picture in Westwood. That’s why the biggest win in UCLA’s 2013 recruiting class was finally addressing their weakness in the offensive line.
In all, the Bruins bring seven new offensive linemen to campus for next fall. The coaching staff made a concentrated effort to improve their offensive line this recruiting season and they came through in a huge way. This group is one of the best linemen classes in the country and easily one of the best in the history of UCLA football.
The group is highlighted by a trio of beefy linemen who could see immediate playing time in 2013. Scott Quessenberry, regarded as the No. 3 center in the country, is the highest rated among them. Along with John Lopez, the No. 17 rated guard, the Bruins welcome a pair of ESPN 300 recruits to their line next season. The massive 6-foot-6, 317-pound Caleb Benenoch (No. 22 rated guard) also has the build to find the field as a starter right away.
Mora sees all seven as major contributors for the Bruins and declared every position along the line up for grabs.
“I see all seven of them coming in here and competing for a starting spot right away. We’re not going to limit what they can do. … I think that’s the attitude that they all need to have. And I think that’s the attitude that the guys that are on this campus now need to have, too, is there are seven guys coming to take my job.”
The offensive line has never looked healthier for UCLA then it does now heading into 2013. Expect there to be plenty of healthy competition in fall camp, as Mora and his staff get the best five guys out on the field to power the Bruins’ running game next season.