TB Tyler Ebell

2002 Statistics

Coach: Karl Dorrell
1st year
2002 Record: 8-5
at Oklahoma State WON 38-24
at San Diego State WON 43-7
at Oregon State WON 43-35
at California LOST 12-17
at Washington WON 34-24
at Arizona WON 37-7
New Mexico WON 27-13

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

UCLA will be in good shape after making the most of a rebuilding 2002 (8-5, 4-4 Pac-10), finishing tied for fourth in the conference. The Bruins got to season their young players and show that their talent cupboard is stocked.

The Bruins also have their supporters buzzing over the hiring of a new head coach. First-year AD Dan Guerrero showed that he has set high standards by firing Bob Toledo before the Las Vegas Bowl. Ever since UCLA fell short of reaching the national championship game in 1998, they have been a .500 team, losing to cross-town rival USC for the last four years under Toledo. Guerrero is rolling the dice in hiring Karl Dorrell, a 39-year-old with no head coaching experience. It will take him some marginal time to establish himself, but he should do this with relative ease.

His players will also grow up quickly - trial by fire, if you will. The starting sophomore quarterback, either Drew Olson or Matt Moore, if kept with, ultimately will develop a comfort level in the newly installed West Coast offense. It does not help with two new tackles, but the quarterback has plenty of playmakers at his disposal. On defense, UCLA will rely on its speed in a new attacking system. The rookie starters from last season will need to play like veterans.

The season could play out in a number of ways with so many under-classmen in important roles. If everything goes accordingly well, UCLA will likely win up to nine games and have a shot at the Rose Bowl. However, the Bruins have a tough schedule that includes games at Colorado, Oklahoma and USC. Only three games look like easier, sure-win tilts. Going .500 again shouldn't make Bruin fans upset - grasping the new schemes will surely pay off later in this season and into the next. Just beating USC would give the Bruin faithful something to salvage and confirmation that the new hires are what is needed.

Projected 2003 record: 6-6
WR Craig Bragg
LB Brandon Chillar
LB Justin London
QB - 3 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 4 DB - 4
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Drew Olson, 104-53-4, 702 yds., 3 TD's

Rushing: Tyler Ebell, 234 att., 994 yds., 10 TD's

Receiving: Craig Bragg, 55 rec., 889 yds., 8 TD's

Scoring: Tyler Ebell, 10 TD's, 60 pts.

Punting: Chris Kluwe, 1 punt, 44.0 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Spencer Havner, 96 tot., 66 solo

Sacks: Dave Ball, 11 sacks

Interceptions: Ben Emanuel II, 4 for 77 yds.

Kickoff returns: Tab Perry, 25 ret., 25.0 avg.

Punt returns: Tyler Ebell, 24 ret., 11.4 avg.


FS Ben Emanuel II
OFFENSE: Cory Paus-QB, Mike Seidman-TE, Bryce Bohlander-OT, Mike Saffer-OT, Nate Fikse-K/P, Chris Griffith-K
DEFENSE: Rusty Williams-DE, Steve Morgan-DT, Sean Phillips-DT, Marcus Reese-MLB, Ricky Manning Jr.-CB

written by Diamond Leung

New UCLA head coach Karl Dorrell will run a pro-style West Coast offense, balancing pass and run. Returning at least seven starters, he certainly has the horses to revitalize the offense. True sophomore quarterbacks Drew Olson and Matt Moore will compete in spring practice and undoubtedly flourish under the tutelage of new offensive coordinator and QB coach Steve Axman. Olson has good accuracy, which is a must in order to effectively run Dorrell's pinpoint offensive schemes. Moore, meanwhile, possesses the better arm and more mobility. The offense, however, will struggle at first with a youngster under center learning a new, highly-detailed offense. Moore is still raw with only one year of high school experience as a QB, while Olson needs to work on his escapability. The starter will not have the benefit of an established offensive line. Olsen will get the assumed nod.

The running game looks tough with the thunder-and-lightning combination of sophomore tailback Tyler Ebell and junior fullback Manuel White Jr. Ebell has proven himself an every-down back. He not only has the speed to turn the corner, but also can run between the tackles. White (4.5 yards-per-run), listed officially as a tailback, is a bruiser who punishes tacklers and excels in short-yardage situations. He also has the needed speed and can catch - a WC must to occupy LBs. 2002 starter Akil Harris is available, but there is a reason he lost the nod. Look for inside running to be 2003's fare with their returning guards and 245-pound White Jr. pushing ahead.

The wide receivers will assuredly route-run well and get the ball often playing under Dorrell, who most recently was the Denver Broncos WR coach. Junior Craig Bragg, great hands and speed, has developed into the team's big playmaker. Senior Tab Perry stretches defenses (19.9 yards-per-catch) and can block with the best of them once he drags a defender (or two) down field. Reliable senior Ryan Smith and speedy sophomore Junior Taylor are also in the mix.It will be hard for the Bruins to replace the production of a great tight end in Mike Seidman. But the Bruins have true sophomore Marcedes Lewis, the nation's top-ranked TE coming out of high school, primed for a breakout year. This group should be open often for whoever is pulling the trigger.

On the offensive line, UCLA returns all-conference guards in juniors Eyoseph Efseaff and Steven Vieira, as well as sophomore center Mike McCloskey - all powerful run-blockers. Experience in the middle, though, is not deep. The line loses its two tackles, missing All-American Mike Saffer most. Vieira might move to his natural LT position, while sophomore Ed Blanton, with only one career start under his belt, will likely take over at RT. Untested freshman Robert Chai, junior Paul Mociler and sophomore Matt Mosebar will provide depth.


OG Eyoseph Efseaff


Returning Starters in bold
QB Drew Olson-So (6-2, 223) Matt Moore-So (6-4, 181)
FB Manuel White-Jr (6-3, 247) Pat Norton-Jr (6-1, 253)
TB Tyler Ebell-So (5-9, 171) Akil Harris-Sr (6-0, 213)
WR Craig Bragg-Jr (6-2, 189) Ryan Smith-Sr (6-3, 213)
WR Tab Perry-Sr (6-3, 215) Junior Taylor-So (6-2, 197)
TE Keith Carter-So (6-4, 246) Marcedes Lewis-So (6-6, 250)
OT Ed Blanton-So (6-9, 325) Matt Mosebar-So (6-8, 294)
OG Eyoseph Efseaff-Jr (6-3, 305) Tyson Clayton-Sr (6-2, 272)
C Mike McCloskey-So (6-5, 272) Robert Chai-Fr (6-3, 277)
OG Shane Lehmann-Sr (6-5, 297) Paul Mociler-Jr (6-5, 301)
OT Steven Vieira-Jr (6-6, 305) Robert Cleary-So (6-7, 304)
K Justin Medlock-Fr (6-0, 193) ..




written by Diamond Leung

New defensive coordinator Larry Kerr will lead a rising UCLA unit that returns seven experienced starters. He comes over from Colorado State (ironically, a team they beat in 2002) to institute the Tampa Bay Buccaneers blitzing 4-3 defense, and his fast linebacking corps will benefit the most from this scheme. At weakside LB, sophomore Spencer Havner had the second-most tackles on the team by clogging running lanes and covering the pass from sideline to sideline (three INTs). Senior strongside LB Brandon Chillar is a solid all-conference player who can make the sure tackle and be effective on the blitz. True sophomore Justin London will step in to play MLB, and although he has shown flashes as a tremendous hitter in a garbage time, he will not be able to immediately replace leading tackler Marcus Reese. There is not much depth to help if London should falter or injuries should occur.

UCLA seems solid up front with four senior starters. NFL prospect Rodney Leisle chose to return for his final season and will be a physical run-stopper at defensive tackle. While the 6-foot-3, 307-pounder was injured, junior college transfer Ryan Boschetti filled in nicely and will now replace Steve Morgan to form a great one-two punch with Leisle. DE Dave Ball will continue to dominate the line as both a run-stopper and pass-rusher, earning both team highs. The likely replacement for Rusty Williams at the other DE spot is senior Asi Faoa, who is the fastest DL on the team.

In the secondary, true junior Matt Ware was athletic enough in 2002 to make the switch from free safety to cornerback, remaining a no-miss tackler both in the secondary and on run support. Junior FS Ben Emanuel II is a ball-hawk who played well enough to allow Ware to stay at CB. He and true sophomore SS Jarrad Page will continue to improve in their second year as starters. The struggle will be to replace all-conference CB and team leader Ricky Manning Jr. Junior Matthew Clark, Ware's cousin, or untested sophomore Marcus Cassel will be toast trying to cover the receivers that Manning blanketed. This secondary has taken its lumps, with Ware himself even getting beat deep at times and Emanuel and Page getting burned for being late with help over the top. Page will now be asked to provide more run support in Kerr's defense, so no longer can he afford to whiff on open-field tackles.

The Bruins will continue to have some growing pains by starting young and inexperienced players, especially with Kerr changing the defensive philosophy. Early struggles will yield later success if they play as a unit and not as individuals unable to learn from and help each other.


DT Rodney Leisle


Returning Starters in bold
DE Mat Ball-Sr (6-6, 275) David Tautofi-Sr (6-2, 260)
DT Ryan Boschetti-Sr (6-4, 291) C.J. Niusulu-So (6-2, 300)
DT Rodney Leisle-Sr (6-3, 288) Thomas Patton-Fr (6-3, 263)
DE Dave Ball-Sr (6-6, 268) Asi Faoa-Sr (6-4, 265)
SLB Brandon Chillar-Sr (6-3, 233) Xavier Burgess-Fr (6-2, 243)
MLB Justin London-So (6-1, 235) Dennis Link-Sr (6-2, 215)
WLB Spencer Havner-So (6-4, 229) Wesley Walker-So (6-2, 222)
CB Matt Clark-Jr (5-9, 171) Jebiaus Brown-Fr (6-0, 180)
CB Matt Ware-Jr (6-3, 201) Marcus Cassel-So (6-0, 174)
SS Jarrad Page-So (6-1, 200) Glenn Ohaeri-So (5-9, 199)
FS Ben Emanuel II-Jr (6-3, 203) Kevin Brant-Sr (6-0, 190)
P Chris Kluwe-Jr (6-5, 212) ..




UCLA survived in the past without a special teams coach, but Dorrell has interviewed at least one candidate. They averaged 13.7 yds per punt return with two TDs, and good field position happened this way. But they gave up 10.3 and a TD, negating the first set of numbers.

In the kicking game, UCLA must replace Nate Fiske, who did it all. Junior Chris Kluwe, who has shown a big leg in practice, will take over as punter. Redshirt freshman Justin Medlock will do the placekicking. With Rusty Williams gone, UCLA turns to incoming junior college transfer Joe Tomasello to long snap. Conference foes will exploit this area if not sewn up by August.


Drew Olson had the better spring of the two QBs (him and Moore), though he still has a good ways to go before he can be considered a primary gunslinger in the Pac 10. Third string QB John Sciarra had a solid outing, giving thought to the notion of redshirting either Moore or Olson for a season, setting up for long-term security at QB… TE Keith Carter's motorcycle accident has coaches concerned how fast he will come back, if at all, this season. In his absence, the more athletically gifted Marcedes Lewis had a pleasant spring, though he needs to be more consistent catching the football. Steady senior Blane Kezirian provides depth behind him. The wildcard (at TE) may be incoming frosh Jimmy Stephens… Craig Bragg is the star of this offense- hands down! Bragg was phenomenal this spring and gives us reason to believe he can legitimately contend for All-American honors. Jibril Raymo has moved from safety to WR and has picked up on the position fairly quick… Tyler Ebell and Manuel White form the most feared backfield in the Pac-10. Ebell is quicker and stronger, while White was a monster lining up at both TB and FB. These two should enjoy their own success while banking off the other's… There were worries on the offensive line at the beginning of the spring, but they seemed to get on track in the final week. Still looms a relative concern though.

Nobody can accuse UCLA of having no Balls - seriously, brothers Mat and Dave Ball will be starting ends for the UCLA defense this fall. The entire defensive line as a whole preformed magnificently this spring. Injuries and level talent suggest that highly recognized (freshman recruit) DE Kevin Brown could get significant PT this year. He is big, fast and strong, and should step onto the Pac-10 scene as a newbie… Coaches are excited about sophomore MLB Justin London. His potential is mounting and his performance is starting to catch up. He still has some work to do, but come September 6th, he should be fine and fit for 2003. One guy who stood out was Brandon Chillar. He thoroughly impressed the new coaching staff in the off-season with both ethic and execution. Xavier Burgess was another, at his backup OLB spot, who performed as good or better than expected… Ben Emanuel will be a force at safety, and his fulfillment this spring was extremely convincing. The entire secondary is athletic and smart, which gives the Bruins an edge defensively and allows the front seven to employ more blitz packages. The Bruins' depth at these positions proves beneficial as well.

Ebell and Wendell Mathis will take back kicks. Perhaps we shall see the speedy Idris Moss take some back too. Keep an eye out for Craig Bragg handling punt returns. He may be the most underrated big-play-maker in the country. Lightning in a bottle- that's all I'm gonna say… Kicker Justin Medlock had an erratic spring. He was solid in kicking drills, but in scrimmages he couldn't hit the back side of a building. The Bruins are also still concerned with finding a solid long snapper. Said problem may rear its ugly head in early games.