With UCLA soccer’s offseason winding down, it is time to begin waiting for the 2022 marketing campaign and what lies forward for the Bruins on the gridiron. Earlier than scouting opponents and projecting the Pac-12 pecking order, it is best to look inside by selecting aside how UCLA will form up by itself sidelines.
All Bruins can be breaking down each place group over the following week, and the offensive line is up subsequent. To make amends for the positions already lined, have a look under:
Aug. 24: Quarterbacks
Aug. 25: Operating Backs
Aug. 26: Vast Receivers
Aug. 27: Tight Ends
LT 1: Raiqwon O’Neal, redshirt junior
LT 2: Tyler Manoa, tremendous senior
LT 3: Bruno Fina, redshirt sophomore
LT 4: Niki Prongos, freshman
LG 1: Atonio Mafi, tremendous senior
LG 2: Noah Pulealii, redshirt freshman
LG 3: Siale Taupaki, redshirt junior
LG 4: Yutaka Mahe, redshirt freshman
C 1: Duke Clemens, senior
C 2: Sam Marrazzo, tremendous senior
C 3: Benjamin Roy Jr., redshirt freshman
RG 1: Jon Gaines II, redshirt senior
RG 2: Josh Carlin, redshirt junior
RG 3: Sam Yoon, freshman
RG 4: Justin Williams, redshirt sophomore
RT 1: Garrett DiGiorgio, redshirt freshman
RT 2: Jaylan Jeffers, redshirt sophomore
RT 3: Liam Douglass, senior
RT 4: Brad Whitworth, redshirt junior
For shedding three starters, there’s a first rate quantity of holdover on the Bruins’ offensive line.
That principally applies to the inside, although, because the deal with spots are wanting very totally different than they did in 2021.
Sean Rhyan and Alec Anderson had been mainstays at left and proper deal with, respectively, the previous few seasons. O’Neal is Rhyan’s alternative on the blind facet, and whereas he is not at present projected to be a top-100 NFL Draft decide like his predecessor, the Rutgers switch was All-Massive Ten honorable point out every of the previous two years.
Manoa has moved over from the line of defense, and after getting first-team reps at proper deal with within the spring, he spent most of fall camp as O’Neal’s backup.
DiGiorgio stepped when Anderson was damage final season, seeing the sphere for about two video games price of motion. As a real freshman, he was shaky early, however managed to be a strong blocker within the second half of the Utah loss.
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Jeffers transferred in from Oregon after not getting a ton of taking part in time up in Eugene, whereas Douglass got here in from USC. Douglass is at present injured, seemingly long run, so depth at that spot may very well be questionable. Carlin performed there within the spring earlier than O’Neal, Jeffers, Douglass and Yoon arrived, so he might transfer over there as nicely.
Talking of Yoon, he was a deal with in highschool, however he might need to be eased into the place on the faculty degree. In fact, he might play both on the within or exterior if needed, however because the lone true freshman on scholarship up entrance, he’s most likely extra so a mission for the long run.
Gaines would be the beginning proper guard, presumably locked into one place for the complete season for the primary time in a very long time. The veteran has performed each guard spots, heart and proper deal with, however the well being and depth on the different spots ought to let Gaines plant his ft at proper guard in 2022.
Mafi is technically changing Paul Grattan Jr. because the beginning left guard, however within the again half of the 12 months, they had been primarily splitting snaps 50/50. The line of defense transplant is in higher form than he ever has been whereas nonetheless retaining strong measurement, and he has confirmed able to pulling and shifting nicely in coach Chip Kelly’s run scheme.
Clemens is again because the No. 1 heart, whereas Marrazzo is now full wholesome and might take snaps there as nicely. Clemens might transfer to protect in some mixtures the place Marrazzo performs heart, however Marrazzo is getting used as a pure heart.
Roy was a part of a giant offensive line freshman class a 12 months in the past and he has confirmed to be one of the able to the bunch. He will not get appreciable time at heart with Clemens and Marrazzo in home, however with each of them set to go away subsequent offseason, he can be a key prospect to regulate.
UCLA doesn’t have the identical expertise up entrance that it did final 12 months – at the least, not on the surface.
O’Neal might find yourself within the prime half of Pac-12 left tackles, however he’s not Rhyan. Anderson was huge and skilled, whereas DiGiorgio nonetheless has plenty of kinks to work out in his recreation.
Going from Grattan-Clemens-Gaines with Mafi to Mafi-Clemens-Gaines with Marrazzo is a wash, and will presumably be higher with one other 12 months of expertise underneath everybody’s belt. In consequence, the Bruins’ inside run recreation might work simply in addition to it did in 2021, opening up holes for Charbonnet and stopping tackles for loss.
The modifications on the surface will negatively affect the passing recreation, although, and quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson most likely will not have as clear a jersey as he did a 12 months in the past. Failure to seal the sting might make exterior runs with Keegan Jones or Kazmeir Allen troublesome as nicely, to not point out pace and skim choices.
In fact, opening the 12 months with video games towards Bowling Inexperienced, Alabama State, South Alabama and Colorado offers the offensive line an generously lengthy runway to lock issues down earlier than the robust a part of the schedule arrives. The go safety and out of doors run blocking points can be more durable to note towards lesser competitors, and by the top of it, they could have labored out the largest points when it comes to expertise, play design and rotation.
UCLA will permit extra sacks than it did final 12 months, and it’ll most likely document fewer yards per carry. If O’Neal will be an all-conference participant – which he has the power to be, given he stays wholesome – and DiGiorgio eases his approach into an honest season, these worries will be eased a bit and the Bruins’ offense might find yourself bettering because the 12 months progresses.
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