James, Jones add to UCLA's backfield depth

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
9:53
PM PT
Suddenly, UCLA finds itself in a situation that USC seems to face year in and year out.

Who will be the Bruins' primary ball carrier next season? And better yet, will there be enough carries to go around?

The Bruins added two more tailbacks Wednesday with the signings of Jordon James (Corona, Calif./Corona) and Malcolm Jones (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian).

The two will join a crowded backfield that already includes sophomores Johnathan Franklin, Milton Knox and Damien Thigpen and junior Derrick Coleman.

Having an abundance of talented backs is not a bad problem to have. Both James and Jones are intriguing options for coordinator Norm Chow, who is always looking for offensive weapons.

Interestingly enough, coach Rick Neuheisel used the word "bullet" to describe James during a teleconference with reporters Wednesday.

"He was very excited at the idea of coach Chow having coached Reggie Bush once before," Neuheisel said. "We're going to use Jordon in the same way -- find ways to get him the ball and see if he can make big plays with his legs."

Perhaps Jones can be James' LenDale White.

While James is considered more of a dynamic, versatile type of running back (think of USC's old No. 5), Jones fits the mold of an every-down grinder (think of USC's old No. 21).

"You give him the ball and he just keeps coming after you," Neuheisel said.

Consider the two signees UCLA's version of thunder and lightning. Bruins fans will just have to wait to see what the forecast calls for in UCLA's crowded stable next season.

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