Thursday, July 5, 2012
UCLA makes changes to football roster
By Peter Yoon
UCLA is losing five scholarship players from last year's team and two incoming freshmen will greyshirt to get the Bruins to the NCAA scholarship limit of 85 according to a source in the athletic department.
Safety Alex Mascarenas and offensive lineman Wade Yandall have taken medical retirements, safety Anthony Thompson and linebacker Jared Koster are transferring and defensive lineman Wesley Flowers is leaving because of a coaches decision. Those players are no longer listed on the official UCLA football roster.
In addition, incoming freshmen Lacy Westbrook and Eli Ankou did not enroll in school along with the rest of the freshmen class last week and will greyshirt this season to help the Bruins get the scholarship count down.
UCLA ended spring practice with 69 players on scholarship and expecting 23 incoming scholarship freshmen, which would have put the Bruins at 92 scholarships -- seven over the NCAA limit. With five players leaving the team and two greyshirts, they are at 85 on the nose.
Mascarenas and Yandall have dealt with the effects of concussions over the last year and decided the risk of further damage was too great to continue playing. Yandall was slated to start at guard this season after working his way into the starting lineup last season. He missed the final four games because of a concussion and briefly returned during spring practice, but his symptoms recurred.
Mascarenas started two of the first four games last season before his concussion forced hm to miss the last 10. Both Mascarenas and Yandall are eligible to remain on scholarship at UCLA, though they will not count against the limit because they are medical retirements.
Koster, a junior, had an injury-plagued first two seasons and played primarily on special teams. Thompson, a redshirt freshman, never played in a game for the Bruins. Flowers, a redshirt sophomore, was dismissed from the team in January for disciplinary reasons but was given permission to stay with the team through spring practice.
Westbrook is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman from Dominguez High in Compton and Ankou is a 6-3, 257-pound defensive end/linebacker from Delaware. As greyshirts, they will not enroll at UCLA until after the season and therefore their scholarships don't count on this year's team.