UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, in Bristol Wednesday morning, has two interesting father-son situations in his locker room. Senior wide receiver Taylor Embree is the son of new Colorado coach Jon Embree, who coached with Neuheisel for Bill McCartney and then remained on Neuheisel’s staff when he took over as head coach in 1995.
But the other one is more interesting and fraught with emotion. Neuheisel signed his son Jerry, a quarterback, to a grant-in-aid last February.
“First recruit I had to sleep with his mom to get him,” Neuheisel said. “Don’t ask her (his wife Susan) how that went.”
Thank you, and don’t forget to tip your waitress. But Neuheisel quickly turned to the decision itself.
“I struggled with that because there’s an upside and there’s a downside. (Arizona State coach) Dennis Erickson came to me and said, ‘If you don’t want him, I do, and talked to me about having his son on his team.
“So I went to Jerry and said, 'Jerry, I can wrestle with this all I want. It’s up to you. What do you want? Because there are going to be problems. You throw a ball that gets tipped and picked by somebody else, they’re going to say he shouldn’t be in the game, and boo. There’s Dan and Cody Hawkins (late of Colorado) as an example of how ugly things can turn.’
“He said, ‘Dad, I want to go to UCLA whether you’re there or not.’
Jerry Neuheisel grew up a UCLA fan because his parents went to school there. His dad quarterbacked the Bruins to a Rose Bowl victory. He is 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, which means he needs time to grow. He’s got it -- there are probably a half-dozen guys ahead of him on the depth chart.
“This is something he really wants to do,” Rick said. “I admire him for not worrying about it. It’s easier to say you don’t worry about it when it hasn’t happened. When you’re a coach’s son, you grow up knowing how people say things about you because of your last name. I think he’s got big enough shoulders to handle it, and I think he’s a good enough player. Time will tell.”