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He's getting "really close to qualifying" a source tells me. The final verdict should be known within a couple of weeks.
Keep tabs Bruins fans, he will be a key piece with Rushel Shell having to sit a year.
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Major Props to this young man who refuses to give up and take the easy path. There are plenty of good D1 football mills with far less stringent academics than UCLA. Speaks volumes to his character and to his grit and determination.
This kid can tote the rock.
This post was edited by 4everBruin 11 months ago
Sounds like he received a Qualifying Score (pending this last semesters grades)!!! As long as he doesn't slack off on his finals he should be GOOD TO GO!!!!
Congrats to Craig. I hope to see him in the fall. We needed another running back this fall. Many think he will compete for playing time but I'm not sure if that will happen. But he is important for our future.
I like his determination to be a Bruin. He could have easily gone to another school (apparently he was NCAA eligible just not UCLA-eligible). But he followed took the tougher road to Westwood!
He will have the same shot as any of the other backs. He is an aggressive runner who hits the hole, cuts and goes. That's exactly the type of runner this staff is focusing on. He has the size already and Lord knows this young man has the desire and the drive. I would not be surprised if he sees some playing time if he can pick up the offense. Thiggy is going to be a ways away from being 100% by the start of the season, so having Lee in camp this summer will be a very good thing. If he ends up redshirting, it just means we're solid at RB. Win! Win! situation.
The greatest thing about this kid is that he could have settled or taken a easier path to his football goals. he never wavered in what he needed to do, focused, and i believe achieved his goal... Pressure exposes character!
I think he will get a shot... but Paul Perkins has looked good and is my bet to be the starter. Toss in Jordan James and a healthy Manfro , and Malcolm Jones. All of the aforementioned backs have one year of experience in this offense and Lee will be learning on the fly (admittedly it is easier for a running back than say a QB or offensive lineman)
It would be a shame to "burn his shirt" for a few carries a game. When he becomes a junior this will annoy me. Moreover, Lee has struggled academically. It might be a good idea to allow him to adjust to "campus" without the pressure of playing this year. He can no doubt run but typically first year backs can't pass protect. Can he catch the swing pass out of the backfield?
If he plays this year it will because of mass injury at the position or our previous coaching staff completely failed in judging the talent of Jordan James, Steven Manfro, and Malcolm Jones. I think they are all solid running backs.
Lee's determination and hard work in the classroom will no doubt carry over onto the field however, it would be prudent to put him the best position to succeed. Both on the field and in the classroom. Playing a true freshman is usually a hallmark of desperation. (unless the true freshman's talent ECLIPSES the existing talent ala Jonathon Ogden)
Major props to Lee for hanging in there and taking care of his business. He really must love UCLA and wants to be a part of Sgt Mora's turn around.
He definitely has talent, depth and experience ahead of him, but he just might turn out to be too good to keep off the field.
If not, Lee and the transfer kid from Pitt(sorry forgot his name), add great depth for the future.
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Lee has the chance to make an immediate impact. Instant upgrade at the position.
Running back was a position of concern (in terms of depth and future) but with the recent turn of events for Lee and Rushel Shell's transfer the position has stabilized.
I'm not sure if I'd play Shell:
1) I think Paul Perkins will take the starting jbb with Jordan James (who appears to be a stronger more decisive runner) along with Manfro and Jones will comprise a nice committee of running backs. I don't think there's any reason to rush Lee along.
2) with a stable of able bodies-- it would be a shame to "burn his shirt" for a few meaningless carries a game. If he can break into the two-deep that might be different.
3) He's struggled academically. I think a year on the scout team absent the pressure of game preparation will help him adjust to the academic rigors. It's tough for anyone to adjust but the fact that he has struggled in the past exacerbates the problem.
4) It may not be difficult for Lee to learn the scheme (maybe) but learning proper blocking form and technique is hard for all players.
All good points and I think you're right. You saw the staff refrain from burning Perkins' redshirt even after injuries to Manfro and Thigpen. I think Lee will get a full shot to compete to play, but likely will follow in Perkin's steps. Quarter system is brutal and Jim Mora understands the academic pressure it brings to freshmen.
Lot to like about Perkins.
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