TE Marcedes Lewis

2004 Statistics

Coach: Karl Dorrell
12-13, 21 yearS
2004 Record: 6-6
at Illinois WON 35-17
at Washington WON 37-31
at California LOST 28-45
at Arizona State LOST 42-48
at Oregon WON 34-26
vs. Wyoming LOST 21-24

2004 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2005 Outlook

It's a tough time to be a Bruin. Coach Dorrell has found out how hard it is to recruit in LA against the powerhouse-du-jour, USC. Fortunately, the Trojans now allow UCLA to fly under any radar. Subdued expectations will help the defense sneak up on Pac-10 opponents used to scoring 40+ points on the Bruins without breaking a sweat. Fans won't see the Rose Bowl's own version of the Steel Curtain, but this unit won't be losing games outright as in '04. Defensive coordinator Larry Kerr has employed simpler schemes and even more eight-man fronts so the line can focus on getting a deep push into the backfield. Thus far in spring practice, the experiment has worked, revitalizing a defense that has built off late-season improvements in tackling and shedding blocks.

While the recent recruiting class was by no means stellar, impact players like Ben Olson and OL Aleksey Lanis should quickly help what is a significantly deeper and more experienced squad (than '04s). Unfortunately, the offense won't be single-handedly winning them again either. As maligned as he's been, Blue & Gold faithful will miss Drew Olson if he's not 100% this fall. Dorrell will employ an effective short-passing game and plenty of carries for Maurice Drew, but that relies on taking shots deep which will be a challenge considering the attention Junior Taylor will draw. Offensive weapons like Drew and Lewis are there, but with such inconsistent QB play this spring, it's hard to imagine a hobbled Drew Olson or an inexperienced Ben Olson fully utilizing them.

The hope is that greater familiarity with Dorrell's system will pay dividends, as it routinely does once a coach is established at a program (see: Pete Carroll). Added experience will help in tough games against BCS mainstays Oklahoma and USC, as will the fact that UCLA only leaves southern California three times all year. 17 returning starters and a more opportunistic defense will translate to better performances in close games (last four losses were by a combined 16pts). Ergo, they will win one they shouldn't, and lose one he same way; however, these doin', stewin' Bruins still appear to be a year away from any national splash.

Projected 2005 record: 7-4
QB - 3.5 DL - 2.5
RB - 4 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Drew Olson, 341-196-13, 2565 yds., 20 TD

Rushing: Maurice Drew, 160 att., 1007 yds., 8 TD

Receiving: Junior Taylor, 32 rec., 463 yds., 2 TD

Scoring: Justin Medlock, 15-20 FG, 42-43 PAT, 87 pts.

Punting: None

Kicking: Justin Medlock, 15-20 FG, 42-43 PAT, 87 pts.

Tackles: Spencer Havner, 125 tot., 84 solo

Sacks: Kevin Brown, 5 sacks

Interceptions: Jarrad Page, 3 for 20 yds.

Kickoff returns: Chris Markey, 18 ret., 22.2 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: Maurice Drew, 10 ret., 15.2 avg., 1 TD


DB Jarrad Page
OFFENSE: Manuel White-FB/TB, Craig Bragg-WR, Tab Perry-WR, Paul Mociler-OT, Steven Vieira-OG/OT
DEFENSE: Eyoseph Efseaff-DT, Benjamin Lorier-ILB, Matt Clark-CB, Ben Emanuel-FS, Chris Kluwe-P, C.J. Niusulu-DT (dismissed)

Tinseltown has a new pair of Olson twins to gossip about. Drew and Ben Olson aren't actually related, but their quarterback dual should cause a stir in Westwood. Drew is the senior who returns after one of the better QB seasons at UCLA in years, finishing 4th in the Pac-10 with a 132.39 efficiency, including eight TD passes in a two game stretch. Yet, both consistency and injury put his starter status in jeopardy. As great a leader as he's proven to be, his nine INTs in four of UCLA's losses gave Bruin fans reason to doubt him, especially as he recovers from major knee surgery. Without any spring reps, Drew's strengths - field vision and accuracy - will be rusty come fall, opening the door for BYU-transfer Ben Olson. Expected to be a savior at QBU, Olson instead chose a two-year mission before transferring closer to home. However, even being away from competitive football since 2001 hasn't prevented Bruin fans from placing much hope in the ex-national top prep player in America. The lefty has plenty of zip on his passes, but expect struggles. Early spring reports validate concerns at QB: senior David Koral, who filled in admirably in the Las Vegas bowl (7-12, 2TD's), has looked shaky as well. If healthy, Drew starts this fall; but even that won't prevent the ballyhooed Ben Olson from taking the job mid-season.

Running Back
Despite missing three games with an ankle injury, Maurice Drew became only the tenth Bruin to eclipse 1,000yds rushing, cementing himself as the answer for many (QB) questions on offense. The junior stands only 5'8" but his low-center of gravity and dazzling speed makes him as dangerous a playmaker as there is in the nation. His 384 all-purpose yards at Washington was a testament to his versatility; on punts, kickoffs and even receiving (14.6 yards per his 18 receptions), Drew does it all. Fortunately, the game-breaking potential of TB Chris Markey means he won't have to. Like Drew, the sophomore Markey was a prep-all-American and can turn the corner quicker on anyone. Though the Bruins would love a big body in the backfield, Markey's long TD runs this spring won't inspire any sympathy for UCLA's coaches. At 232lbs, FB Michael Pitre is the only bruiser; the returning starter's not only an effective blocker, he exhibited surprising receiving skills (10rec, TD). The unit won't run over people in the red zone, but Drew & co. are electric.

Graduation hits the receiving corps hard, leaving UCLA fans muttering "potential" about its '05 WRs. The best bet is Junior Taylor, who despite being Drew Olson's "third wheel," still finished in the Pac-10's top 20 (ypg). Junior's a senior (who's experienced) at running tight routes. His game-speed has always exceeded his 40 times, evident on his sublime 83yd catch-and-run TD vs. Oregon and his playmaking ability on reverses. He'll make the tough catches and serve as a vocal leader for a trio of underclassmen. Lanky Joe Cowan (6'4") reminds Bruin faithful of standout Danny Farmer with solid hands and the ability to haul in high, deep passes. Sophomores Marcus Everett and Brandon Breazell will benefit from starting as freshman but they need to bulk up to be any difference-makers. Enough reps to fine-tune its timing, along with 1,000yds from Taylor, will make this unit reach its modest potential.

Offensive Line and Tight End
The offensive turnaround for the Bruins began with a phenomenal season up front. The unit was the only one in the Pac-10 to allow fewer than two sacks per game, all while paving the way for the conference's second best rushing average (4.8ypc). They more than doubled the '03 rushing output (also went from 114th out of 117 teams all the way to 27th), thanks to blocking schemes that focus on strong and weak, rather than left or right, sides. An experienced group is back to improve on their impressive numbers led by three RS seniors. C Mike McCloskey is an agile bigman among the best centers in the country; he'll be first team All-Pac-10. Monster T Ed Blanton contrasts McCloskey with physicality (6'9, 345) reminiscent of ex-Bruin Jonathan Ogden. He'll blow open holes on the strong side while freshman all-American Shannon Tevaga well solidifies the guard spot. The depth and experience on the line is only heightened by the return of (NC.net third-team all-American) TE Mercedes Lewis. The Mackey Award finalist will get plenty of looks as the only proven receiving target. 25 of the senior's 32 catches went for first downs, showing he's not only strong and sure-handed: when needed, he wants to and will make the key play - great leadership qualities that will ooze off him and onto others.

The improvements were astonishing. Coach Karl Dorrell took an anemic Bruins attack and made it multi-dimensional. Their numbers of 410yds-per-game and 30.1ppg were the program's best since 1998. Returning seven starters - stars like Drew, Lewis and McCloskey - means there's reason we expect similar production. The key is finding out which QB is most adept at running Dorrell's West Coast offense. Drew Olson deserves a shot to re-prove/establish himself after the injury; however, his limited progress leaves his effectiveness in doubt. Ben Olson has turned the ball over and struggled on roll-outs in spring, but he's got so much potential that coaches will do whatever they can to get him to understand the offense. Losing threats at WR means Taylor must/will step up. The line's so solid that whoever's under center will have time to throw downfield. Considering a healthy Maurice Drew isn't far off from the Trojans' Reggie Bush in terms of explosiveness, the Bruins have enough to remain among the Pac-10's offensive best; particularly if they continue to not settle for FGs in the red-zone (league-low eight) and improve on their weak (-7, ranked 98th) TO-margin.


RB Maurice Drew


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Drew Olson-Sr (6-3, 217) David Koral-Sr (6-3, 218)
FB Michael Pitre-So (5-11, 232) Jimmy Stephens-So (6-2, 235)
TB Maurice Drew-Jr (5-8, 198) Chris Markey-So (5-11, 195)
WR Junior Taylor-Sr (6-1, 198) Marcus Everett-So (6-1, 186)
WR Joe Cowan-Jr (6-4, 211) Brandon Breazell-So (6-0, 154)
TE Marcedes Lewis-Sr (6-6, 255) J.J. Hair-Jr (6-5, 242)
OT Brian Abraham-So (6-6, 279) Chris Joseph-So (6-4, 267)
OG Shannon Tevaga-So (6-3, 303) Scott Glicksberg-Fr (6-4, 263)
C Mike McCloskey-Sr (6-5, 274) Aaron Meyer-Fr (6-3, 285)
OG Robert Cleary-Sr (6-7, 299) Robert Chai-Jr (6-3, 275)
OT Ed Blanton-Sr (6-9, 345) Tony Lee-Fr (6-4, 247)
K Justin Medlock-Jr (6-0, 185) ..




Defensive Line
It's clear the Bruins took last year's defensive debacle personally. The line has scuffled constantly with the offense in practice, an indication that a renewed toughness will prevent them from again being walked all over. UCLA had so many d-line holes to fill that it's no surprise they were the Pac-10's worst at generating pressure (league low 20 sacks). Fortunately, the baptismal by fire earned experience for a young line that has 30+ starts among the two-deep, as opposed to zero entering '04. Back from a stint at OG, Kevin Brown proved to be the most active d-lineman, racking up a team-high 8.5 TFLs. He has the body of a NG, but too has the quick first step needed in a DE, and the power of an o-lineman; he'll lead the Bruins in sacks again. Versatile JOCO-transfer Kyle Morgan is a physical end to complement the inside play of DT C.J. Niusulu, an aggressive senior whose status is uncertain due to suspension. The unit's athletic and deep, but despite late season improvements, this front still has a ways to go. Sophomore Brigham Harwell has tremendous upside; nevertheless, like most of this line, he's only average size. Expect them to allow about half of lat campaign's 210 yards per game average on the ground.

The backbone of the Bruins' 4-3 defense will be in familiar hands. Three seniors compose a frightening LB corps, led by NC.net first-team all-American Spencer Havner. The Pac-10's leader in tackles (125) moved to MLB where his ball-hawking abilities were fully utilized, breaking up plays in the backfield and dropping into coverage to make critical INTs (of his eight career INTs, three have been scores). Throw in a couple blocked FGs and you have a dynamic leader who does everything. Havner's surrounded by two tough-as-nails LB's who both battled injuries and finished equal (57 tackles). Justin London lacks the size of Havner, but has blazing speed when healthy; Wesley Walker is a consistent tackler who won't make mistakes. The biggest worry (and advantage for development) is that all three will miss the spring recovering from surgeries. Healthy, this unit rivals any in America; Havner will likely be a Butkus Award finalist. Any injuries, though, would expose their lack of proven depth. All Pac-10 freshman Aaron Whittington will step up in their absences, but UCLA needs the big three on the field or the unit is initially a liability.

Defensive Back
With the Bruins' top CB and FS departing, the young secondary appears vulnerable. The battles at the wide-open DB spots have been intense, with Rodney Van drawing early praise. Only a sophomore, Van has size to match-up one-on-one, while RS sophomore Trey Brown benefits from starting the final five games. Brown played smart, but often too safe; coaches would like to see him take more chances as he did on his INT TD at Oregon. The most experienced DB is Jarrad Page, an honorable mention all-Pac-10 at SS. A punishing hitter, the four-year starter misses out on spring reps every year because of baseball but never fails to impress come fall. Expect a monster year from this leader of the secondary who forced more TOs than any Bruin. Former special teamer Mil'Von James has wowed coaches at FS in practice and consistent Marcus Cassel has the RCB job, for now. Expect starters to fluctuate on a maturing group that will improve, yet remain middle-of-the-pack.

Statistically, UCLA's D was as miserable as any. Allowing a whopping 5,195yds and 25+ ppg makes fans wonder how relevant returning nine starters really is. The experience on the front four will allow for more aggressive (coverage) schemes; however, the question is whether the intensity shown this spring means the group will actually be tougher. It's not a big defense, but with speed and dominant LBs, it won't have to be to make significant improvements, especially in stopping the run. If the way they've controlled the offense this spring is any indication, expect a defense no longer afraid to make plays (after a league-low 19 takeaways). Dorrell's not a miracle-worker, and this young group will be exposed by better teams; but simply due to higher energy and confidence, the '05 edition will return to Pac-10 and national respectability.


LB Spencer Havner


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Kyle Morgan-Sr (6-3, 254) William Snead-So (6-4, 228)
DT Kevin Brown-Jr (6-2, 285) Nathaniel Skaggs-Fr (6-4, 257)
DT Brigham Harwell-So (6-1, 259) Kenneth Lombard-So (6-1, 280)
DE Justin Hickman-Jr (6-1, 260) Nikola Dragovic-So (6-3, 249)
SLB Spencer Havner-Sr (6-4, 236) Christian Taylor-So (6-0, 210)
MLB Justin London-Sr (6-1, 235) Wesley Walker-Sr (6-3, 222)
WLB Bruce Davis-So (6-3, 240) Aaron Whittington-So (6-2, 195)
CB Rodney Van-So (6-1, 166) Trey Brown-So (5-10, 187)
CB Michael Norris-So (5-11, 175) Marcus Cassell-Sr (6-0, 182)
Byron Velega-Fr (5-10, 180)
SS Jarrad Page-Sr (6-2, 220) Eric McNeal-Jr (6-2, 209)
FS Chris Horton-So (6-1, 195) Dennis Keyes-So (6-1, 192)
P Aaron Perez-Fr (6-2, 200) ..




Groza Award semifinalist PK Justin Medlock returns after hitting on 15-of-20 FGAs (2nd best in Pac-10). The junior has a huge leg and was the first Bruin to ever hit two 50+yd FGs in one game, going 3-of-5 from that range. Coverage on KOs was average, so the competitions for defensive starters will improve such.

Expect only a slight drop-off from the nation's fourth-best net results (40.7) following the graduation of P Chris Kluwe; RS freshman Aaron Perez was a prep all-American and is the country's No.3 rated punter with a knack for pinning teams deep. His size and speed mean his extra hat on coverage will make this dimension even better soon. Three blocks from this unit prove its prowess, too.

Return Game
UCLA led the Pac-10 in punt return yards and TDs and is only better with the breathtaking Maurice Drew. He adds his talents on kick-returns, along with fellow TB Chris Markey. Talent awaits here, so this part is again solid, even if/when injuries hit.