Pac-12: Aundre Dean

In and out: A look top, eligible Pac-10 transfers

February, 25, 2010
2/25/10
10:53
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Athlon has a nice list of college football transfers who may have a significant impact this fall, including a number who transferred to -- and from -- Pac-10 programs.

Here's our take.

Incoming Pac-10 transfers:

QB Steven Threet, Arizona State (from Michigan) -- Threet finally has found a system that works for him with the Sun Devils after his previous schools -- Georgia Tech and Michigan -- changed coaches and adopted option offenses that didn't fit his skill set. He'll compete with Brock Osweiler for the starting job this spring (Samson Szakacsy will be limited because of a continuing elbow problem).

WR Aaron Pflugrad, Arizona State (from Oregon): Go ahead and pencil in Pflugrad as a starter at a position of need for the Sun Devils, who lost their top-two receivers, Chris McGaha and Kyle Williams.

WR Josh Smith, UCLA (from Colorado): The Bruins have a lot of guys back at receiver, but those guys weren't terribly explosive last year. The hope is that Smith will add some big-play capability.

TE Joseph Fauria, UCLA (from Notre Dame): While the Bruins lost Logan Paulsen and Ryan Moya, Fauria will combine with junior Cory Harkey -- and perhaps hybrid receiver Morrell Presley -- to give the offense plenty of punch at the position.

Outgoing Pac-10 transfers:

QB L.D. Crow, UCF (from Stanford) -- Crow was stuck behind Andrew Luck. 'Nuff said.

QB Chris Harper, Kansas State (from Oregon) -- Harper never seemed comfortable at Oregon and said upon transferring that he wanted to be closer to home. He's a talented athlete but raw as a QB.

RB Raymond Carter, Colorado State (from UCLA) -- Couldn't break through in Bruins' crowded backfield.

RB Aundre Dean, TCU (from UCLA) -- See Carter.

WR Vidal Hazelton, Cincinnati (from USC) -- Big things were expected out of him at USC -- he was the Trojans' leading receiver in 2007 -- but he got hurt early in 2008 and decided to transfer over an apparent conflict with coaches over whether he could redshirt or not. Trojans could have used him in 2009.

DT Kaniela Tuipulotu, Hawaii (from Arizona): He started seven games in 2008 but slid down the depth chart -- injuries were an issue -- and opted to transfer to his home state.

While you were on vacation ... UCLA

July, 28, 2009
7/28/09
4:43
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The seventh of 10 quick updates on offseason Pac-10 goings on.

UCLA in a sentence

  • Year Two of the Rick Neuheisel Era comes on the heels of an outstanding recruiting haul in February and features 17 returning starters and legitimate hope for a push into the top-half of Pac-10 standings and a bowl berth.

The big issue

  • The Bruins, even with guru Norm Chow calling the shots, were terrible on offense in 2008, and struggles at quarterback and along the offensive front will be nagging concerns until youthful players break through.

Quick hit news

  • Six players will not return for various reasons -- safety E.J. Woods, quarterback Chris Forcier, offensive lineman Sonny Tevaga, receiver Dominique Johnson and running backs Raymond Carter and Aundre Dean.
  • Besides returning starters, the Bruins have five players again available who would have started last year but were out for various reasons back: running back Christian Ramirez, tight end Logan Paulsen, center Kai Maiava, fullback Trevor Theriot and offensive tackle Sean Sheller.
  • Joseph Fauria, 6-7, 260-pound tight end, transfer from Notre Dame to UCLA. He will be eligible to play in 2010.

UCLA's Aundre Dean transferring

May, 20, 2009
5/20/09
10:48
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Two weeks after asking being granted a release, sophomore Aundre Dean has decided to transfer from UCLA, according to the Los Angeles Times, making him the second Bruins running back -- and third player overall -- to bolt after spring practices.

Dean, who gained 22 yards rushing as a true freshman while battling a pesky ankle injury, will look at schools closer to his Katy, Texas, home.

Dean joins sophomore Raymond Carter and receiver Dominique Johnson as players who have been released by UCLA.

Junior Christian Ramirez, who sat out the spring with a hamstring injury, tops the depth chart at running back. Redshirt freshman Johnathan Franklin and sophomore Derrick Coleman also are in the mix. Two freshmen, Dalton Hilliard and Damien Thigpen, arrive this fall.

UCLA spring wrap-up

May, 8, 2009
5/08/09
9:15
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

UCLA Bruins
2008 overall record: 4-8

2008 conference record: 3-6

Returning starters

Offense 9, defense 7, punter/kicker 1

Top returners

TE Logan Paulsen, WR Terrence Austin, K Kai Forbath, LB Reggie Carter, CB Alterraun Verner, DT Brian Price, FS Rahim Moore

Key losses

DT Brigham Harwell, CB Michael Norris, P Aaron Perez

2008 statistical leaders (* returners)

Rushing: Kahlil Bell (397)
Passing: Kevin Craft* (2,341)
Receiving: Taylor Embree* (531)
Tackles: Reggie Carter* (83)
Sacks: Korey Bosworth* (7)
Interceptions: Michael Norris, Rahim Moore* (3)

Spring answers

2009 Schedule

Sep. 5 San Diego State
Sep. 12 at Tennessee
Sep. 19 Kansas State
Oct. 3 at Stanford
Oct. 10 Oregon
Oct. 17 California
Oct. 24 at Arizona
Oct. 31 at Oregon State
Nov. 7 Washington
Nov. 14 at Washington State
Nov. 21 Arizona State
Nov. 28 at USC

1. Prince gets crowned: While Kevin Prince wasn't terribly good in any of the Bruins' three scrimmages, he did enough during practices to elevate himself above true freshman Richard Brehaut and last year's starter Kevin Craft. Prince has a lot of upside, and it will be a major upset if he doesn't end up the starter against San Diego State.

2. Plenty of runners: While the running game didn't get untracked this spring, the general feeling is that isn't because of a lack of talent at tailback. While expected starter Christian Ramirez sat out, sophomores Raymond Carter and Derrick Coleman and redshirt freshmen Johnathan Franklin and Milton Knox each had their moments. The crowd may get thinned a bit with sophomore Aundre Dean apparently thinking about transferring.

3. Stars on D: The Bruins defense looked good all spring, and there's star power at each level with tackle Brian Price, linebacker Reggie Carter and cornerback Alterraun Verner. The secondary, in particular, looked good with several youngsters ready to contribute or even challenge for starting jobs, including sophomores Courtney Viney and Tony Dye and redshirt freshman E.J. Woods.

Fall questions

1. Is there any hope for the O-line? The line was awful this spring just as it was last fall. There's plenty of experience with six returnees who started at least five games in 2008, though two sat out spring practices with injuries. And there's plenty of incoming possibilities, with touted freshmen and JC transfers arriving in the fall to offer alternatives. It feels like the Bruins' bowl hopes rest almost entirely on whether this unit can find some answers.

2. D-line depth: The Bruins starting crew of tackles Price and Jerzy Siewierski and ends Korey Bosworth and Datone Jones form one of the better foursomes in the Pac-10, but depth, especially at tackle, needs to develop. An injury or two here and things get pretty thin.

3. Playmakers on offense: If the offensive line figures things out, and Prince comes through, then somebody has to do something with the football in the passing game. During spring practices, the performance of the receivers was mediocre to bad, though true freshman hybrid tight end/receiver Morrell Presley lived up to his hype. If the veterans don't step up, then a strong incoming freshman class -- including speedster Randall Carroll -- is going to move up quickly.

Pac-10 lunch links: Is UCLA RB Dean going to transfer?

May, 5, 2009
5/05/09
2:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me and I can't stand it. I been there before.

  • There are known and then there are soon-to-be-known quantities in Arizona prep recruiting.
  • California spring review: Quarterback Kevin Riley helped his cause.
  • Former Oregon cornerback Jairus Byrd, who left the Ducks after his junior season and was picked in the second round by the Buffalo Bills, will play free safety in the NFL.
  • Oregon beat writer John Hunt, video star, breaks down the Ducks spring game.
  • Oregon State's secondary issues are firstary. Beavers beat writer Paul Buker interviews himself about his team and does this video about the spring game. Of course, that's a stand-in. This is the real Paul Buker doing an interview with a Beaver.
  • Whatever happened to former Stanford defensive lineman Babatunde Oshinowo, a member of the Pac-10 blog's all-name team? (How fun is that name to say over and over again!) Got a feeling things are going to work out for the bright-even-for-Stanford Oshinowo.
  • Once a highly touted signee, UCLA running back Aundre Dean is thinking about transferring. What we learned from the Bruins spring: There's a lack of speed and passion at receiver.
  • Here's why former USC linebacker Rey Maualuga fell in the draft. What we learned from the Trojans this spring: There's insane riches at cornerback.
  • Former Washington defensive back Mesphin Forrester signs with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Spring football Q&A: UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel

March, 11, 2009
3/11/09
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Things are always interesting with Rick Neuheisel, and his first season coaching UCLA was no exception.

The Bruins opened with an overtime win over Tennessee. Then went splat, 59-zip, at BYU. And so started a decidedly inconsistent season.

With poor play at quarterback, no running game and a porous offensive line -- and that's sugarcoating things for the woeful offense -- UCLA finished 4-8 and in eighth place in the Pac-10.

 
  Joe Nicholson/US Presswire
  Rick Neuheisel was 4-8 in his first season at UCLA.

But Bruins fans felt a lot better after Neuheisel fetched a highly rated recruiting class, which reignited whispers that -- just maybe -- USC should start looking over its shoulder and worrying about its football, er, monopoly in Los Angeles.

Spring practices don't crank up until April 2, but it seems like a good time to check in.

Let's look back on 2008: What were you happy with and unhappy with?

Rick Neuheisel: I thought our team played hard, but we lacked the proficiency to be a good team. We never got any consistency as an offense. Defensively, we hung in there most games, but we weren't stout enough to be a three-and-out type team. Our kickoff situation put us in a field position deficit because we weren't able to kick the ball off very far. We'd end up having to go long distances with respect to field position. We've got a lot of things to get better at if we're going to be a better football team. But the influx of new, young talent, the great effort in weight room and so forth, I think is going to lead to that.

How exited are you that the whole 'Neuheisel is back' won't be the big story this year?

RN: I'm excited the focus will be on our football team. Obviously, this was a program that needed a kick start with respect to the recruiting and excitement and that stuff. We were fortunate to have a big win at the start of the season that reminded folks how fun football can be. Now it's up to us to deliver that on a more regular basis. Obviously, if we could get to a bowl game this year, that would be a step in the right direction. I think a year from now, we're going to be a team that can compete for the top prizes.

You guys got a lot of publicity about your recruiting success on signing day.

RN: Recruiting went well. Recruiting went really well. It was kind of a validation of what I thought all along: That you can recruit at UCLA. That if you do it the right way and go after the right guys you can deliver. I was pleased to see that was possible.

(Read full post)

Running with the Pac: Who's strong at running back?

March, 2, 2009
3/02/09
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Pac-10 teams should be able to run the ball in 2009.

Or at least they should if we base analysis on returning talent at running back.

Only two of the conference's top 10 rushers are gone, and one of those is Stanford's Anthony Kimble, who was Robin to Toby Gerhart's Batman in 2008.

The other is Oregon's Jeremiah Johnson, who's ready-made replacement is 1,000-yard rushing LeGarrette Blount.

 
  Kyle Terada/US Presswire
  California's Jahvid Best rushed for 1,580 yards in 2008.

Assuming, of course, Blount takes care of the issues that got him suspended.

As it stands, five 1,000-yard rushers return, topped by California's Jahvid Best, who is a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, and Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers, who was only the conference's Offensive Player of the Year as a true freshman.

In fact, it's fair to say that no team is in lousy shape with its running backs.

Offensive lines? Well, that's not our topic today.

Great shape

  • California: Best may be the most explosive player in the nation. He's a home-run threat every time he touches the ball, and, oh by the way, backup Shane Vereen ranked 10th in the conference in rushing and averaged 5 yards per carry.
  • USC: Stafon Johnson, Joe McKnight and C.J. Gable -- and all the other guys. The Trojans averaged 195 yards rushing per game last year, and with all five offensive linemen back and a new starting quarterback, that total figures to perk up quite a bit.
  • Oregon State: Rodgers will be limited during spring practices due to a shoulder injury and the depth behind him is a bit uncertain, but you cannot ignore a freshman rushing for 1,253 yards.
  • Stanford: The Cardinal will be looking to bolster depth behind Gerhart during spring. Gerhart, who scored 15 touchdowns and rushed for 1,136 yards in 2008, won't be around because he's playing baseball. And therein lies a problem for Stanford fans. Gerhart might get picked high enough in the major league baseball draft -- and get offered a big enough signing bonus -- that he bolts school. That would be a huge hit.
  • Arizona: Who had a better running game last year: Arizona or Oregon State? Well, the production for both was nearly identical in terms of yards, but the Wildcats had 33 rushing touchdowns -- second in the conference only to Oregon's stunning 47 -- while the Beavers had 21. And the Wildcats have a nice one-two punch in Nic Grigsby, who rushed for 1,153 yards last year, and Keola Antolin. Grigsby does have a bit of a fumbling problem, though.

Good shape

  • Oregon: The overwhelming assumption is Blount will be back, which would put the Ducks in the "Great Shape" category. Still, that uncertainty is an issue heading into spring practices.

We'll see

  • Washington State: The Cougars fall just short of good shape because they were awful running the ball last year -- 2.7 yards per carry -- and California transfer James Montgomery is unproven. But everyone on the 2008 depth chart is back and Montgomery was a touted recruit, so this is one position coach Paul Wulff probably isn't losing sleep over.
  • Washington: The good news is everyone is back -- Terrance Dailey, Brandon Johnson, David Freeman, etc. The bad news is the running game was terrible last year. It's tempting to promote the Huskies just because a healthy Jake Locker should dramatically improve the rushing totals, but until someone tells us otherwise, Locker is a quarterback.
  • UCLA: The good news is it would be hard for the running game to get any worse than 116th in the nation (82.75 yards per game). Still, while Kahlil Bell is gone, there's tons of young talent at running back, led by Derrick Coleman and Aundre Dean. Of course, there's that offensive line ...
  • Arizona State: Said the Sun Devils: Thank God for UCLA. Otherwise, their 89 yards rushing per game -- 113th in the nation -- would rank last in the Pac-10. Keegan Herring is gone, but the rest of the depth chart is back and some folks in Tempe are intrigued with redshirt freshman James Morrison, a walk-on sensation who might have seen a lot of carries last year if he didn't get hurt. Still, the tailbacks suffer here because of the woeful offensive line.

Pac-10 lunch links: Mora's silence makes him UW candidate

October, 31, 2008
10/31/08
2:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

These links have Mora.

  • Seattle Seahawks supposed head coach-in-waiting Jim Mora made himself a leading candidate to be Washington's next head coach by refusing to talk about the Huskies post. The well-coifed Danny O'Neil points out Mora's silence is a stupid strategy.
  • Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson doesn't want his team to play tight just because it's riding a five-game losing streak into Oregon State.
  • Things are worse, not better on the injury front for California's offensive line.
  • Oregon knows who California's best weapon is. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli isn't nervous about his homecoming.
  • Oregon State knows that Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter is still dangerous.
  • Is touted UCLA freshman running Aundre Dean back thinking about transferring?
  • Updates on USC safety Kevin Ellison's and running back Joe McKnight's injuries.
  • This Cougar is a Huskies fans.

Pac-10 Internal Affairs

September, 3, 2008
9/03/08
11:14
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

A look inside the Pac-10 this week.

Washington: The heat is on coach Tyrone Willingham, and his likely tall order is producing an upset victory over No. 15 BYU at Husky Stadium this weekend in front of an increasingly disgruntled fan base. It's obvious that the Huskies defense can only do so much with schemes to mask talent gaps. But it's the offense that severely underachieved at Oregon. That should improve this week inside a home stadium where calling audibles at the line of scrimmage will be far easier than inside boisterous Autzen Stadium. The offensive line, which was surprisingly bad against the Ducks, also should feel challenged this week, and a less athletic BYU defense should help. Moreover, offensive coordinator Tim Lappano told reporters he plans to expand the playbook after holding back with so many freshmen in the playing rotation.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils offensive line -- picked apart during the preseason -- mostly passed its first test against Northern Arizona. Give them a gentleman's C, considering the absence of a running game while yielding only one sack. Stanford will offer a far stouter test. For one, the Cardinal feature a veteran defense with nine starters returning. Second, that defense was strong against the run vs. Oregon State but gave up 404 yards passing, which means ASU QB Rudy Carpenter will be firing away. But will he be safe in the pocket? This won't just be a test of the OL, either. It will be a test of whether Carpenter will stick to the plan to get rid of the ball quickly instead of trying to wait for a big play to develop downfield. It's notable, though, that the Beavers rebuilt offensive line only gave up two sacks in 54 pass attempts to the Cardinal.

Oregon State: It's interesting how so many appear to be expecting Penn State to roll through the Beavers. That gets a big "hmmm" here. Are folks supposed to be impressed with the Nittany Lions bludgeoning Coastal Carolina 66-10 with 334 yards on the ground and six rushing TDs? If so, why isn't Arizona getting more hype for its 70-zip win over Idaho, which would beat Coastal Carolina, a team that, apparently, is located on the coast of one of the Carolinas? I see an Oregon State team that will shock Penn State with its speed on the perimeter. If the Beavers maintain something approaching parity in the trenches, this will be a close game. The return of safety Al Afalava also will substantially help the Beavers run defense, which was so porous against Stanford. One caveat: It's also possible that some of OSU's younger players will be wide-eyed playing in front of 107,000-plus at Beaver Stadium, so that could lead to early and critical mistakes.

USC: Which is more important a RB's foot or an LB's finger? While most eyes are on Ohio State RB Beanie Wells' injured foot in anticipation of the Buckeyes Sept. 13 visit to USC, it might be as important to pay attention to Trojans LB Rey Maualuga's broken finger, which he aggravated vs. Virginia while turning in a performance well below the All-American's standards. The thing with a RB's foot -- it becomes obvious when it's injured and the back can't play. With a finger, the feeling is tape it up and go. But it's often worse to play with a seemingly minor injury because it can lead to major mistakes. Recall QB John David Booty playing with an injured hand in the upset loss to Stanford and tossing four interceptions. What if a RB or TE escapes a Maualuga tackle and transforms a routine play into a TD? Moreover, USC has been quietly hit by injuries to its LB depth, most particularly Maualuga's talented backup Chris Galippo (back). At present, Maualuga's backup is true freshman Uona Kaveinga, though Galippo could be back for the Ohio State game.

UCLA: If we can step away from the glow of an upset win over Tennessee for a moment, the present and future reality is the Bruins need to replace three injured offensive starters. Recall: This offense already has a patchwork line and is using its third QB. So who steps in for TE Logan Paulsen (broken foot), WR Marcus Everett (toe) and TB Kahlil Bell (ankle)? Well, Paulsen's replacement Ryan Moya didn't look like a lightweight after leading the Bruins with seven receptions for 65 yards against the Vols -- including the go-ahead 3-yard TD pass with 27 seconds left -- but Paulsen's absence hurts the viability of two-TE sets. With Everett out a few weeks, junior Terrence Austin steps in. He caught five passes for 37 yards against the Vols. Sophomore Dominique Johnson and freshman Taylor Embree both played well against Tennessee, so there's encouraging depth there. And at TB, Raymond Carter jumps to the first team, but count on Rick Neuheisel tapping into his talented freshman class, including Aundre Dean.

Pac-10 Morning: Getting hurt, getting healthy

August, 21, 2008
8/21/08
10:46
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

These links are fighting through camp legs and are ready to hit someone other than a teammate.

  • What time is it? Well, if you're at Arizona it's Xavier Kelly time -- mostly because it's no longer Spencer Larsen time. Kelly and his defensive mates intercepted four passes in a scrimmage Wednesday.
  • Arizona State owns a questionable offensive line, but a few years ago Norco (Calif.) High School didn't -- yes, there's a connection there. The Sun Devils tight ends are unknown but working hard.
  • California is strong at LB, so it should tell you something that freshman Mychal Kendricks is pushing hard for playing time (can tell you first-hand he's a good-looking player). Also, the story notes that incumbent kicker Jordan Kay is in a tight competition with walk-on freshman David Seawright. Post-practice reflections... starting quarterback announcement here... KIDDING!
  • Oregon is under a cone of silence but Rob Moseley has a pass key, though it doesn't get him to the high-security level where it's revealed if Justin Roper has indeed caught Nate Costa in the preseason QB competition.
  • Oregon State's backup CB James Dockery hurt his knee lifting weights and backup QB Sean Canfield won't be available for the opener so redshirt freshman Justin Engstrom will backup Lyle Moevao. And how's the rebuilt defense looking -- and how fast can it start?
  • Like many teams, Stanford is tired and suffering "camp legs." Freshman receiver Chris Owusu is suffering from "camp knee injury" and will be out a few weeks. Owusu would have been a key contributor for a rebuilding receiving corps. Bud Withers checks in with Stanford.
  • It's Tennessee Time at UCLA, the good news tidbit from that report is tackle Micah Kia is going to try to play with a broken hand. Talented frosh TB Aundre Dean is learning a valuable lesson -- Thou shalt not run up-right or the wrath of the safety shall taketh your breath. Bruins fans feeling blue (not pastel blue) should look to the interior of the DL for an optimism jolt. More on contributing freshmen.
  • USC QB Mark Sanchez continues to recover quickly and, according to the LA Times Gary Klein, "If the junior has no setbacks, he will participate in all drills next week and probably start the opener." It's also possible that RB C.J. Gable will be ready for the opener at Virginia. Gable's ankle and hip injuries appeared fairly bad on Tuesday, but Trojans apparently heal quickly. He's probably the best all-around player in the Trojans backfield.
  • Molly Yanity writes about the amazing recovery of Washington's All-Pac-10 center Juan Garcia, who could play against Oregon in the opener. It's Day 17 at Washington. Bob Condotta writes about Tyrone Willingham's closed practice policy.
  • A look at Washington State's special teams, which haven't been very special in recent years. Considering the Cougars DL.
  • Jon Wilner projects the BCS bowl games.

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