Former Bruins QB Rick Neuheisel returned to his alma mater last year to help restore pride – and more victories – to the beleaguered Bruins program. Though the season started with a bang with a win against Tennessee, the Bruins were miserable for the better part of the year. Particularly on offense. The season ended on a particularly sour note, as UCLA was trounced by cross-town rival USC 28-7. It’s too early to judge Neuheisel for the 4-8 year, but a 3-6 Pac 10 record in a down year for the conference has to have been somewhat of a disappointment for the Bruins and their fans. Hope springs eternal for all teams this time of year and judging from the sound of Neuheisel, both he and his players are chomping at the bit to take the field once more. Neuheisel’s media day session was captured by KJR in Seattle.
On the quarterback situation in Westwood at this point in time:
We’ve given the starting job to Kevin Prince. He’s a redshirt freshman. He’s got all the tools. He’s 6’2, maybe close to 6’3, 225 pound kid, he can expose all parts of the field with his arm, he he’s got great demeanor, he’s very patient, he’s poised, all of those things. He’s just a freshman. We’ve got to weather the freshman-itis. Kevin Craft was a courageous performer last year. He made a lot of plays, he was able to throw off some of the negative plays but unfortunately he turned the ball over too much. It’s not all his fault. We didn’t have great protection, we didn’t have a running game, people know what we were going to be able to do and what we couldn’t do. Ultimately, you haveto make the decisions as to who is going to give you the best chance to win and until Kevin can prove that he can’t turn the ball over, we’ve got to go in another direction…It’ll be probable that he’ll have another chance and if he does, hopefully he’ll go out there and make the most of it.”
On the “Monopoly in LA is officially over” advertisement that ran in the Los Angeles Times last year:
“It was our marketing department and god bless them for being so optimistic. I wasn’t [aware] until it came out. But once it came out, shoot I’m on the team so I’m endorsing it…It isn’t as though SC was going to take it easy on that one particular Saturday anyway. That’s where we aim to be. We want that to be the case. It’s certainly not the case yet but we want that to be the case.”
On how he plans to keep up with and then eventually beat Pete Carroll in recruiting:
“We beat him on 6 or 7 kids in recruiting this year that they wanted and we got. A couple that were already committed to them. We’re spreading our message, we’re making sure kids get on our campus and see what a great place it is to have as a college education and why our program is heading in the right direction.