Big-time talent but key youth: Is UCLA in boom-or-bust spot?


The UCLA Bruins should be one of college football's most interesting teams in 2015. On one hand, the Bruins return 17 of 22 starters, and a number of their projected 2015 breakout players finished 2014 with encouraging momentum. Take Deon Hollins, for example: The outside linebacker notched six sacks over the season's last four games, so there's optimism that UCLA can up the ante defensively even after losing the likes of tackling machine Eric Kendricks.

On the other hand, UCLA's offense cannot avoid an oft-dreaded scenario, no matter how talented it may be: The Bruins will start a new quarterback, and it'll likely be a true freshman. Josh Rosen is the favorite to grab the keys to "a Ferrari," as receiver Jordan Payton says. What Rosen does with this shiny vehicle will determine just what UCLA can accomplish in 2015, so expect many articles similar to the previously linked one in the coming months. So much rests on the play of the quarterback position -- for evidence, just look at how Stanford's Jekyll-and-Hyde season reflected Kevin Hogan's play last year -- so this coupling of a talented, experienced roster with a green quarterback has the Bruins oozing with boom-or-bust potential.

And with that thought, let's move on to some more offseason UCLA links.

Rosen is heavily featured in this extensive new look back at Mora's 2015 recruiting class. The Bruins seem to have generated considerable program momentum along that front and, along those lines, early grades for their 2016 class are already floating around the web.

Reserve Bruins' defensive back Jalen Ortiz has announced his intention to transfer. He primarily saw action on special teams during his time in Westwood. While we're discussing transfers, let's not let an interesting Jim Mora quote from last week slip into the cracks.

"I don't want mercenaries on my team," Mora told the Rich Eisen Show following Everett Golson's transfer from Notre Dame to Florida State.

Check out that transcript to read Mora's full rationale.