With UCLA soccer’s offseason winding down, it is time to begin looking forward to 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 choosing aside how UCLA will form up by itself sidelines,
All Bruins has been breaking down each place group over the previous two weeks, and particular teamers are the ultimate ones on the slate. To make amends for the positions already coated, have a look under:
Aug. 24: Quarterbacks
Aug. 25: Working Backs
Aug. 26: Vast Receivers
Aug. 27: Tight Ends
Aug. 28: Offensive Line
Aug. 29: Defensive Line
Aug. 30: Linebackers
Aug. 31: Defensive Backs
Okay 1: Nicholas Barr-Mira, redshirt junior
Okay 2: RJ Lopez, junior
Okay 3: Joseph Firebaugh Jr., redshirt freshman
Okay 4: Kalen Jones, freshman
Okay 5: Ari Libenson, redshirt sophomore
P 1: Nicholas Barr-Mira
P 2: Chase Barry, freshman
KOS 1: RJ Lopez, junior
KOS 2: Nicholas Barr-Mira, redshirt junior
LS 1: Jack Landherr IV, senior
LS 2: Beau Gardner, redshirt sophomore
Holder 1: Sean Holland, redshirt senior
Holder 2: Chase Artopoeus, redshirt junior
KR 1: Kazmeir Allen, redshirt senior
KR 2: Keegan Jones, redshirt junior
PR 1: Logan Loya, junior
PR 2: Jake Bobo, tremendous senior
For the third 12 months in a row, Barr-Mira is poised to headline the Bruins’ particular groups unit, however this time, he might be taking up extra tasks.
Barr-Mira remains to be the beginning place kicker in Westwood, a task he has had locked down for 3 seasons now.
After hitting 30-of-31 additional factors and 6-of-7 discipline targets in 2020, Barr-Mira went 52-of-55 on additional factors and 14-of-21 on discipline targets in 2021. Barr-Mira missed a discipline objective in seven of UCLA’s closing 9 video games a 12 months in the past, a far cry from his prior run of excessive effectivity.
The teaching workers awarded Barr-Mira with a scholarship to finish fall camp, although, so they appear to belief him to get again on observe this fall.
One more reason Barr-Mira was in a position to earn that scholarship was that he’s presently listed because the first-string punter. Barr-Mira took many of the starter’s reps at punter by way of fall camp, and even after Barry took over for the beginning of sport week, it appears to be like like Barr-Mira remains to be the person at that spot.
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With Barr-Mira in line to deal with double-duty, Barry will probably be his backup on the punter spot. Barr-Mira has been the way more constant when it comes to cling time and distance in observe, however Barry has the dimensions and talent to earn that spot sooner or later this 12 months or subsequent.
Lopez is formally listed because the backup kicker, however Firebaugh looks as if he is been taking extra reps within the discipline objective drills. The JuCo product can be a punter, and he’s somebody who may have a future in Westwood as nicely.
The kickoff specialist duties have gone again to Lopez, and Barr-Mira will probably be there to again him up if want be.
Landherr is heading into his fourth 12 months because the Bruins’ go-to lengthy snapper, and he has managed to carve out spots on each educational and positional award watch lists heading into the season. Gardner has had just a few botched snaps in observe as of late, however he’s a good backup.
Holland is a switch quarterback from Fordham, however he has not taken reps at that place since arriving for fall camp. He does seem to have changed Ethan Garbers because the No. 1 holder, although, signifying coach Chip Kelly’s desire of getting a quarterback maintain down that function.
Allen is a menace to carry again a kick for a landing any time he will get the ball, lastly breaking by way of with a rating in opposition to USC in 2021. Jones will probably be set again alongside him, and he, too, has loads of pace to spare.
Bobo is listed because the beginning punt returner on the workforce’s official two-deep, however that does not appear proper primarily based on what the workforce has proven in observe. Loya’s arms and shiftiness may assist him exchange Kyle Philips admirably, whereas Bobo and his stable body will doubtless find yourself watching these performs from the sidelines.
Barr-Mira had a very tough stretch within the closing three-quarters of the 2021 season, and it is troublesome to name it uncharacteristic contemplating that is half of his complete school profession.
Nonetheless, constructive regression ought to be in retailer for the upperclassman, who has been very correct inside of fifty yards at observe. With UCLA’s offense doubtlessly set to steer the Pac-12 in offensive output, Barr-Mira ought to be main that cost as one of many convention’s high scorers.
There is not actually a scenario the place Barr-Mira will get benched for Lopez or Firebaugh, barring harm, except one thing goes catastrophically improper. Even with the shortage of direct competitors, final 12 months’s struggles ought to show to be sufficient to gasoline Barr-Mira again to the highest.
Barr-Mira’s standing because the beginning punter is loads much less safe, nevertheless. The Bruins may find yourself utilizing a number of punters throughout nonconference play, since discipline place presumably will not imply a lot as they cruise to 3 straight victories. That cushion ought to give them time to experiment and check out each Barr-Mira and Barry, after which they will go from there with the winner of that in-season competitors.
It is loads to count on two kick return touchdowns from Allen, however he’s actually a menace to take action. In all probability, he’ll wind up with one, however that is clearly nothing to sneeze at.
Whether or not it is Loya or Bobo understanding at punt returner, neither appears poised to carry one to the home. Each have nice arms, although, so the expectation ought to be that they’ll decide the ball within the air and make it by way of the 12 months with out coughing it up in any respect.
And for good measure, this might be the 12 months Landherr makes the record of Patrick Mannelly Lengthy Snapper finalists, contemplating he’s already one of many 25 members of the preseason watch record.
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